Process piping is a critical component of life science R&D labs, but it is often confused with plumbing.

While there are similarities in their materials this is where the similarities end. Plumbing systems transport water and other fluids for domestic purposes such as drinking, washing and lavatories. These systems typically use pipes made of copper, brass, and PVC. Process piping systems transport gases, and other fluids to support various types of equipment and point of use needs. These systems use pipes made of copper, carbon steel, stainless steel, and copper-nickel alloys. While both systems are designed to meet code requirements, process piping is held to a higher standard as these systems transport hazardous gases and fluids and are often under high pressure and extreme temperatures.

Once in place both systems will require flushing, but how that is achieved is very different. Plumbing systems are often flushed with water to remove debris during construction. Process piping systems are flushed with chemicals to insure both debris and contaminants are removed. In conclusion process piping systems require an expertise in their design, installation, and maintenance.

It is imperative to partner with a project team that understands the requirements of a process piping system to ensure these systems are safe and operational for the end user.

-By John Cliplef

Leave a Reply