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Difference between Piping and Pipeline

Both piping and pipeline evolved from mechanical engineering and frequently perform the same functions. Piping materials, piping expansion, stress, and support matter for both. As a result, stress and material engineers are required for both piping and pipelines. Fluids are transmitted using both piping and pipelines. ASME B 31.3/ASME B 31.1 is concerned with piping engineering, while ASME B 31.4/ASME B 31.8 is associated with pipeline engineering.

This article will help to determine a few other distinctions between piping and pipeline systems in general:

  • Geographical Categorizations: Pipelines and piping are typically demarcated by a barrier or fence. Outside the fence is considered pipeline scope, while inside the fence is considered piping scope. Pipelines typically travel significant distances (across villages or countries), whereas individual piping is limited in length (equipment to equipment or pipeline to equipment).
  • Physical characteristics or actions: Piping is primarily connected to various equipment and transports fluids within a complex network that will be processed by that equipment. Pipelines, on the other hand, often run straight and supply the feed for additional processing or convey the processed fluid or finished product. In comparison to piping, the pipeline has far fewer equipment connections.
  • Construction: Pipelines can travel aboveground, underground, or subsea, with the majority of them buried. In contrast, plumbing systems are generally located above ground.
  • Pipe Size and Types of Fitting: The pipe size is typically smaller in piping systems (the majority of lines in process or power piping systems are less than 36 inches), but the number of fittings used is extremely large. Pipeline diameters, on the other hand, are huge, and the number of fittings is comparatively limited.
  • Pipe and valve types: In most instances, line pipes, i.e., API 5L code, are used for pipeline material and API 6D code is used for pipeline valves, whereas piping material utilizes ASTM, BS, API 5L, or many other codes and standards, and piping valves are from BS or API standard.
  • Temperature of design: In many cases, the fluid design temperature for pipelines is less than 230 degrees Celsius, whereas piping systems transport fluids with varying design temperatures.
  • Hydro testing Pressure: The hydro test pressure is determined for the piping system by multiplying the design pressure by 1.5 and a temperature factor, whereas the pipeline design pressure is 1.25 times the design pressure for liquid pipelines and 1.25 to 1.5 times the design pressure for gas pipelines. Furthermore, pipeline pressure holding time is often 24 hours, whereas piping pressure holding time is typically 2 to 6 hours.
  • Pipe Routing: In general, large-diameter elbows (hot bends up to 6D and cold bends up to 60D) are utilized in pipeline routing, whereas piping systems do not have such large diameter bends.
  • Construction Plans and drawings: Construction drawings for pipeline systems are known as alignment sheets, while those for piping systems are known as isometric drawings.
  • Surveys: During pipeline design, numerous technical surveys, such as topographical surveys, soil-resistivity surveys, cadastral surveys, hydrological surveys, geotechnical examinations, and so on, are undertaken to collect data from multiple sources. For piping systems, only wind and seismic profile analyses are undertaken.
  • Pigging: Long pipelines are cleaned with pigs, whilst piping systems are cleaned with steam or nitrogen.

Other Differences

  1. Inert gas or corrosion-inhibited water is typically used to preserve pipelines.
  2. Pipelines involve cathodic protection systems.
  3. Pipelines are often coated with a corrosion protective coating, whilst piping systems are painted.
  4. The pipeline passes across rivers, goes beneath rails and highways, and so on. As a result, unique design and construction requirements are necessary.

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Difference between Piping and Pipeline

by Piping Mart time to read: 2 min