Within a process plant, piping is a system of pipes used to convey fluids (liquids and gases) from one location to another. The engineering discipline of piping design studies the efficient transport of fluid.
In industrial process plants, piping (and accompanying in-line components) can be manufactured from wood, glass, steel, aluminum, plastic, copper, and concrete. The in-line components, known as fittings, valves, and other devices, typically sense and control the pressure, flow rate and temperature of the transmitted fluid, and usually are included in the field of piping design. Piping systems are documented in Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (PID). If necessary, pipes can be cleaned by the tube cleaning process.
In process plants, plumbing is a piping system that most people are familiar with, as it constitutes the form of fluid transportation that is used to provide potable water and fuels to their homes and business. Plumbing pipes also remove waste in the form of sewage, and allow venting of sewage gases to the atmosphere. Fire sprinkler systems also use piping, and may transport potable or nonpotable water, or other fire-suppression fluids.
Piping also has many other industrial plant applications, which are crucial for moving raw and semi-processed fluids for refining into more useful products. Some of the more exotic materials of construction are titanium, chrome-moly and various other steel alloys.