Steel pipes are long, hollow tubes that are used for a variety of purposes. They are produced by two distinct methods that result in either a welded or seamless steel pipe. In both methods, raw steel is first cast into a more workable starting form. It is then made into a pipe by stretching the steel out into a seamless tube or forcing the edges together and sealing them with a weld.
Raw Materials for Pipes
The primary raw material in pipe production is steel. Steel is made up of primarily iron. Other metals that may be present in the alloy include aluminum, manganese, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, and zirconium. Some finishing materials are sometimes used during production.
Uses of Steel Pipes
Steel pipes are found in a variety of places. Since they are strong, they are used underground for transporting water and gas throughout cities and towns. They are also employed in construction to protect electrical wires. While steel pipes are strong, they can also be lightweight. This makes them perfect for use in bicycle frame manufacture. Other places they find utility is in automobiles, refrigeration units, heating and plumbing systems, flagpoles, street lamps, and medicine to name a few.
There are two types of steel pipe; one is a seamless steel pipe, and another has a single welded seam along its length. Both have different uses. Seamless tubes are typically more lightweight and have thinner walls. They are used for bicycles and transporting liquids. Seamed tubes are heavier and more rigid. The have a better consistency and are typically straighter. They are used for things such as gas transportation, electrical conduit, and plumbing.
Seamless steel pipe is manufactured using a process that heats and molds a solid billet into a cylindrical shape and then rolls it until it is stretched and hollowed. Since the hollowed center is irregularly shaped, a bullet-shaped piercer point is pushed into the middle of the billet as it is being rolled.
Certain pipe characteristics can be controlled during production. For example, the diameter of the pipe is often modified depending how it will be used. The diameter can range from tiny pipes used to make hypodermic needles, to large pipes used to transport gas throughout a city. The wall thickness of the pipe can also be controlled. Often the type of steel will also have an impact on pipe’s the strength and flexibility.
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