What Are the Benefits and Risks of Different Industrial Process Piping Materials?

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Industrial pipes must be strong and durable enough to last for decades of regular use. These pipes are built into walls inside of houses, installed underground or built alongside commercial buildings. It’s necessary for the construction materials to meet industry standards. There are a number of benefits and risks that are attached to using different piping materials.


Copper is strong, durable and resistant to corrosion. It is a popular material used to build plumbing pipes in homes and commercial buildings. It was a standard for construction materials until the manufacture of plastics. Copper does not rust, but it can freeze and burst in freezing temperatures. Under certain circumstances, this material can bend or corrode and pollute the water.

Galvanized Iron

Like copper, iron is another piping material that has been used for centuries. Galvanized iron is made by coating zinc onto the surface to prevent corrosion. The iron is suitable for outdoor pipes that are exposed to a variety of weather conditions throughout the year. Like other types of piping materials, corrosion is inevitable after several decades.


PEX is made from cross-linked polyethylene that is stronger and safer than PVC. The popularity of PEX piping has increased since the 1980s, and it’s now considered to be a standard for construction materials. PEX is highly resistant to scratching and cracking that causes pipes to leak. The stronger the cross linking is, the greater the resistant to very high or low temperatures.

On the other hand, PEX pipes is designed for indoor and not outdoor use. This material is still able to break down in very cold or hot conditions. In addition, some rodents may gnaw on the pipes and contribute to leakage.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a widely used industrial piping material that is made in rigid or flexible forms. The hard form of this synthetic plastic is used to construct pipes and window frames along with bottles and food packages. The material is strong and flexible, so it’s ideal for pipes that must expand to sustain different levels of water pressure.

However, PVC is known for being toxic and leaching hazardous chemicals into food or drinking water. Its production involves the release of poisonous chlorine gases into the air and water. This causes the potential for health problems in people and animals.

Every type of industry needs stable piping. This is because every home or building uses pipes to transport water for basic living needs. Copper has been the most popular type of material used, but it’s being replaced by plastics. No piping material is the best since each one has numerous benefits and risks to consider. Consider the best options that will work for your installation or renovation project. Contact us at 408-295-2182 or visit our website to get started on your project.

Hiring a mechanical engineer for building retrofits, rebuilds, additions, or enhancements is the quickest and surest way to obtain the ideal facilities for supporting your operations. Are you ready to make your workplace more modern, efficient, or compliant? If so, we can help.

Call us today at 408-295-2182.


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