Types of Steel Piping and Applications

in Steel


Steel is the most commonly used material when needing piping because of its durability and its natural chemical properties that make it withstand corrosion. Due to the chemical properties of steel, the steel piping can be designed to project specifications. Steel is created through the process of combining additional carbon to iron. This modification process is done through increasing the amount of carbon added to the iron used to create the steel. The more carbon added to the iron, the higher it’s durability and corrosion resistance.

The primary differentiators between the types of steel piping are the planned usage, chemical composition and size. There are two primary types of steel piping: line and standard.

Line Piping:

This kind of piping is used for transporting large amounts of combustible liquids and gasses which are traditionally used for energy distribution. These hollow steel tubes are normally built to pipeline long distances as an alternative to other costly transportation systems such as trains and trucking. On the lower end line pipes, they are used to supply fuel for gas or electric furnaces.

The sizes of these kinds of pipes can range from having a diameter of 1.8 to 36 inches. Since line pipes have more than double the max diameter of a standard piping, they are able to handle a substantially large flow system due to the sheer size of the piping.

Standard Piping:

Similar to line piping, these are hollow steel tubes but are only designed to handle low pressure flow systems. These kinds of flow systems would consist of materials or resources such as electricity, water, or gas. There are two subtypes of standard piping- seamless and welded. The seamless piping is traditionally used as machinery parts or piping designed for up to 75,000 PSI. Welded seam piping is commonly used for more industrial projects and systems. Neither type is intended for high pressure systems. Within the welded seam pipe category, there are straight and spiral piping each with different structurally properties making it ideal for different projects.

For piping to fall under the “standard pipe” clarification, it must have a diameter of no more than 16 inches. Traditionally most steel piping would be black but it also can be galvanized or painted. Standard piping is commonly used in home water and gas systems. As a note, many home plumbing systems also use copper piping.

I hope this information helps you in understand the differences in steel piping.


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Joseph C. Smith has 1 articles online

Joseph C. Smith is writing on behalf of Independent Steel and Pipes, Inc. Spiral Welded Pipe 36 Inch Steel Pipe

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Types of Steel Piping and Applications

This article was published on 2011/07/15