Selecting materials of piping for different purposes like petrochemical plants and refinery involves collaboration. A lot of questions arise before you plan to buy a pipe. Are the size and thickness of the alloy available required? Is it economical? Should it be welded or seamless? Is it suitable for the maximum operating temperature or long-term exposure to high temperatures will affect its mechanical properties to deteriorate? Will it need special welding or heat treatments?

Iron is subject to corrosion, where alloying it to becoming steel prevents the metal from corrosion. Corrosion is specially categorized into three forms. It is categorized on the basis of damage. The three general forms of corrosion are as follows: localized corrosion, uniform corrosion and stress corrosion cracking.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is considered as a useful material used for many purposes. It comprises an alloy of steel and percentages of chromium. Chromium makes the material resistant to corrosion. This is the special trait of stainless steel. Stainless steel involves low-maintenance and is oxidation resistant. It doesn’t cause harm to any other metal that come in close contact with stainless steel. It is used in various applications. Stainless steel is especially used in tubing and piping manufacturing.

Pipes made of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pipes and stainless steel tubes are difficult to differentiate. It is distinguished on the basis of function. Stainless steel is distinguished by grade and type. Type 304 of stainless steel is used for tubing and piping applications. This is because it is resistant to corrosion and chemicals. However, this kind of stainless steel is not compatible with applications where temperatures stay between 800 and 1640 degrees.

Resistance of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is appropriate for applications that need to be resistant to corrosion. Martensitic or Ferritic steel is made of high amounts of nickel or chromium. These are manufactured to be heat-treated and annealed. Austenitic Stainless steels having high chromium and nickel contents offer more resistance.

Pressure pipes made up of Stainless Steel

This category of stainless steel pipe is made from solid chromium or a combination of chromium and nickel. The types of pressure pipe of stainless steel include welded pipe and seamless welded pipes with big diameters. These are mainly used for high-temperature applications. The electric fusion welded pipes are used for applications having high pressure, seamless, welded ferritic and austenitic stainless steel pipes.

Sanitary tubing with Stainless Steel

It is used in applications where piping gets contacted with sensitive products like food, where sanitation is the most important need. It is highly resistant to corrosion, can be easily cleaned and doesn’t tarnish. The grade that is used for such applications is ASTMA270.

Stainless steel mechanical tubing

Stainless steel mechanical tubing is used in applications such as cylinders, bearings, and other hollow formed parts. These can be used to have a variety of cross-sectional shapes, such as rectangle, square and round tubing cross-section. ASTMA 511 and A554 grades are employed for these tubing applications.

Stainless steel aircraft tubing

Nickel and chromium type stainless steel is used in highly-specific aircraft applications. This is because of their corrosion and heat resistance. It is found in applications that require high-strength.  It can be hardened or welded.  These are a common choice for welded parts.

For applications that require seamless and welded tubing in larger size, aircraft structural tubing is used. It is around 1.6 to 125 mm in outside diameter. This type of stainless steel is made according to Aerospace Material Specifications (AMS).

Aircraft hydraulic-line tubing

There is another type of aircraft tubing that is used in aerospace applications. It is used in hydraulic systems and fuel-injection line. It tends to be small. It is manufactured from types 304 or 304 L stainless steel. This is because of the steel’s ductility, high-strength and corrosion-resistance.

Need of post-fabrication treatments

Welds in stainless steel always result in some degree of heat tint apart from using some specialized processes. Heat tint is an oxidized surface which is used to reduce corrosion. It is corrosion resistant compared to the parent material.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Some people believe that stainless steel’s corrosion resistant surface makes it easy to use.  It repels dirt and other elements. In any surface, stainless steel requires some maintenance. Stainless steel can be easily cleaned. It can be washed with soap or mild detergent and warm water and then again cleaned with clear water.

Hope you learn everything about stainless steel pipes after reading this blog. If you would like to know more let’s have a look and get more information.