When purchasing a new compressed air system for your business or even upgrading your existing system do not forget a key role in the system, air pipe. Choosing the wrong air pipe for your compressed air system could cause problems in the long run. Below we have provided a quick look at each type of pipe to use with all the pros and cons. 

               Product Lines 

Material

Advantage

Disadvantage

Black Iron

Moderate material costs

Labor intensive installation

Readily available in multiple sizes

May rust and leak

Rough inside promotes contaminant build-up and creates pressure drop

Galvanized Iron

Moderate material costs

Often only exterior is coated

Readily available in multiple sizes

Labor intensive installation

Some rust protection

Rough inside promotes contaminant build-up and creates pressure drop

May rust at joints and leak

Copper

No rust; good air quality

Requires quality brazing to prevent leaks

Smooth interior; low pressure drop

Susceptible to thermal cycling

Installation involves open flame

Stainless Steel

No rust; good air quality

Labor intensive installation

Smooth interior; low pressure drop

Expensive materials

 PVC

Lightweight 
Inexpensive

Susceptible to UV light and some compressor lubricants 
Not OSHA compliant 
Becomes brittle 

 Aluminum

Corrosion resistant 
Lightweight 
Easy to install 
Lower cost of ownership 

Limited pressure ratings 
Material costs