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In the first three months of 2020, almost 12 million metric tons of stainless steel were produced. Stainless steel has a wide range of applications. Still, you might wonder where all that metal is heading.
Some of the production is dedicated to stainless steel pipe. It’s one of the more popular and versatile products on the market. If you’ve wondered how different industries use stainless steel pipe, look no further.
Stainless Steel’s Properties Make It Popular
Stainless steel is a versatile material, with a wide range of uses across many industries. Every industry has its own reasons for choosing stainless steel. Each use demands something a little different from stainless steel.
Generally speaking, though, stainless steel has three features that make it so popular. They are:
- Resistance to corrosion
- Resistance to temperature
It’s well-known that steel is one of the strongest materials in use today. The unfortunate reality, though, is that steel corrodes.
The addition of different elements, like chromium or nickel, make steel “stainless.” That means it’s resistant to corrosion. It’s also resistant to changes in temperature, making stainless steel the perfect choice for extremes.
Add in the fact that it’s easy to maintain stainless steel and clean it, and you have an almost perfect material. Whether you need strength or easy sanitization, stainless steel is a good choice.
The polished look doesn’t hurt either, as most modern kitchens prove.
So, which industries make the most use of stainless steel, and what do they use it for? Construction, oil and gas, and many more make ample use of this versatile material.
Stainless Steel Pipe in Construction
The construction industry is one of the most popular destinations for stainless steel. What does the industry use pipes made of stainless steel for?
The answer is quite a lot. Stainless steel pipes may be scaffolding during construction projects. It’s also used within structures as well.
In buildings, you’ll find stainless steel used for water, ventilation, and air conditioning. Other uses for stainless steel piping include heating systems and sewage transport.
Transporting Liquids With Stainless Steel Pipes
You might have guessed that one of the most popular uses for stainless steel piping is the movement of liquids. It’s used in homes and other buildings for water supplies, and it’s also used to transport sewage.
There are plenty of industries that need to move various liquids. Oil and gas companies, for example, may need to move liquid crude from the oil field to refineries. Liquid natural gas is often moved this way as well.
The oil industry may also need to use chemicals to dilute heavy crude and keep it flowing. Stainless steel piping may be used in these transport systems.
Other companies that use liquid chemicals may also use stainless steel piping. This helps them keep their products moving. This is true whether they’re moving finished product to market or using them in refinement.
The mining industry also uses stainless steel piping for a wide variety of applications. Pipes may be used to bring in materials, or to remove water or other materials from the mine itself. Stainless steel in other forms may have other applications in and around the mine.
The desalination industry is another big user of stainless steel piping. This process removes salt from water as it passes through the system.
In almost all uses, professionals prefer stainless steel because it stands up to corrosion. Salt generally doesn’t get along well with most metals, for example. Stainless steel piping stands up to the desalination process better than other metals.
Applications Under Pressure
There are other industries that rely on piping that can stand up to harsh environments. The aerospace industry is another popular destination for stainless steel pipes for that reason.
The applications of stainless steel pipe in this industry are varied. You might find stainless steel tubing in high-strength applications within vehicles themselves. These tubes need to be able to withstand high pressure and extreme temperatures.
Some applications use welded pipes. Others will use seamless tubing to ensure structural integrity.
Chrome- and nickel-type stainless steel are popular in these industries.
Stainless steel is also popular in any industry that needs to uphold sanitation. If there’s a risk of contamination, then stainless steel is often a good choice to limit the potential risks.
A good example is the food and beverage industry. People need to know the food they buy is safe. Stainless steel piping is often employed in the production process.
Why is stainless steel so good for industries that have sanitation concerns? Stainless steel is easily kept clean, for starters. It usually wipes clean with little effort.
That makes it popular with anyone who needs to clean it often. It also has auto-healing properties, which limit damage. It’s also non-porous.
Then consider the fact it’s resistant to corrosion, which can cause contamination. You have a material that’s easy to use and maintain for years.
Pharmaceutical and medical applications are also quite common. That’s because sanitation is such a priority in these industries. It’s easy to sanitize stainless steel, without risking corrosion.
That, in turn, reduces the risk of cross-contamination from chemical or organic sources. There’s even been a push to create antibacterial stainless steel. Antibacterial stainless steel could limit the spread of germs.
Stainless Steel for Home or Business
Whether you’re upgrading the pipes in your home or you need to transport liquids for business, stainless steel pipe could be the answer. This versatile material offers a host of benefits. It’s long lifespan means you can enjoy those benefits for years.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why pipes made from stainless steel are so popular across industries.
Looking for more information on common construction materials and how they might affect your life? Check out our archives for more informative articles.