Different Types of Pipes and Their Uses

Pipes are an essential component in many industrial sectors, from construction to plumbing. Each type of pipe is developed to serve a defined set of needs and applications. Knowledge about the various types of pipes and their uses can enable professionals to make the right selection for the materials needed in their project to be able to achieve the outcomes of durability, efficiency, and safety. In this module, we will go over ten different types of pipes including their description, usage, and application.

PVC Pipes

What is PVC Pipe?

PVC stands for Poly Vinyl Chloride. The pipes made from it are long-lasting, lightweight, and do not corrode. They are easy to install and maintain, and, therefore, are used in almost all the sectors.

Applications of PVC Pipes

PVC pipes are used in residential and commercial plumbing, drainage, and irrigation. It is also used in sewage plants since it can withstand high-pressure water flow and is also durable.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have two types: rigid and flexible. Rigid types are most commonly used in the water distribution system, while flexible types are typically used for refrigerant lines for air conditioning systems.

Applications of Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are valued for their thermal conductivity, resistance to corrosion, and bacteriostatic characteristics. They are most commonly used in distributing cold and hot water, in HVAC systems, and refrigerant lines.

Carbon Steel Pipes

The Strength and Durability of Carbon Steel Pipes

Carbon steel pipe is well to know for the fact that it is strong and durable. These are the pipes that will withstand high pressure and will show resistance to mechanical stress.

Industrial and Commercial Use of CS Pipes

These are the most used CS Pipes in industries and commercially. Some of the applications include oil and gas transportation, high-pressure services, and structural applications. With their strengths, they become the supreme choice for harsh applications.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

These steel pipes are provided with a coating of zinc which functions as a preventive measure against the accumulation of corrosion on its surface. They are strong and capable of bearing high-pressure loads.

Uses in Building and Plumbing

These pipes are applied where the pipes are expected to face water forces from outside or industrial needs. Common applications include water supply lines, fencing, and scaffolding.

PEX Pipes

PEX piping is very flexible, versatile, and resistant to very hot or cold temperatures. On top of this, it is also easy to install because of its flexibility and ease of fitting.

Typical Uses in Residential Plumbing

PEX pipes are also coming in very high demand with residential plumbing. They are used to distribute both hot and cold water. They also apply to radiant floor heating systems and in cases where the piping is required to be flexible.

Stainless Steel Pipes

Features of Stainless Steel Pipes

Stainless steel pipes are some of the strongest and most durable you can buy. They are not only resistant to corrosion, but also do not falter in many types of temperature.

Applications of Various Grades and Finishes

Stainless steel pipes are available in multiple grades and finishes. They are used in many conditions for various commercial and residential applications.

SS Pipes Industrial and Residential Applications

They are applied in a range of industrial applications, including chemical, food and beverage processing, and oil and gas. When you talk about residential use, they are commonly used for kitchen and bathroom fixtures because of their aesthetic appeal and non-corrosiveness.

Cast Iron Pipes

Durability and Strength of Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes are pretty durable, have a long life, and high pressure. They are resistant to damage from external conditions.

Historical and Modern Uses

In history, this is what city water distribution systems used. Today, the pipes can be used in sewer and drainage systems. They have a large capacity to handle heavy loads and resist wearing out.

Concrete Pipes

Benefits of Concrete Pipes

Concrete pipes are extremely strong, durable, and can support great volumes of water. They are not affected by environmental agents and, therefore, have a good service life.

Large Infrastructure Installation

These are generally used with large infrastructure installations, such as highways, bridges, and stormwater/DWV/OWS installations. The pipes are perfect for use where the conditions are strong and durable.

HDPE Pipes

Characteristics of HDPE Pipes

HDPE pipes are flexible, lightweight, corrosive chemical and/or erosion-resistant, thus able to carry a great volume of water with high pressure and under the most hostile or challenging climatic, soil, or site conditions.

Water Supply and Gas Distribution

HDPE pipes are used in water supply and distribution, gas distribution, and sewer systems. The flexibility allows the pipes to be installed through remaining infrastructure due to a minimum impact during installation.

ABS Pipes

Easy to Install and Maintain

ABS pipes are lightweight, strong, and able to stand up to impacts. They are easily cut, laid, and conjoined with other systems for ease of installation and maintenance.

Drainage and Waste System

ABS pipes are the most used in the depository, waste, and vent piping. These are especially compatible with installation underground owing to their great strength and durability.

Brass Pipes

Characteristics of Brass Pipes

As the pipes are composed of an alloy of copper and zinc, they are thus very strong against corrosion and therefore have a long life. It also features a high melting point and is easily shaped and joined.

Mechanical and Plumbing Uses

The most popular use of brass pipes is in the plumbing system, especially in the distribution of hot water. It is also widely used in mechanical systems and wherever precision and reliability are highly desired.


As pipe selection is critical to the success of any project, the selection of the right kind of pipe depends on the kind of application. Different types of pipes have their own characteristics and benefits, making them suitable for applications. Understanding these differences can help professionals make informed decisions, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of their systems.


What is the basic difference between PVC and PEX pipes?

PVC is rigid and generally used for drainage and water supply; PEX is for flexible applications, like those in residential plumbing and heating systems.

Why do plumbing systems have preference for copper pipes?

High resistance to corrosion, good thermal properties, and bacteriostatic nature make copper pipes ideal for the distribution of both hot and cold water.

Why are galvanized steel pipes safe for outdoor use?

Because of the zinc coating, the galvanized steel pipes are corrosion-free, and hence they are durable and safe for outdoor and industrial use.

Can HDPE pipes be used for gas distribution?

Yes, of course, they can. These pipes are resistance to corrosion and chemicals, durability, and flexible.

Are cast iron pipes still in use now?

Do cast iron pipes have a high rating for their strength when used in sewer and drainage systems, and is this important for such a system since heavy loads will be exerted on them?

What are the major advantages if stainless steel pipes are employed in an industrial use?

Major use of stainless steel pipes is that it has good resistance towards corrosion; hence, it is very useful in a host of general industrial applications, specifically chemical processing, food processing, and production plants.