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What are the Differences Between Process Solutions and Commercial Pipe?

Have you ever experienced the stressful inefficiencies from having more than one point of contact? All that time wasted, financial risks accepted, and interruptions at work can cause an expensive headache. 

From design and procurement, to installation and maintenance, it's little wonder why separately contracting high-purity and commercial piping to separate parties can be burdensome.

No matter the application, when you need high-purity piping fabricated and installed in your facility, you need a partner you can trust to do the job correctly and safely – especially if you need commercial piping, too.

The more you understand the distinct difference between high-purity piping and commercial piping, the better you can find a Process Solutions team who can accommodate your facility's needs. 

In this blog, we break down those differences. 

High-Purity Piping and Required Materials

For piping to meet the standards required for a lab or clean room environment, or any similar facility, a specific approach must be used.

First, the purity of the delivered product is the highest priority. The products can range from nitrogen and oxygen gas to water, but high-purity piping must prevent contamination.

To achieve purity, a Process Solutions team should ensure these traits are met when applicable:

  • Surface Finish - A mirror finish on the inside of a pipe might seem like an odd aesthetic choice given it can’t be seen, but it ensures products flow smoothly and that no defects are present.
  • Avoid Deadlegs - Deadlegs in piping systems include any spots in a piping system where liquids could potentially collect and remain stagnant. This can lead to contamination since mold and bacteria are able to form in spots where water (or other products) can sit for extended periods of time. Process Solutions is diligent about eliminating these areas.
  • Smooth Welds - Piping should be smoothly welded on the inside and outside, and checked for defects to avoid any potential for leaks (no pinholes or discoloration).
  • No “Leaching” Materials - Specific materials must be used in a Process Solutions application so product is never contaminated. For example, the material in a carbon-steel pipe will eventually leach iron into water over time. Stainless steel, certain plastics, copper, and other materials will keep its products pure.
  • Sanitization Process - Certain products, such as oxygen, require a specific sanitization treatment within a high-purity piping system. Different products might require added modifications.

High-Purity Welding and Approved Specialty Materials

Process Solutions welders must be certified to execute the proper welds for a high-purity piping system. Depending on the diameter of the pipe, a different certification might be required. You can see the list of certifications by reading our case study.

That said, a high-purity piping system is more than a series of pipes. If specialty components, such as pressure relief valves, are used in the system, they must have a certificate and pass tests to ensure quality.

Commercial Piping

The baseline standards for commercial piping are not as rigorous as those of a high-purity system, but some of the same principles apply.

Commercial piping priorities include preventing rust, bacteria, moss, or other contaminants that might affect the health and well-being of occupants. When it comes to risk mitigation in commercial piping, you're accepting the use of rust inhibitor and biocides through a traditional chemical treatment system. 

Mirror finishes, specific materials (i.e. stainless steel) and highly precise welds are more characteristic of a high-purity system.

Work with a Process Solutions Team Who Can Do Both

Depending on the facility, a high-purity and commercial piping solution might be needed! This is common for facilities that combine offices and manufacturing, for example, and it’s much more efficient to work with one point of contact for both systems rather than contracting both tasks out to separate parties.

If you’re interested in learning how we can help, you can always call TDIndustries to request a quote. As a trusted partner, we’ll give you an accurate estimate so you can plan ahead of time.

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Categories: Blog