Pipe Manufacturing


Based on Manufacturing Process Pipes can be classified as below

  1. Seamless Pipe
  2. Welded Pipe

a. EFW-Electric Fusion Welded

  1.                         i.      Longitudinal  SAW Pipe
  2.                       ii.      Spiral SAW Pipe

b. ERW – Electrical Resistance welded Pipe


1.       Seamless Pipe

ž  Mandrel Mill

->This process is used to make smaller sizes of seamless pipe, typically 1 to 6 inches (25 to 150 mm) diameter.

-> The ingot of steel is heated to 2,370 °F (1,300 °C) and pierced.

-> A mandrel is inserted into the tube and the assembly is passed through a rolling (mandrel) mill.

->Unlike the plug mill, the mandrel mill reduces wall thickness continuously with a series of pairs of curved rollers set at 90° angles to each other.

->After reheating, the pipe is passed through a multi -stand stretch-reducing mill to reduce the diameter to the finished diameter.

->The pipe is then cut to length before heat treatment, final straightening, inspection, and hydrostatic testing.

ž  Plug Mill

->This process is used to make larger sizes of seamless pipe, typically 6 to 16 inches (150 to 400 mm) diameter.

->An ingot of steel weighing up to two tons is heated to 2,370 °F (1,300 °C) and pierced.

->The hole in the hollow shell is enlarged on a rotary elongator, resulting in a short thick-walled tube known as a bloom.

->An internal plug approximately the same diameter as the finished diameter of the pipe is then forced through the bloom.

->The bloom containing the plug is then passed between the rolls of the plug mill.

->Rotation of the rolls reduces the wall thickness

->The tube is rotated through 90° for each pass through the plug mill to ensure roundness.

->The tube is then passed through a reeling mill and reducing mill to even out the wall thickness and produce the finished dimensions.

-> The tube is then cut to length before heat treatment, final straightening, inspection, and hydrostatic testing.

2.       Welded Pipes

a.       EFW Pipe

  1.            i.         Longitudinally Welded Pipe

->Welded pipe (pipe manufactured with a weld) is a tubular product made out of flat plates, known as skelp, that are formed, bent and prepared for welding. The most popular process for large diameter pipe uses a longitudinal seam weld. The welds are made by heating with an electric arc between the bare metal electrodes.

->Pressure is not used. Filler metal for the welds is obtained from the electrodes.

->For diameters above 36 inches, double seam welded pipe is specified as an alternative in API 5L. This has two longitudinal seams.


Longitudinally Welded Pipe

Longitudinally Welded Pipe


EFW Pipe Manufacturing Process

EFW Pipe Manufacturing Process

  1. Spiral welded pipe

->As an alternative process, spiral weld construction allows large diameter pipe to be produced from narrower plates or skelp.

->The defects that occur in spiral welded pipe are mainly those associated with the SAW weld,

->An additional problem with early spiral welded pipe was poor dimensional accuracy, particularly out of roundness at the pipe ends. This led to problems of poor fit-up during field girth welding. Spiral line pipe gained a poor reputation in some companies as a result of these early experiences.

->Considered suitable only for low pressure applications such as water pipe.
b.    Electric Resistance Welded (ERW)

->Solid phase butt weld, was produced using resistance heating & high pressure to make the longitudinal weld (ERW),

->Nowadays Most pipe mills now use high frequency induction heating (HFI) for better control and consistency. However, the product is still often referred to as ERW pipe, even though the weld may have been produced by the HFI process.

->The defects that can occur in ERW/HFI pipe are those associated with strip production, such as laminations and defects at the narrow weld line.

->Lack of fusion due to insufficient heat and pressure is the principal defect, although hook cracks can also form due to realignment of non metallic inclusions at the weld interface. Because the weld line is not visible after trimming, and the nature of the solid phase welding process, considerable lengths of weld with poor fusion can be produced if the welding parameters fall outside the set limits.

->In addition, early ERW pipe was subject to pressure reversals, a problem that results in failure in service at a lower stress than that seen in the pre-service pressure test. This problem is caused by crack growth during the pressure test hold period, which in the case of early ERW pipe was due to a combination of low weld line toughness and lack of fusion defects.

One comment

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be
    waiting for your next write ups thanks once again.