Pipe fabrication and what to look for

Pipe fabrication may seem straightforward at first glance, but there’s a lot to look out for when it comes to hiring a company.

So what are the main materials used in pipe fabrication?

  • Carbon steel
  • Stainless steels
  • Galvanized steels
  • Alloys
  • Copper
  • Plastic

Fabricators will generally take a look at where you need your pipework and then return to their workshops to create the pipes, during this time they will decide what is the best material for the job you need doing. Plastic is most popular for general use as it’s cheaper and does not corrode, whereas copper can corrode and if it does so while being used for drinking water it can cause sickness. Steel, however, is more expensive but can withstand high levels of pressure, depending on your needs there are experts who can provide the best materials for pipe fabrication.

What would you need pipework for?

  • Gas
  • Water
  • Compressed air
  • Steam
  • Pneumatic Airlines
  • Hydraulic Lines
  • Utilities
  • Process Plant
  • District Heating

If you’re not in the industry it’s easy to forget just how important pipe fabrication is, and how we are surrounded by pipes at all time, whether we can see them or not! They have been used for hundreds of years and have helped mankind survive by transporting resources. China shows how far we have come from wooden pipes by currently holding the record for the longest pipeline at 10,000km long. It has imported over 300 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China’s citizens supporting life every day.

How are the pipes installed?

With your piping there will be a lot of adapting to the space you want it in, sometimes meaning there are a lot of small pieces that need putting back together. There are several ways this can be done, again depending on your needs.

  • Welding
  • Fusion welding plastics
  • Screwing
  • Soldering
  • Brazing
  • Gluing
  • Press Systems
  • Groove locking
  • Push fitting

With plastic pipes, glueing is the go-to. Fusion welding is also popular but can crack under stress. Welded joints tend to be stronger than brazed joints but have similar outcome otherwise. All have pros and cons to look out for.  With any form of pipe fabrication, if the fabricator does a bad job none of the above will matter, always ensure your pipe fabricator is HSE compliant and has the appropriate Supervisor Safety Training. If you don’t you will find out down the line that either the techniques were wrong, the materials were substandard, or the tools were incorrect, it will cost you much more to correct these issue