What Is the Difference Between Steel Pipes and Steel Tubes?

//What Is the Difference Between Steel Pipes and Steel Tubes?

Pipes and tubes are common words that are heard daily with most people using the term steel pipe and steel tube interchangeably. However, these two terms are a way different, not just in nomenclature and sizing but also in applications. So, here’s the summary of the difference between Steel tubes and Steel Pipes.


Steel Pipes refer to long, pressure tight circular hollow sections used for transmission of gases or fluids such as oil & gas, propane, steam, acids, and water.

Steel Tubes can be round, square, or rectangular hollow sections. They are used more as structural parts – in production lines, hydraulic lifts, conveyor belts etc.


When it comes to dimensions, Pipes are classified on the basis of schedule and nominal bore. Here Internal diameter (ID) holds much significance. A pipe can have a nominal bore (internal diameter) of 1/8” NB and a schedule (thickness) of 80.

Tubes are classified according to their outside diameter (OD) with a set range of wall thickness. For instance, tubes with 6.35 mm to 102 mm OD can have a thickness of 0.50 mm to 7.0 mm.

The thickness of tubes increases in standard increments of 1 mm or 2 mm whereas there is no fixed increment in case of pipes as their thickness is dependent on the schedule.


Tubes are used in applications that require smaller diameters and precise outer diameters– like instrumentation systems and pressure equipment with cooler tubes, heat exchanger tubes, boiler tubes, heaters, superheaters.

Pipes are designed to withstand pressure, which is why they are widely used in a range of industrieslike oil & gas, petrochemical, marine and process industries for carrying fluids that must be contained.

Manufacturing Processes:

The manufacturing techniques of both pipes and tubes differ. Steel tubes require high-level processes, more labour, tests, and inspection. Hence, the cost of production of tubes is usually higher. Pipes are relatively easier to manufacture and can be mass produced in short time frame.

If you are looking for steel pipes or tubes for your enterprise, Shubhlaxmi is the name you can rely on! We carry a wide variety of inventory, with various shapes and grades to choose from. For inquiries or to place an order, visit our location in Mumbai or visit our online store.

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