If you're looking for pipes, be it for residential, commercial or industrial applications, you will find there are lots of options out there in the market. If you are not well-versed in piping products, all the options can become confusing. Tone down that confusion by learning more about the different piping types there are and which applications suit them best.
Steel pipes offer very high levels of strength as compared to most other pipes of similar sizes. This is why steel piping is highly used in civil construction, e.g. drainage, culverts and bridges. Steel pipes are also commonly used in large-scale agriculture as well as industrial oil, gas and fuel pipelines. For added durability, steel pipes can be galvanised or coated with aluminium or polymers.
Stainless steel pipes
Stainless steel is a very common choice in piping applications. This is largely due to its durability and smooth aesthetic finish. As such, stainless steel is often used indoors for applications such as pressure piping, plumbing, thermal and fire-related uses, as well as chemical, food, oil, fuel and gas pipelines.
Aluminium is also used in commercial, residential and industrial applications. Aluminium pipes are light, anti-corrosive and highly durable. As a result, aluminium piping can be used indoors, outdoors and under the ground. Its applications are very similar to those of stainless steel pipes and range from pressure piping and plumbing to thermal piping as well as oil and gas transport.
Poly pipes are also very common across all the different industries. The advantages of poly pipes are that they are light, anti-corrosive and quite flexible. They are also cheaper than most metal alternatives. Poly pipes are also available in different colours. Their applications, however, are a bit limited. They are not used in applications touching on chemicals, oil, gas and pressure. Active applications include plumbing, farming pressure piping and sewerage.
PVC pipes are quite similar to poly pipes. However, they are not as flexible and do not offer as much thermal insulation. However, they are cheaper than poly pipes or metallic pipes. Just like poly pipes, PVC pipes cannot be used for pressure, thermal or chemical-related applications. Common applications include water, sewerage, drainage, conduit installation and ventilation.
This list is not in any way exhaustive. There are certain variations not mentioned here, such as HDPE or PE piping products. If you need more information to help guide you on the right piping products for your applications, talk to a pipe supplier or your construction contractor.