Steel pipe report Essay Example

Topic: Steel Pipes

Student Name/Number:

Executive Summary

Steel pipes have a wide range of applications in different industries and are a natural option for corrosion and heat resistant metal applications. They have extraordinary properties including low permeation to gases like hydrogen, methane and natural gas, excellent crack resistance caused by stresses, superior impact resistance and can lie underground for several years. Corrosion is the primary cause for degradation in the performance of steel pipes, leading to loss of quality and high cost of operation. The solutions for corrosion in steel pipes include: protective coating, using insulators, anodic protection and cathodic protection, galvanization, using corrosion inhibitors, and repair and maintenance of the pipe system. The best solution is using protective painting and coating as it protects the pipe against weather and chemical attack. To maintain the performance and life service of steel pipes, they must be protected from corrosion. From our studies, we concluded that carbon fibre coating is the best methods used in preventing corrosion in steel pipes.

Student Reflection

We learnt that steel pipes have a variety of applications in many projects. There are two types of steel pipes: welded steel pipes (seamed pipes) and seamless pipes. The major challenge of steel pipes is corrosion. This can be prevented by applying methods such as carbon fibre coat, anodic protection and cathodic protection, or galvanization of the steel pipe. By working together in the project, we found that carbon fibre coating provides the best protection over a long period of life. Developing teamwork is important when working on a project as it involves different individuals with different expertise, whose input must be coordinated in order to achieve the desired results.

Table of Contents

iExecutive Summary

iStudent Reflection


1Background literature of knowledge on the topic

2Critical and unresolved issues and proposed research directions

2Carbon Fibre Coating as a Solution to Pipe Corrosion

2Advantages of Carbon Fibre Coating:

3Why carbon fibre coating is an excellent method of preventing the corrosion of steel pipes

3Our Preferred Solution



Steel pipes can be defined as long, hollow tubes that have a wide range of applications. They are produced using two distinct methods to obtain two types which are welded Pipe (seamed pipes) and seamless Pipe. Both types have different uses. Welded pipes are heavier and rigid and typically straight with a better consistency. They are used in places where the pipe is not subjected to a high degree of stress. Seamed pipes’ applications include gas transportation, plumbing and electrical conduits. Since Seamless pipes are lighter and have thin walls, they are used for liquids transporting and bicycle frames (Advameg, Inc., 2017).

Steel pipes are made of high grade steel, materials with properties of high corrosion resistance combined with excellent physical and mechanical properties. Methods that are currently used in the fabrication of steel pipes include: centrifugal casting, sub-merged arc welding, and roll piercing.

In this report, we cover the history of steel pipes, types and how they are manufactured. The report also covers the issue of pipe corrosion, which is the major problem in the manufacture of steel pipes. Methods used to prevent corrosion have also been discussed, and found that carbon fibre coating was the best practice for protecting steel pipes from the menace of corrosion.

Background literature of knowledge on the topic

Pipes have been used by human beings for thousands of years. As early as 2000 BC, ancient civilizations were using reed pipes, clay tubes, bamboo tubes, and wood logs to transport water. The first lead pipe was constructed during the first century in Europe. The use of modern steel pipes can be traced back to early 1800s.The earliest method of constructing pipes was patented in 1824 by James Russell. Using this method, metal tubes were made by welding together opposite edges of an iron strip and passing it through a rolling mill. An improved method called the butt-weld process was later invented by Comelius Whitehouse in the following year. This method forms the basis of the modern pipe making procedures. Improvements in the Whitehouse method were innovated in 1911 by John Moon who created a continuous process method to manufacture pipes in an unending stream. The first plant to manufacture seamless tubes was built in 1895. Seamless tubes were made by drilling a hole through a solid metal. Current methods use new roller techniques to manufacture seamless pipes (Advameg, Inc., 2017).
Because of the low efficiency of cold-riveted and welded edges and the low tensile strengths in early steel, engineers set the a safe design stress of 68.95 MPa (10,000 psi). As pipe fabrication methods continued to improve, higher strengths steels were manufactured, and the design stresses moved from 68.95 MPa to 86.18 MPa, to 94.8 MPa, and finally to 103.42 MPa (15,000 psi). It was necessary to adjust the design stresses in order to account for the riveted seam efficiency. Based on the tensile strength, engineers recommended a safety factor of 4-to-1 for steel pipes (American Water Works Association, 2004).

Critical and unresolved issues and proposed research directions

From the literature review, we found that corrosion is the main problem in steel pipe manufacturing process. So to solve the corrosion problems, our team researched on corrosion prevention methods. There are several methods to prevent corrosion.

Some of them are:

1. Galvanizing

2. Carbon fibre coating

Although, in case of galvanizing, it lasts for a limited time and it is considered resistant to wear and zinc gets dissolve when used with acids. So, for this purpose, we decided to focus on carbon fibre on steel pipe to give better protection and greater life.

Carbon Fibre Coating as a Solution to Pipe Corrosion

Carbon fibre coating is an excellent method of preventing the corrosion of steel pipe. In this process, carbon fibre sheets are used. They are sealed around and inside a steel pipe. By doing this, it not helps in preventing corrosion but also strengthens the steel pipe, prevents it from cracking and leads to stoppage of leaking (Edwards, et al., 2005).

Advantages of Carbon Fibre Coating:

There are several benefits of carbon coating steel pipe. Some of them are:

1. It is safe to use carbon steel pipe in terms of lightning, earthquake, etc. At the same time, it does not require to be coated with other glues or preservatives so it is safer to handle and work with.

2. Carbon steel pipes are the most resistant to corrosion. This allows us to use pipes that are smaller, thinner in an acidic environment or extremely corrosive.

3. It also offers more resistance to vibration and shock. This is more useful when steel pipes are constructed under the roads. Carbon steel pipe is considered to more useful than other pipes in such situation.

4. Carbon steel pipe has a very high tensile strength. Thus, it is safer to use even in a high-pressure situation. Apart from this, thinner carbon steel pipe can also withstand high pressure as compared to other pipes. This means that it has more carrying capacity than other pipes with the same diameter.

5. Carbon steel pipe is also environmental safe as it can easily be recycled and don’t produce CO2 emissions.

6. It is quite cost effective as compared to other pipes as it can withstand higher carrying capacity with thinner diameter and its durability will decrease the costs related to repairs or any kind of replacement (Edwards, et al., 2005).

Why carbon fibre coating is an excellent method of preventing the corrosion of steel pipes

Carbon fibre is characteristically strong with low mass density, which provides a material with high specific strength ideal for engineering applications. Using carbon fibre provides an excellent method of preventing corrosion of steel pipes. In addition, the carbon fibre strengthens the steel pipe, prevents crack formations and also stops the formation of leaks. Carbon fibre possesses high specific strength that can match that of marginal steel. Carbon fibres are also resistant to chemical attack and can withstand severe weather conditions for a very long time.

Our Preferred Solution

The environment in which a steel pipe is located plays a significant role in its corrosion behavior. Constructing underground pipelines require that the environment is of minimal moisture, with good drainage. This provides a simple and natural way of preventing pipe corrosion. Corrosion control is an integral part of assessing pipe lines in the construction and operation phase. Thus, it is an ongoing process during the service life. The key to effective control of corrosion of steel pipes include quality equipment design, insulation selection, protective coating, weather barriers and good maintenance practices.


Since steel pipelines were first introduced in the early 1980s, the methods used to fabricate steel pipes have greatly evolved, with a wide range of application in many areas. For efficient performance of steel pipes, and longer design service life, there is need to prevent the problem of corrosion, which is the biggest challenge in pipelines. There are many methods available for preventing corrosion in steel pipes, among them, the use of carbon fibre coating. Carbon fibre coating provides additional strength to the pipeline and prolongs its life service as it is durable. Corrosion in steel pipes can also be prevented by ensuring that the environment in which the pipelines are constructed is free from excess moisture and chemicals that can cause corrosion. Each member of our team contributed significantly to the study, which helped in building a sense of teamwork. We would recommend that pipe manufacturers to consider carbon fibre coating as one of the most excellent and environmentally-friendly method for reducing corrosion in pipelines. Given time, we would also study how other incidents like material failure affect the performance of steel pipes.


Advameg, Inc., 2017. Steel Pipe. Available at:
[Online] › Volume 5
[Accessed 23 May 2017].

American Water Works Association, 2004. History, Uses, and Physical Characteristics of Steel Pipe. U.S.A: American Water Works Association.

Edwards, M., Scardina, P. & McNeill, L., 2005. Enhanced Coagulation Impacts on Water Treatment Plant Infrastructure. s.l.:IWA Publishing.