Piping is a system of pipes used to convey fluids (liquids and gases) from one location to another. The engineering discipline of piping design studies the efficient transport of fluid.
Industrial process piping can be manufactured from wood, fiberglass, glass, steel, aluminum, plastic, copper, and concrete.
The in-line components, known as fittings, valves, and other devices, typically sense and control the pressure, flow rate and temperature of the transmitted fluid, and usually are included in the field of piping design (or piping engineering). If necessary, pipes can be cleaned by the tube cleaning process.
Piping Design Engineering
Modern Piping design engineering is done on CAD (Computer Aided Design) software (Autocad, Engineer Pro, MPDS4 etc). Some industries also use CAM systems (Computer Aided Manufacturing) in conjunction with CAD. This increases the efficiency and removes the error margins.
Piping also has many other industrial applications, which are crucial for moving raw and semi-processed fluids for refining into more useful products. Some of the more exotic materials used in pipe construction are Inconel, titanium, chrome-moly and various other steel alloys.
Type of Pipes.
There are two type of pipes
- Seamless Pipes
- Weld Steel Pipes
Seamless Pipe as described by its name doesn’t have any welded side. They are more robust and are expensive to create. Seamless pipes are created with injection moulding technique. In this technique a metal is melted and passed through a die to form a seamless pipe.
Weld Steel Pipe
Typically Pipes are made of one long sheet which is rounded and welded against its width to form a pipe. These pipes have welding on inside and outside.
Difference between Seamless Pipe and Weld Steel Pipe
- Seamless pipe is produced relatively short in length, whereas the welded pipes can be manufactured in long continuous lengths.
- A Seamless steel pipe generally doesn’t show any sign of corrosion unless it is subjected to a highly corrosive environment, whereas the weld area in the welded tube is much more prone to corrosion attacks.
- Seamless Pipes are much more robust and provide a higher range of safety measure. They are more recommended in high pressure lines. The Weld Steel Pipes are more suitable in general purpose piping (Plumbing etc).
Process of Creating Welded Pipes
The process of creating welded pipes involves several sub-processes. It summarizes in following points.
- Uncoiling from a roll of metal sheet
- Sheet levelling
- Electric Resistance Welding
- Water Cooling
- End Facing
- Weighing & Measuring
- Marking and Coating
The details of this process is as follows.
The metal sheet is stored in large coils that needs to be uncoiled before making the pipe. A machine uncoils it from the roll of metal sheet.
During the sheet production, storage and uncoiling, the sheet is having irregular surface (specially at the edges). Sheet levelling is performed before sending it for any other process.
Electric Resistance Welding
The sheet is then passed through a machine which rolls it horizontally and weld it through a process called “Electric Resistance Welding”. The advantages of electric resistance welding include efficient energy use, limited workpiece deformation, high production rates, easy automation, and no required of any filler materials.
Annealing is a process of red-hot ironing, so the deformed pipe doesn’t resist to go back to its original form.
As the name suggests, the water cooling is the process of cooling down the hot pipes.
The pipes are then cut at a specific base length based on the preferred storage, transportation and market requirements.
The pipes are then straighten using a machine so any bend occurred during the process is removed.
The ends of the pipes are rounded (deburring) so it doesn’t cause any damage to the storage or do any harm to the labour.
Weighing and Measuring
The pipes are then weighed and measured to check the standards.
Marking and Coating
The marking means to provide label on the pipes so they can be identified for its length, weight, diameter, wall thickness and branding etc.
The process of coating is to secure the pipe from rusting and corrosion and it is done by painting or wrapping a polythene sheet over the pipe.
Shipping is the process of delivering the product to the warehouse where these products are shipped as per the order.
What is the difference between Pipe and Tube?
- The main difference is that Tubes are attached without any joint. There is no threading or joints in the inside section of a tube. Whereas the pipes can have threads on both sides (inside and outside).
- To attach a tube between two components, The ends of the tubes are often overlapped, welded or attached with a nut. Whereas to attach a pipe between two components, several type of joints can be used (flanges, elbows, sockets etc).
- Tube can be of irregular shape (rectangular etc).
- Tubes are mostly used in boilers, AC-Units, Oil and Hydraulic Lines where zero resistance of pressure is required.
- The wall thickness of a tube is often very less as compared to the pipes.
- Tube is measured by outside diameter, the pipe is measured by inside diameter.