Steel Pipe and Steel Tube

In the steel piping world, steel pipe and steel tube are both used, but they can be confusing for many people. Indeed, there is no big difference except nomenclature.

But below 4 points are conventional:

Steel Pipe and Steel Tube


A. Pipe is typically in larger sizes, with diameter of 2″ and above.
B. Tube is smaller in diameter, usually less than 2″.


A. Pipe is customarily identified by “Nominal Pipe Size” (NPS), with wall thickness defined by “Schedule number” (SCH).
B. Tube is customarily specified by its outside diameter (O.D.) and wall thickness (WT), expressed either in Birmingham wire gage (BWG) or in thousandths of an inch.


A. Pipe is commonly used to transport water, gas and oil, in extensive usage.
B. Tube is mainly used for mechanical structure in Heat Exchangers, Compressors and Boiler pipelines.


Normally, tube is expensive than pipe due to tighter manufacturing tolerances, and more cold drawn processes.
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