Steel is something near and dear to my heart, since my grandfather worked in the steel industry for many years before his retirement. It was the lifeblood of my city for many years, in fact, though not as much manufacturing goes on anymore. What is it used in, though? Well, a lot of pipes are still made of it. In fact, Welded Steel Pipe are desired for their strength and reliability.
Whether you are a private or public contractor, this is something you should pay attention to. Even if you’re an aspiring do-it-yourself project goer, keep on reading to learn more about how you can use them.
Types of Pipes
Many of us look at them, the simple metal rods, and figure they are all the same. This is far from the case, though. In fact, you can learn more about the specific differences here: https://blog.projectmaterials.com/pipes/pipe-types-seamless-erw-lsaw/.
You see, there are distinctions that we should know between seamless and welded. Let’s begin with the former. These lack the seam welds, hence the name. They are usually wanted for their appearance, not their strength.
Their usual application is for oil or gasoline. While they can have a more consistent round shape, they are often shorter than twenty-four inches or less. Obviously, that is not very large, so that is a serious restriction for some projects. They are also quite costly, and do not have consistent thickness of their walls.
Next, let us discuss the welded variety. These are more common, and the industry for them is worth millions of dollars. Why is this?
Well, they can be produced in bulk, for one thing Welded Steel Pipe. It is also generally less expensive and more affordable than the other styles. The size restrictions aren’t applicable either.
As you may have guessed, both types of Welded Steel Pipe have plenty of uses in several industries. However, I will focus more on welded-steel pipes because they are not limited to oil and gas. Let’s begin with architecture.
I know this one might seem obvious, but since it is one of the most wide-spread applications, I will focus on it for a while. These pipes have a few purposes in this field. One of the first is for structure. However, you can also utilize them for bridge resistance, culverts, airtight tubular walls, drillings, jackings, and bored piles.
Something we might not realize, though, is how important stainless steel is for the processing of our food and drink. This is partially because of its corrosion resistance, making it safe for this purpose. However, the fact that it is chemically inert also plays a part. This just means that it will not react with other substances to create potentially toxic or harmful substances.
Kitchen knives used by many chefs are probably made of some form of it. As far as pipes go, they are usually a part of machinery in large production plants. Canning or other actions around the packaging of our food needs to be done in a sanitary space, making it an ideal vector.
Next, many of them are used in our cars and other automobiles. You can find more about that here, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/spiral-welded-pipe, but some of the key components are axle tubes and muffler condensation pipes. There are also exhausts, shock absorbers, and control shaft tubes.
Interestingly, they are used in the fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Within the plants for these industries, they are needed for waste, for cleaning, for utility, and for product. That isn’t even all. Like the food industry, stainless steel is used because it will not react with the medicinal products or carry contaminants.
Another obvious way pipes are used is in plumbing. This is for in our homes and public buildings. Without indoor plumbing, life would be a lot different – it’s an invention that we don’t actively think about often, but that we should be very thankful for. Drainage wouldn’t be possible without them either.
Finally, they have a place in our marine and fishing industries. Usually, this is for boats. Adding structural soundness that does not look overly clunky is a big goal in this field.
So – What Type Should You Choose?
To some extent this will depend on what you are using the pipes for. If you only need a small amount of length and size, you could go with seamless. It might look a little more pretty.
However, for easier access and production, welded is probably the way to go. The appearance is not ugly, and a lot of people are accustomed to it anyway. That should probably not be your deciding factor.
Rather, fitting the pipes properly for their purpose should be your top priority. Make sure to consider all the variables as you approach a construction project, especially one that will include steel.