Steel pipe has been produced for about 150 years. It is widely used in many industry. Below we will introduce different kind of steel pipe and their usages.
While this site deals primarily with pipes used for the transport of fluids, we would be remiss if we did not briefly acknowledge the importance of steel pipe as a structural memeber. Because it is hollow and has a relatively low strength to weight ratio, steel pipe can be designed by engineers and architects for many uses. It can be used on a large scale, such as the support pole of massive highway billboards. It can also be used on a small scale for everyday items such as a bicycle frame tube.
Steel pipe is often used as a fluid carrier pipe. The largest use is for “Line Pipe”. This pipe is used to convey petroleum products to their respective refineries. The most notable project of this type is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It consists of over 800 miles of transmission pipe with a diameter of 48″ and larger. There are also countless miles of smaller diameter ‘feeder pipes’.
Steel pipe can also be used to transport water. Although it seldomly carries water underground, it is a popular material for constructing fire sprinkler systems inside buildings. One reason for this is because it can easily be cut, groved and threaded to size on-site.
Steel pipe is often used as a casing pipe to protect water, sewer or other carrier pipes. Beacuse if it’s strength and rigidity, steel pipe can be pushed under roadways and railroads without traffic disruption. The most common method of this is called ‘jack and bore’ construction. The pipe is pushed with a hydraulic ram while an auger spins inside the pipe and carries the displaced soil back to the jacking pit where it can be easily removed.
It is also important to give steel pipe it’s due for it’s ability to be recycled. Most steel pipe, and any steel product for that matter, has high recycled content and a high reclamation rate. Industry has always been interested in recycling steel for economic purposes, but today environmental concerns make it even more important. About 88% of all steel products and nearly 100% of steel products used in construction are recycled at the end of their useful life.