Within industry, 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.
Industrial process 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. If necessary, pipes can be cleaned by the tube cleaning process.
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 outdoors. Fire sprinkler systems also use piping, and may transport potable or nonpotable water, or other fire-suppression fluids.
Piping also has many other industrial 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.
Process piping and power piping are typically checked by pipe stress engineers to verify that the routing, nozzle loads, hangers, and supports are properly placed and selected such that allowable pipe stress is not exceeded under the appropriate ASME code. This checking is usually done with the assistance of a (finite element) pipe stress analysis program such as Caesar II, ROHR2, CAEPIPE and AUTOPIPE.