As the name suggests, seamless steel has no welds. This is the reason for seamlessness. It does not show the connectors that connect the two pipes. In order to manufacture seamless steel pipe, the mill starts with a solid steel cylinder called a billet. The billet is overheated in the rolling mill until it is about to lose its shape. From the furnace, the billet is transferred and pierced. Therefore, when the billet is hot, the center of the billet is pushed out to form a hollow cylinder. The hollow cylinder is then pressed against a series of rollers and dies to achieve the desired dimensions. The result is a continuous cylinder with uniform strength. Unlike almost any other material in the world, seamless tubes are not manufactured to specific lengths.
Instead, the factory will make a “single random length” (SRL) or “double random length (DRL).” The SRL ranges from approximately 18 feet to 24 feet and the DRL ranges from 35 feet to 44 feet. This length range is a by-product of the manufacturing process. It is important to specify the minimum required length for your project or application. Simply put, this process can damage the end of the pipe and as a finishing step, the grinding machine cuts off the damage. The damage is uneven, so the length of the pipe is not uniform. There are a lot of changes between different pipes. The disadvantage of seamless steel tubes is their concentricity. The wall thickness of the seamless pipe changes as the pipe descends, sometimes starting to become larger and smaller. This is due to the floating mold used in the manufacturing process.
Seamless steel tubes exist in some of the more serious and important areas of our lives. Plumbers and HVAC companies use seamless pipes as houses, while oil and gas companies use pipe transport materials. Power companies use steel for rigid, durable structures and towers that support wires. Due to the enormous pressure, the railway company and the shipping industry also use seamless steel pipes. The same reason is why water digging wells also use seamless tubes. The depth of the holes and the necessary reliability make seamlessness an obvious choice.
Is seamless steel pipe better than welding?
This really depends on your application or project, as steel pipes of different sizes and grades have unique characteristics. One or the other may be suitable for what you are doing. Welded pipes are used to move water from yard sprinkler systems or steam and natural gas. You will also find welded tubes for yard fences and more important applications such as construction. It is always recommended to consult an engineer when designing a piping system. Seamless steel tubes are naturally more durable and reliable because there are no seams, but the project may not require this strength. One of the better engineering points is to use the right amount of material without wasting more money.
Therefore, inorganic steel pipes may be necessary for machinery because more robust steel can be used for a longer period of time and is less prone to failure. This comes at a price because there may be price differences. Welded tubes are usually the less expensive of the two options. But keep in mind that there is some evidence that welded tubes may be stronger than seamless tubes, so you must carefully evaluate the priorities and consult an engineer.