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A Brief History of Steel Pipe

Posted by:Rain Time:2019.06.11 02:01

In the Age of Information, it is easy to take for granted the technological accomplishments of our past. On a cold, windy night, 

we crank the thermostat, anticipating a burst of warmth to greet us instantly. We expect hot water to flow seamlessly from our 

shower taps on a cold morning. And when the time comes to add milk to the morning coffee, we pour away confidently, knowing 

the refrigerator has once again done its job. While it is easy to live without contemplating the sources of these modern marvels, 

none of them would be possible without the introduction of steel piping.


Reed plants fashioned into pipes (in the most general use of the word) were first introduced to transport water to the wealthy in 

ancient China as early as 2000 B.C. More than 3,500 years later, Colonial Bostonians used hollowed-out logs to create the first 

public waterworks system in 1652.


The development of the modern welded steel pipe went through several advancements in the mid-1800s. The first modern use for 

the welded steel pipe was to transport coal gas throughout London to operate the newly introduced coal burning lamp system. The 

first plants to utilize what became the modern process for manufacturing piping, known as the butt-weld process, opened in 

Philadelphia in 1832. And in 1895, the first plant to manufacture seamless piping was built.


The type of pipe used is dependent on its function. Seamless pipes are lighter and are more fit for transporting liquids, whereas 

welded pipes are heavier and more rigid, fit for gas transportation, as an electrical conduit, and for plumbing. Regardless of function, 

most modern pipes today are made from steel and its various alloys, including aluminum, copper, and titanium.

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