Several material alternatives now exist for the manufacture of pipes used in different applications. Steel nonetheless remains a leading choice for most applications owing to its strength and ability to withstand most adverse elements that would compromise other materials.
Investing in pipe manufacturing is a lucrative venture but will only be so for you if you pick the right machinery for your business. Seamless and welded pipe manufacturing are the primary techniques used for steel pipes.
Both processes will need an investment in the best pipe rotators for sale on the market to guarantee an optimal finish to your products. The seamless manufacturing process will generate a homogenous pipe but has a restriction in the production of large diameter pipes.
It is often used for manufacturing pipe fittings like tees, elbows and bends. Welded manufacturing, on the other hand, uses strips or coils that are rolled on a rotator to generate a circular section. After this, the pipe is welded with or without a filler material and its pieces combined using pressure and heat.
Welded pipes have no diameter restrictions and are cheaper than seamless pipes. Here are the welding methods used for their manufacture.
ERW (Electric Resistance Welding)
Here, the pipe will be manufactured through its cold-forming into a cylindrical form. A current is then passed between its two edges and heats them to bind them without filler material. The two main ERW processes used for pipe manufacturing are high-frequency and rotary contact when welding.
In rotary contact wheel welding, a current is passed to the weld point through a contact wheel. It is used for cases that cannot accommodate an impeder in the pipe like in small-diameter tubes. In high-frequency welding, the current is transmitted through a work coil to the weld pipe material.
The technique is often used for large diameter pipes and those with high wall thicknesses.
SAW (Submerged Arc Welding)
Here, flux is used to generate protective slag and gases while adding alloy elements to your weld pool. An arc will then move along the edges of your pipe joints to fuse them. Heat loss in SAW is quite low, and the process generates thermal efficiencies of approximately 60%, unlike other processes that have efficacies of 25%.
Here, the steel will initially be heated in a furnace before it is rolled into a cylindrical shape. The edges of your material are then ‘’scarfed’’ before the seam is welded using a ball. A heated pipe will afterwards be passed between rollers to bring the seams together and generate a bond.
Lap welded pipes are unfortunately not very strong.
Electric Flash Welding
Here, a steel sheet will be shaped into a cylinder before its edges are heated into a semi-molten state. These edges are then forced together to make a joint. Electric flash welded pipes are unfortunately prone to cracks and corrosion.
Several brands of pipe manufacturing machines now exist. It is therefore easy to get overwhelmed when picking a machine for the above pipe welding processes and settle for the cheapest one. You nonetheless should choose manufacturing machines from a manufacturer specialising in pipe manufacture to guarantee the best quality products.