Steel Pipe and Its Many Uses
Look around you. Steel pipe is everywhere! Anywhere you turn or look, you will see some sort of structure or means of conduit, that steel pipe is being used for. And that’s not to mention the pipe that is “out of sight, out of mind” that is serving its purpose under the ground Security posts.
Standard or nominal pipe sizes can be found on a pipe chart that is used throughout the industry. The Nominal Pipe Size or N.P.S. chart, gives the actual O.D. or Outside Diameter, the Nominal O.D., Wall Thickness and Weight Per Foot of each steel pipe size. If you don’t know anything about N.P.S., its recommended that you take a look at the chart before buying any or doing any projects with pipe.
There are basically three different types of pipe, and they differ in the way they were manufactured. There is seamless steel pipe that starts out as a solid round and after being heated almost to melting point, a hole is pierced through the center with a tool and creates the pipe. This is know as “Hot Finsh Seamless Pipe”. The second and most popular variety known as ERW or “Electric Resistance Welded” Pipe, starts out as a reel or cut-to-width coil of steel, known as “Skelp”. The Skelp is maneuvered through a series of rollers that make it round and then as the edges come together, an electric welder makes the longitudinal seam down the length of the pipe. The last and least used manufacturing method is “Buttweld” steel pipe. It is basically the same process as the ERW pipe, except after being rolled up, the edges are heated up and fused together to create the pipe. Larger O.D. steel pipe can be made by rolling and welding pieces of steel plate into cylinders or “Cans” and then welding them together end to end to make the pipe.
Steel pipe is everywhere. Pipe can be fabricated for many purposes. Look at the Large O.D. Pipe being used for billboard structures when traveling down most any highway. It’s used in parking lots, for “Bollards” or “Bumper Posts”. Just about any restaurant or place of business has an outdoor sign mounted on a pole made of steel. Look at all of galvanized pipe used for highway signs. The list goes on and on, fence posts, culvert pipe at the end of your driveway, pipe piling to stabilize foundation structures of large building and skyscrapers, slurry line pipe used in quarries and sand operations, columns in the basement of your home. That’s just to name a few structural applications.
In addition to all of the structural applications, pipe is used by the mile for potable water lines and drainage purposes. Pipe used for “Casing Pipe” that is pulled or jacked into the ground, to encase and protect utility lines under highways, railroads, lakes and rivers. But the main use of a new prime pipe product is “Line Pipe” that is used in the oil and gas industry for conveyance of product from the rig to the refinery.