See all Blog Posts Difference Between Pipe and Tube Category: Hints and Tips, Metal Man Knows Posted: September 29, 2014 What is the Difference Between Pipe and Tube? One of the most frequent questions we get from customers is “What’s the difference between pipe and tube”? Although pipes and tubes may look similar, they are in fact quite different in nomenclature and sizing. Remember that pipes and tubes are rarely interchangeable. The difference between pipe and tube include: Shape Measurement Telescoping Abilities Rigidity Applications Metal Types Size Strength Shape Pipes are always round in shape. Tubes can be square, rectangular or round, as shown in the image to the right. Measurement Pipes are only provided with an inside (nominal) diameter and a “schedule” (which means wall thickness). There’s an easy way to remember this: since pipe is used to transfer fluids or gas, the size of the opening through which the fluids or gas can pass through is probably more important to you than the outer dimensions of the pipe. Tube measurements, on the other hand, are provided as an outside diameter and set ranges of wall thickness. Telescoping Abilities Tube can be telescoped. Remember to account for the flash weld inside the tube. Pipe, on the other hand, does not have a flash weld. DOM (Drawn over Mandrel) Tube is the best material for telescoping because the inside flash weld has been removed. Rigidity Although copper and brass tubes can be shaped relatively easily, tubes are are typically rigid. Pipes, on the other hand, are invariably rigid and cannot be shaped without special equipment. Applications Only pipes are pressure rated and intended to be used for the transference of fluids or gas. Tubes, on the other hand, are used in structural applications. Metal Types Tube is available in hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel. Pipe is typically black steel (hot rolled). Both items can be galvanized. Size Pipe is typically available in larger sizes than tube. Strength Tube is stronger than pipe. Don’t have time to read the blog? Watch our video below to learn more about the differences between pipe and tube: Metal Supermarkets Metal Supermarkets is the world’s largest small-quantity metal supplier with over 100 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. We are metal experts and have been providing quality customer service and products since 1985. At Metal Supermarkets, we supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, tool steel, engineering steel, brass, bronze and copper. We carry a wide range of shapes including: bars, tubes, sheets and plates. We can cut metal to your exact specifications. Visit one of our 7 locations in the United Kingdom today. Share: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn E-Mail Tags: pipe, tube Related blog articles What is Oxygen Free Copper? What is Abrasion Resistant Steel? What is Steel Pickling?