Steel pipes can be found everywhere. If you didn’t know, it has always been a part of our lives. These are the pipes that are used to transport gas all throughout the city that we use in our vehicles. These are also the pipes that bring water directly into our faucets. Even in our parks, schools, buildings, pipes are everywhere.
But do we know how it is processed? The steel pipes are made using two different processes, which results in seamless and welded pipes. The overall production method involves three steps. Let us learn how these pipes are exquisitely produced into perfection.
The Raw Materials
Steel is the primary raw material for the pipe production. We all know that steel is made of iron. There are other metals that may be present in the alloy which includes aluminum, manganese, titanium, and so much more. There are also finishing materials that are sometimes used during the production process like paint to coat the pipe. There is also a light amount of oil applied to the steel pipes after the production for protection. Sulfuric acid is then used to clean the pipe if needed.
The Manufacturing Process
Steel pipes are produced using two different processes. The overall production method involves three crucial steps. First, the raw steel is converted into a workable form. Then the pipe is formed into a continuous or semi-continuous production line. Finally, the pipe is cut and modified depending on the customer’s needs.
- The Ingot Production. A molten steel is made from melting iron and coke in a furnace. The carbon will then be removed by blasting oxygen into the liquid. Then the molten steel is poured into large, thick-walled iron molds and cooled to make ingots. These ingots will then be shaped using large rollers under pressure to form flat plates and sheets, or bars and rods.
- Blooms and Slabs Production. To make a bloom, the ingot is passed into a pair of stacked, grooved, steel rollers. This will squeeze and stretch the steel into a thinner, longer piece. To form a slab, the process is the same as making a bloom. The difference is, there are rollers on the side to control the width. So when the steel has acquired a shape, the uneven ends are cut off.
- Further Processing. Before the blooms and slabs are actually done, they undergo certain processes. The blooms are converted into billets through a machine where it is stacked to form a seamless pipe like the A106 pipes. The slabs go through a series of rollers making it into narrow strips of steel called skelp.
- Pipe Making. The skelps are used to make welded pipes and billets are made into seamless pipes like the ASTM A106 pipe.
The Final Process.
Once the pipes are done, it goes through a straightening machine and sometimes fitted with joints so it can be connected. Then these pipes are treated to prevent rusting. Depending on the purpose of the pipe, paints and coatings are sometimes used.