A tube is a tube, right? It’s just the size and length that matter? Wrong! Many people think that in the greater scheme of things, the type of hydraulic and instrumentation tubes they choose is not important, whereas it can actually be a critical decision.
The most important consideration when deciding on what tubing to use – for any application – is how compatible the tubing material is with whatever media it’s going to be containing. Choosing the incorrect instrumentation tubing can play a major role in eliminating the risks of leaks, accidents and unscheduled downtime.
What Are Instrumentation Tubes?
Instrumentation tubes are used to connect pressure switches or gauges, flow monitors and valves on ventilation systems and industrial piping. They are most commonly made from mild or stainless steel, aluminium or copper, as these materials have good machinability and offer the best overall corrosion resistance. This is vital for instrumentation systems that process harsh media, or which are located in corrosive environments, where the reliability, integrity and safety of the tubing is critical.
This is particularly true in the nuclear power industry. Within reactor cores, for example, instrumentation tubing is used to encase equipment that monitors such factors as temperature, pressure, fuel burn-up rates and density differences. In this extremely demanding environment, reliability and durability are crucial.
Instrumentation tubes are measured by their OD, or outside diametre, and can vary widely in size, although the most common sizes are ¼”, 3/8” and ½”. They are used in many different industries around the world, the most common being:
- Chemical and petrochemical
- Power generation
- Oil and gas
- Process instrumentation and sensing
- Impulse lines
- Chemical inhibition
Steelmor is a leading manufacturer and supplier of instrumentation tubing. We stock metric and Imperial sizes – 6mm to 16mm, and 1/8” to 1” – and all wall thicknesses are available. Contact us today to talk about your specific requirements.