Use of colors in industrial piping: get to know the rules

Colors indicate the application of piping and assist in accident prevention

Por Tuper S/A  |  18 de November de 2022 às 11:22

You may have noticed that industrial pipelines are colored, such as red, yellow, blue, green, and others. But do you know what these colors mean and what their purpose is?

The primary reason is safety. Standardizing pipelines with the use of colors should be applied in workplaces for accident prevention, identifying safety equipment, marking areas, identifying pipes for the conveyance of liquids or gases, and as a warning against hazards.

In the case of pipelines, NBR 6493 (NB54) from 10/1994 – Use of colors for pipe identification, sets conditions for the channeling of fluids and fragmented material or electrical conductors for identification and accident prevention. Signage is typically supplemented by signaling resources for identifying hazardous substances, preventive labeling, and the distribution of protective equipment.

Color System and Meanings

The adopted standard is the Munsell color system, created by Professor Albert H. Munsell in the first decade of the 20th century and still used today in the fields of electrical engineering, environmental engineering, agronomy, and various sectors of the industry, following pre-established codes in a standardized table.

Red – Firefighting system piping
This color is used to identify and distinguish fire protection and firefighting equipment.

Yellow – Non-liquefied gases T
he use of this color is indicated to identify non-liquefied gas pipelines, such as LPG, for example.

Blue – Compressed air
The blue color indicates that the pipeline is pressurized with compressed air. From the compressor’s outlet, through the branching inside the factory unit, to the machine that receives pneumatic automation, all pipes must be marked with this color.

Green – Water
The green color is used to identify pipelines that conduct water for industrial processes.

There are other colors used in industrial installations, such as:
Light gray for vacuum
Dark gray for conduits
White for steam
Orange for acids
Brown for fragmented materials, ore, and crude oil
Black for flammable and high viscosity oils
Lilac for bleach, alkalis, and caustic soda

Tuper painted pipes ready for all installations

At Tuper, NBR5580 and NBR5590 conduit pipes are prepared for fluids, water, gas, compressed air, oil, and steam, following current legal requirements and strict safety standards. They can have smooth, beveled, threaded, or grooved ends, in natural black and oiled finish, hot-dip galvanized and/or painted. Painted pipes can receive a layer of powder paint (electrostatic), polyester, epoxy (liquid), or hybrid treatment, in addition to receiving colors according to the regulating standards.

Surface preparation is carried out through abrasive blasting or chemical cleaning, and after the coating application, thickness, adhesion, and visual finish inspections are carried out to ensure product functionality and quality.

To learn more about Tuper conduit pipes with specifications and applications, download the catalog by clicking here.

Source: NBR 6493 – standard for industrial pipe colors

About Tuper
With over 50 years of experience, Tuper is one of the largest steel transformers in Brazil. The company keeps pace with market evolution by offering extensive product lines, meeting the most demanding national and international standards. The product portfolio includes solutions for the industrial, automotive, construction, agribusiness, oil and gas, among other sectors. In the construction sector, the company specializes in tubular foundation piles with quick connection, metallic structural profiles, metal roofing systems, ribbed composite slabs, scaffolding, props, panels, slitters, and black and galvanized carbon steel pipes for structural and conduits applications.
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