Understanding pipe quality

Aggiornato il: 30 giu 2019

Step 1. Pipe


Because my aim is to have a lighting object where I can interchange 3 different pipes (brass, aluminium, copper) , I needed the pipes to be the same diameter, same length and same wall thickness. Moreover, I wanted to find a pipe where the wall thickness was more then 1 mm for its durability and visual and tactile quality.

Spot the difference – pipe and hollow bar

I discovered that the technical term for what I was looking for was not actually 'pipe' but 'hollow bar' – as I understand it a pipe has a seam but hollow bar has either been drilled out or cast, allowing for a thicker wall.

The wide selection at Metal Supermarket

I managed to source hollow bar to the spec I required from Metal Supermarket.


When I tested it in the studio I was worried to find that the quality of the light effects was not as strong as it had been with the tube – neither the brass or the copper had the vibrance of colour that the pipes had.


I considered that perhaps the brass was a different alloy, however after polishing the tubes thoroughly (both manually by myself and subsequently with the help of Douglas Plating) the brilliance of colour appeared in the light effects


#pipe #polishing #materialquality #research

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