When you think of piping used in manufacturing applications, you may assume that most of these pipes are used for sewage and water. However, many lines are made to increase productivity and promote safety of personnel and equipment. Let’s examine the two most important and learn the difference between process piping and power piping.
In simplest terms, process piping transfers gases, liquids, fuels, and chemicals to various areas of the facility where these raw materials are converted into usable products. This piping is combined with other components like gaskets, flanges, traps, filters, and strainers to ensure the cleanest product possible in most applications.
For example, pipes carrying water throughout a facility with the intention of combining the water with other materials (to make cleaning products, soft drinks, et cetera) are “process piping.” However, pipes directing water for cooling other processes are not considered “process piping.”
Power piping has an entirely different application. This piping is installed to carry (or process) steam, high-temperature water, compressed air, and liquid formed by condensation and is typically installed in heating and cooling systems. Additionally, power piping has usage as a stop valve for a system distribution header.
While process and power piping have different uses, there are some key similarities you should know. First, neither process nor power piping are part of the plumbing system; that is a separate set of piping. Unlike plumbing, process and power pipes do not require permits for installation. Additionally, both types are engineered specifically to withstand high temperatures and caustic or corrosive materials.
Both power and process pipes are custom-made components that require special engineering and must be manufactured to the exact requirements of the task. Now that you understand the difference between process piping and power piping, ensure you have a process piping contractor assist you with manufacturing and installation.