An isometric drawing for a piping system is a detailed orthographic drawing. The isometric drawing represents the details of the 3D structure of the pipe in the form of a 2D diagram. It is the general practice among engineering organizations to produce isometric drawings of a piping system to represent all the details. Development of computer aided design (CAD) tools allows the piping system to be modeled in 3D and this 3D model can then be used by the piping designer to quickly produce isometric drawings with minimum interference.
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Data carried on a typical isometric
- Isometric drawings carry a graphical representation of the 3 dimensional piping system being represented.
- Straight lengths of all the pipe runs on the drawing are reported as clearly as possible.
- The line numbers for lines pipe runs represented on the drawing is clearly indicated. This line number is indicative of the fluid service, piping class and material, insulation etc.
- The operating and design process conditions (pressure and temperature) for the pipe run may also be reported on the isometric.
- In addition, all the fittings including, valves, flanges, elbows etc. are clearly represented graphically.
- A table gives the number and detailed description of each type of fittings represented on the drawing.
- For complex piping systems, individual pipe runs are represented on separate isometric drawings.
Upon completion and approval of the piping isometrics, they are used for fabrication and then construction of the piping system. Isometric drawings are easier to be used for stress analysis of the piping, fabrication and construction, compared to other orthographic drawings, since they carry all the necessary information for these tasks. Moreover an isometric is not overcrowded with other information, useless for piping and it is easy to visualize.