Pipe installation is often more expensive than the material and a variety of specialized tools, techniques, and parts have been developed to assist this. Pipe is usually delivered to a customer or jobsite as either "sticks" or lengths of pipe (typically 20 feet, called single random length) or they are prefabricated with elbows, tees and valves into a prefabricated pipe spool A pipe spool is a piece of pre-assembled pipe and fittings, usually prepared in a shop so that installation on the construction site can be more efficient.. Typically, pipe smaller than 2.0 inch are not pre-fabricated. The pipe spools are usually tagged with a bar code and the ends are capped (plastic) for protection. The pipe and pipe spools are delivered to a warehouse on a large commercial/industrial job and they may be held indoors or in a gridded laydown yard. The pipe or pipe spool is retrieved, staged, rigged, and then lifted into place. On large process jobs the lift is made using cranes and hoist and other material lifts. They are typically temporarily supported in the steel structure using beam clamps, straps, and small hoists until the Pipe Supports are attached or otherwise secured.
An example of a tool used for installation for a small plumbing pipe (threaded ends) is the pipe wrench. Small pipe is typically not heavy and can be lifted into place by the installation craft laborer. However, during a plant outage or shutdown, the small (small bore) pipe may also be pre-fabricated to expedite installation during the outage. After the pipe is installed it will be tested for leaks. Before testing it may need to be cleaned by blowing air or steam or flushing with a liquid.
Uses of steel pipes
Pipelines transporting gas or liquid over long distances
As components in mechanical systems such as:
Rollers in conveyor belts
Compactors (e.g.: steam rollers)
Casing for concrete pilings used in construction projects
High temperature or pressure manufacturing processes
The petroleum industry:
Oil well casing
Oil refinery equipment
Delivery of fluids, either gaseous or liquid, in a process plant from one point to another point in the process
Delivery of bulk solids, in a food or process plant from one point to another point in the process
The construction of high pressure storage vessels (note that large pressure vessels are constructed from plate, not pipe owing to their wall thickness and size).
About pipe material
A pipe is a tubular section or hollow cylinder, usually but not necessarily of circular cross-section, used mainly to convey substances which can flow ? liquids and gases (fluids), slurries, powders and masses of small solids. It can also be used for structural applications; hollow pipe is far stiffer per unit weight than solid members.
In common usage the words pipe and tube are usually interchangeable, but in industry and engineering, the terms are uniquely defined. Depending on the applicable standard to which it is manufactured, pipe is generally specified by a nominal diameter with a constant outside diameter (OD) and a schedule that defines the thickness. Tube is most often specified by the OD and wall thickness, but may be specified by any two of OD, inside diameter (ID), and wall thickness. Pipe is generally manufactured to one of several international and national industrial standards.1 While similar standards exist for specific industry application tubing, tube is often made to custom sizes and a broader range of diameters and tolerances. Many industrial and government standards exist for the production of pipe and tubing. The term "tube" is also commonly applied to non-cylindrical sections, i.e., square or rectangular tubing. In general, "pipe" is the more common term in most of the world, whereas "tube" is more widely used in the United States.
Both "pipe" and "tube" imply a level of rigidity and permanence, whereas a hose (or hosepipe) is usually portable and flexible. Pipe assemblies are almost always constructed with the use of fittings such as elbows, tees, and so on, while tube may be formed or bent into custom configurations. For materials that are inflexible, cannot be formed, or where construction is governed by codes or standards, tube assemblies are also constructed with the use of tube fittings.