Pipe vs Tube – 8 Differences Between Pipe and Tube

Pipe vs tube

For a person who is not involved with technical know-how, pipes and tubes are pretty much the same. But, the truth is they are not. Pipe and tube are two entirely different objects. Pipe vs tube is something that even the common public should realize that interchanging these two can cause serious problems.

pipe vs tube differences

What is the difference between Pipe and Tube?

Pipes and tubes are not same. The differences between pipe and tube are given below:



  • The most important dimension of all is the internal diameter.
  • The most important dimension is the outer diameter and other dimensions are dependent on it.
  • The purpose of a pipe is to transport fluids.
  • Tubes are generally used in structural applications, boilers, etc.
  • Classifications are by means of their internal diameter and their schedule.
  • Classification is based on their outer diameter and thickness.
  • Tolerances are low as their internal diameter is most important. Hence, the cost of production is low.
  • Tolerances needed are high and correspondingly, the cost of production is high.
  • They are round or cylindrical in shape.
  • Tubes come in a variety of shapes such as rectangular, cylindrical or square.
  • Pipes are rigid and hence, they resist bending.
  • These are also rigid. However, a few like brass and copper tubes are flexible.
  • These have a pressure rating as they carry fluids that need to be contained.
  • Pressure rating is not required.
  • Joining pipes is a tedious process. It requires flanges, threading or welding.
  • Tubes can be easily joined. Coupling, brazing and flaring are some simple processes used for this purpose.

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