If you are in an industry where pipes are used, you would already know what seamless steel pipes are. These hollow tubular steel billets are seamless because of how manufacturers produce them. Seamless piping solutions are one of the most common piping solutions for many industries. They offer extraordinary benefits, making these pipes ideal for multiple sectors.
The surface of these pipes is smooth, ensuring a free flow of fluid. Also, their seamless nature makes transferring any type of fluids through the pipes safe. Since there is no welded edge, there is no chance of leakage. In addition, these pipes are incredibly long-lasting. Once installed, you can be assured that these pipes will last at least a decade.
However, sometimes manufacturers face some difficulties while producing these pipes. For example, it can get tricky for pipe fabricators to source superior-quality materials. The pipes will only be reliable if the material is high-quality. Also, there are some factors pipe producers must keep an eye out for to avoid producing low-quality pipes and tubes.
Here we have discussed some of the reasons responsible for this piping solution’s low quality.
When we say temperature, we do not mean the temperature you expose the seamless pipe materials. In contrast, we suggest the temperature pipe suppliers use while producing the pipes. Pipe fabricators use varying temperatures to treat the materials of the pipes and change their chemical composition.
For example, first, they heat the steel billet to a certain temperature to make the billets pliable. Thus, they are able to pierce the solid steel bars using a mandrel. Once the piercing is done, they cool down the steel pipes completely.
They again heat the pipes when they need to heat-treat them. Then they use annealing to cool the pipes. In this method, they submerge the pipes in oil, water, or other fluids. Due to the constant temperature change, the quality of the pipes may be affected. Manufacturers must ensure to use of controlled temperature settings.
Uniformity in the temperature can have an effect on the wall thickness and the surface finish of the pipes and tubes. Also, varying temperatures can change the mechanical properties of the pipes if pipe fabricators are not cautious. The pipes may become brittle, the diameters can change, and the quality of the pipes may become compromised.
The seamless pipe manufacturers’ tools also play a significant role in the quality of the end products. If the tools are inaccurate, they will produce pipes with inaccurate measurements. Most experienced and reputable pipe providers upgrade their tools to meet industry standards.
Apart from using modern machines, pipe producers should also pay attention to the maintenance of those. Unmaintained machines can produce pipes with dimensional inaccuracy. In addition, faulty tools can scratch the surface of the pipes, which can later lead to corrosion, scaling, pitting, rusting, etc.
Proper cooling for better quality:
As you have learned, pipe producers use varying temperatures when producing pipes and tubes. While inadequate heating can cause problems, improper cooling can also hamper the quality of the pipes.
Pipe suppliers must cool down the seamless pipe materials properly. Whether they air cool or use water to cool down the pipes, they must ensure they are completely cold before moving to the next step. The pipes and tubes are generally brittle when they go through heat treatment. Unless manufacturers cool them completely, they do not gain the strength they need.
On the other hand, pipe providers must lubricate the mandrels before inserting them to pierce the pipes. Unlubricated mandrels can cause severe friction, which can cause damage to the surface of the piping solutions.
Descaling the pipes:
Sometimes manufacturers produce pipes and tubes in bulk. They need to store these tubes in their warehouse. The warehouse might have a humid condition, which can lead to scaling of the pipes. Even though it is a common problem, many pipe providers do not take care of the scaled pipes.
Manufacturers must descale the pipes and protect them to ensure they remain superior in quality. Hence, established pipe producers use water and other cleaning agents to describe such seamless pipes. Once they clean the pipes, they dry them completely and spray them with borax and nitrogen. The mixture creates a protective layer over the pipes and prevents further oxidization.
In a nutshell:
From producing seamless piping solutions to maintaining them, it is the pipe fabricators’ responsibility to maintain the pipes’ quality. Several factors can affect the quality of the pipes. While varying heat can make the pipes brittle, inadequate cooling can hamper the strength of the pipes. Pipe fabricators must maintain the tools from time to time to ensure they function correctly. Also, they should use lubrication where and when necessary to protect the surface of the pipes.
Reputable seamless pipe manufacturers follow all the necessary steps, including testing the pipes to ensure they maintain the quality of the pipes. Hence, you should always purchase these pipes only from a reliable and established producer.