Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Small Bore Tubing Has Big Advantages Over Piping

Wed, Nov 22, 2017 @ 08:11 AM / by Alecia Robinson

It's light, it bends, it creates a smooth flow path, and the installed cost is lower


tubing vs pipe.png

Threaded connection points are the most vulnerable areas to leakage in a fluid distribution system so why not reduce the number of threaded connections and switch your pipe system to tube.

Tubing Data PDF


Let's bust a myth about small-bore tubing. Too many people still think it's more expensive than pipe. That might be true if all you did was buy the tubing and leave it in a pile on the floor. But whether you buy pipe or tubing, you still have to install it. That's where tubing makes up the cost difference, and then some.

If you are welding pipe, you'll need a hot-work permit, plus a welding expert who will cost you about $100 to $150 per hour. A regular tube fitter can assemble small-bore tubing with only a half-day of training. And we offer the training as well as the tubing.

If you are installing pipe with threaded fittings, someone still needs to cut all the threads. With tubing, assembly is quick and easy. By the way, the reason pipe walls are so thick is not to hold more pressure, but so that material can be cut away to make the threads. The fact is, tubing has a much higher ratio of strength to weight than pipe does.

Extra advantages

Your piping design options will be restricted by the limitations of pipe. Pipe has to make a straight run from one connection to the next, whereas tubing can be bent. The bending means you can change direction without having to add a series of fittings. That means fewer potential leak points, and a smoother flow path than you would get with the sharp angles of piping.

Aesthetically, tubing looks a lot nicer too.

When it comes to weight, tubing is the obvious choice over pipe. That's important not only for the weight of the fluid system in place, but also for shipping. If you are an OEM and building an assembly, more weight means higher shipping costs.

Tools and training

Despite the name, small bore tubing is small only in comparison to the pipe it replaces. It's actually larger than most tubing, and includes anything from 3/4 inch on up. That means it requires special tools and training. But don't worry: Edmonton Valve & Fitting provides both. You don't even have to buy the tools, because we rent them.

Over the years, we've seen demand increase for our hydraulic swaging units and tube benders, which tells us that more companies are realizing to the advantages of tubing

Will small-bore tubing really save money compared to piping? We have a cost calculator that can show you. Call us at 780-437-0640 or contact us through our website, and then tell us the lengths of pipe you need, how many fittings, and other details of your project. We we can come up with an estimated cost comparison if you use small bore tubing instead.  


Additional resources


 

Topics: Cost Savings, Tubing

Alecia Robinson

Written by Alecia Robinson