The first thing to consider about carbon steel pipe is simply what it is. Carbon steel pipe is pipe comprised of carbon steel. But what is carbon steel? Here’s how the American Iron and Steel Institute defines it:
Steel is considered to be carbon steel when no minimum content is specified or required for chromium, cobalt, niobium, molybdenum, nickel, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or zirconium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect; when the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40 percent; or when the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages noted: manganese 1.65, silicon 0.60, copper 0.60.
Simply, carbon steel is steel in which the main alloying component is carbon. Interestingly, most of the world’s steel falls into this category.
What are the different types of carbon steel pipe?
Carbon steel is classified according to how much carbon has been mixed with the base element, iron.
Ultra-high carbon steel is comprised of between 1% and 2% carbon.
High carbon steel is .60%-.99%
Medium carbon steel is .30%-.59%
Low carbon steel is .16%-.29%
Mild carbon steel is .05%-.15%
As a general rule, as the carbon percentage in carbon pipes increases, the steel becomes stronger and harder. However, its ductility decreases.
What are some advantages of carbon steel pipes?
Carbon steel pipes have many benefits. Here are a few:
Shock resistance. Carbon steel pipes can withstand great shocks and vibrations.
Safety. Some materials need to be treated with preservatives, glues or pesticides in order to protect them. But this also can make them hazardous to handle. Carbon pipes don’t require such treatments, making them safer to work with.
Tensile strength. Carbon steel can endure tremendous pressures, meaning that thinner carbon steel pipes can carry the same capacities as thicker pipes made of other materials. This, in turn, makes carbon pipes more cost effective.
What are some of the applications?
A few of the many applications for carbon pipes include:
Transportation. Carbon steel’s resistance to shock makes it suitable for water mains and pipes placed beneath roadways that experience the jarring vibrations of heavy traffic.
Homes. Because carbon steel doesn’t need to be treated with chemicals or pesticides, carbon steel pipes are safe to be used in homes. Furthermore, carbon steel is resistant to fire and stands up well in hurricanes, tornados and lightning.