Tubing vs Pipe

Standard fluid line systems, whether for simple household use or for the more exacting requirements of industry, were for many years constructed from threaded pipe of assorted materials and were assembled with various standard pipe fitting shapes, unions, elbows, tees and nipples. Such systems under high pressures were plagued with leakage problems besides being cumbersome, inefficient and costly to assemble and maintain. Therefore, the use of pipe in these systems has largely been replaced by tubing because of the many advantages it offers.


Figure 1.) Tubing provides simplified, free flow system.

Old Method – Each connection is threaded – requires numerous fittings – system not flexible or easy to install and service connections not smooth inside – pockets obstruct flow.

Modern Method – Bendable tubing needs fewer fittings – no threading required – system light and compact – easy to install and service – no internal pockets or obstructions to free flow. (Use a Parker Tube Bender)

Major Advantages of Tubing vs. Pipe

  1. Bending Quality – Tubing has strong but relatively thin walls: is easy to bend. Tube fabrication is simple.
  2. Greater Strength – Tubing is stronger. No weakened sections from reduction of wall thickness by threading.
  3. Less Turbulence – Smooth bends result in streamlined flow passage and less pressure drop.
  4. Economy of Space and Weight – With its better bending qualities and a smaller outside diameter, tubing saves space and permits working in close quarters. Tube fittings are smaller and also weigh less.
  5. Flexibility – Tubing is less rigid, has less tendency to transmit vibration from one connection to another.
  6. Fewer Fittings – Tubing bends substitute for elbows. Fewer fittings mean fewer joints, fewer leak paths.
  7. Tighter Joints – Quality tube fittings, correctly assembled, give better assurance of leak-free systems.
  8. Better Appearance – Tubing permits smoother contours with fewer fittings for a professional look to tubing systems.
  9. Cleaner Fabrication – No sealing compounds on tube fitting connections. Again no threading: minimum chance of scale, metal chips, foreign particles in system.
  10. Easier Assembly and Disassembly – Every tube fittings connection serves as a union. Tube fitting connections can be reassembled repeatedly with easy wrench action.
  11. Less Maintenance – Advantages of tubing and tube fittings add up to dependable, trouble-free installations.

    Pipe vs Tubing

    Figure 2.) With no threading necessary, tubing does not require extra wall thickness

If you would like to receive more information about Parker Instrumentation Tube Fittings or Tubing please contact Forberg Scientific customer service.
Toll Free: 855-248-5330
Email: mechancialsales@forberg.com