What is Schedule 40 Pipe?

pvc pipe

Pipes come in different diameters and with different wall thicknesses. Pipe Schedule refers to the pipe’s wall thickness, and 40 is the most commonly used size.  Depending on your project, you will need to know which wall thickness or schedule is best. 

A schedule 40 pipe refers to the thickness of the pipe rather than the length or diameter of the pipe. Both steel and plastic PVC pipes can be schedule 40. 

Sometimes it is galvanized and is often used for water and gas lines.

How Pipe Schedules Work

The pipe schedule or SCH refers to the pipe’s nominal wall thickness. Before this scale was used, pipes only came in a standard size, extra strong, or double extra strong. However, this system didn’t give enough specific information about the pipe, so along came pipe schedules. Today there are fourteen different schedules or ratings for pipes. 

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers determines the rating for each pipe thickness and assigns it this number. 40 doesn’t refer to precise measurement but rather the standard set by the ASME B36. 10M.

Schedule 40 Pipe Materials

Schedule 40 pipes can be made of plastic, mild steel, gavanized steel, or stainless steel. The chemical composition of schedule 40 steel pipes is as follows: 

  • 0.95% Manganese 
  • 0.4% Copper 
  • 0.4% Nickel
  • 0.4% Chromium
  • 0.25% Carbon
  • 0.15% Molybdenum 
  • 0.08% Vanadium 
  • 0.05% Phosphorus 
  • 0.045% Sulfur 

These are the max levels for grade A53 steel pipes.

What Can Schedule 40 Pipes Be Used For?

Schedule 40 pipes have a wide range of uses, making them the most common pipe schedule. 

Industries that supply air, water, or gas, especially at high temperatures, use schedule 40 steel pipes. They are also used regularly in construction work as they are dependable in strength and reactivity. 

Schedule 40 pipes are also popular among DIYers because they are sturdy and attractive for making hanging rods, shelving, lamp stands, and much more.

Are Schedule 40 Pipes Right for You?

You’ll find the go-to experts on all things pipes at Reddy Pipe & Supply, Inc. If you’re unsure whether or not schedule 40 pipes are suitable for your project, let us help! We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction and supply all your pipe needs.

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