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What is pipeline?

Pipeline is a system of ducts primarily made up of tubes that are usually open at both ends and are cylindrical in shape. The main purpose of pipeline is to transport fluids without any leaks.

What is pipeline used for?

Pipeline is used for any industrial or domestic applications where the flow of substances without leakage is needed. The endless applications include:

  • Water supply, which can be intended for all kinds of industrial processes or for consumption by people and other living beings.
  • Means of fire protection, such as hydrants and sprinklers.
  • The safe transportation and drainage of wastewater, as well as drainage of other fluids that could pose a threat to humans or different ecosystems.
  • The extraction, processing, and transportation of various liquid or gaseous fuels, including oil and its many derivatives: gasoline, naphtha, diesel, kerosene, butane gas, etc.
  • Ventilation systems, air conditioning, heating, and cooling, such as radiators, condensing units, etc.
  • Transporting steam in generating electric power.
  • Transporting water in generating hydraulic power.
  • The flow of oils in solar thermal energy systems.

What materials are pipes made of?

Pipes can be made of a wide variety of materials, such as metal, plastic, concrete, or clay.

The criteria for choosing a certain type of pipe usually consider different needs, such as:

  • The installation’s purpose.
  • The content it will carry inside, with special regard for hazards in the event of a spill.
  • The agents of deterioration to which it will be exposed (both internal and external), such as the pressure of the pipeline system, the technology available, and the project budget.

Metal pipes are commonly made of stainless, galvanized, or carbon steel; black or galvanized iron; copper; and more.

The plastic pipes most commonly used are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is a highly versatile material, or PE (polyethylene), which is more flexible. There are also plastic pipes made of polypropylene, polybutylene, and other plastics.

Pipes made of concrete, reinforced concrete, or cement can be made in large sizes at a low cost.

Stoneware or vitrified clay pipes are sustainable in terms of production and are 100% recyclable.  

What other uses are there for pipes?

Pneumatic tubes are piping systems designed to transport solids by using vacuum and air pressure as propelling forces for cylindrical capsules that carry objects inside them as they move along. Pneumatic tubes are often used at banks and supermarkets to send money from booths and tills to the vault, or at certain companies to quickly send small parts and documents.

Pipes can be used as decorative elements that are valued by designers and architects in projects with an industrial aesthetic. This makes it possible to lower costs and address multiple problems in a simple way.

Pipe organs are musical instruments that have one or more keyboards and a system of graduated pipes that make sounds as air is blown through them. There are also artists who use pipes to make different wind and percussion instruments, such as the eccentric New York trio The Blue Man Group, which has become famous for their performances with PVC pipe drums.

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