What is the difference between Pipe and Tubing?
So what is the difference between pipe and tubing? And, if you need tubing, are you looking for ERW or DOM? Pipe and tubing specs vary, so it is essential to know the difference when ordering pipe versus tubing; but also, are you looking for ERW and DOM tube?
Pipe versus Tubing
A pipe has a variety of uses from plumbing to structural applications, but also bollards are made from pipe. Standard carbon steel pipe is offered in 20, 21, 40 and 42' lengths and ordered by the ID or inside diameter and wall thickness. Often referred to as black pipe, it can be galvanized or blasted and primed to specification. For example, if you need a 1-1/2” SCH40 pipe, your NPS (nominal pipe size) is always the OD which will be larger than the ID. In this example, your OD is 1.900”, your ID is 1.610” and the wall thickness will be 0.145 (or just over 9/64”).
Tubing, on the other hand, is measured by the OD or outside diameter and wall thickness. So in the case of 1-1/2” OD, the wall thickness will be lighter, and your ID will be 1.232 (or just shy of 15/64”). Many structures will call for tubing versus pipe because tubing can cost less, be easier to install and maintain. Pipe and tubing are distinctly different in not just how and when they are used, but in how they are made.
DOM tube or Drawn Over Mandrel
If you are looking for DOM tube, Spirit Metals can help. DOM stands for Drawn Over Mandrel and refers to the process in which it is made. It is easily welded and fabricated, has a superior tensile and yield strength, and has limitless size possibilities. DOM tubing is a high-quality welded tube and is cold worked and drawn over mandrel to create dimensional accuracy and a smooth surface. The interior seam is removed to create a tube that has a uniform concentricity and wall thickness. This process allows for enhanced mechanical properties, and It is formed from SAE 1020 or 1026 steel; it has a composition of carbon, sulfur, manganese, and phosphorous. DOM tube is found in race cars and as roll bars in buggies, shift levers, hydraulic cylinders, auto and truck axles, as well as many other machining applications. When your plans call for a specific OD, you can be sure that tubing is what you need.
ERW tube or Electric Resistance Welded
ERW tubing is hot-rolled and refers to the specific process of welding that involves both seam and spot welding. Also, it will have a welded joint in the cross-section. It is easier to form, and the dimensions are not as uniform as it is with DOM tube. If you do not need DOM or seamless tube, this is a good option.
There are many options to choose from when deciding between pipe and tubing, so like anything in this industry, it’s essential to know what is passing through the material (if anything) and what are the tolerance needs for your application.
Pipe and tube are a regular part of our daily life, even if you cannot see it. Whatever your need, Spirit Metals can help! Our primary goal is to understand the needs of your business, your project, and your budget! We pride ourselves in partnering with our customers to achieve those goals. Call us today at 813-444-2022 or email us, and one of our dedicated team members will assist you!