Choosing the right structural material can be downright difficult, especially for those who have little experience in construction. In fact, with new supplies being introduced into the market regularly, this task can be daunting even for skilled builders. Two types of building material that can be particularly confusing to the untrained eyes are pipes and tubes. Not only do they have striking similarities, but their differences are quite difficult to spot as well. The following are the basic differences between pipes and tubes that can help you in choosing the right material for your project.
While pipes and tubes look the same, they actually differ in function. Pipes are used mainly for conveying fluids and gases, while tubes are often used to provide support or added aesthetics to a structure. Most pipes are concealed either underground or within the walls, while tubes are usually (and oftentimes intended to be) visible.
The most common cross-sectional shape for both pipes and tubes is round. Unlike tubes, however, pipes are always manufactured with round cross-section. This is because round has the uniform diameter needed to safely and efficiently convey fluids. Tubes, on the other hand, can be made into other shapes because they are most commonly used for structural and decorative applications.
Most pipes are made from hot-rolled steel, which typically has a dark, unappealing shade. They would end up covered or hidden anyway so there’s no point in improving their appearance, especially because adding other metals just to enhance the exterior appearance could potentially compromise stability, which is a priority in pipe manufacturing. Tubes, on the other hand, are available in a variety of materials. Bronze and brass are among the most popular metals for decorative tubes due to their amazing qualities.
Strength and Rigidity
Both pipes and tubes can be made from different types and grades of metal, each of which defines their strength and rigidity. The metal grade required for making pipes depends on the type of fluid or gas they are meant to convey. Potent substances would normally require stronger and more rigid pipes. Brass or bronze tube supplies, on the other hand, may or may not be rigid depending on their intended use or on the weight they need to support.
These are only some of the differences between pipes and tubes that you need to know in order to more easily pick the right material for your project. A trip to the most trusted supplier in town, such as Rotax Metals, can help you get not just the right materials but also the highest quality ones.