The Advantages and Cost of Steel Pipe

August 27, 2014 in Pipe by

Steel pipeSteel is a very popular piping material. Here are some reasons why.

Resistance to Internal and External Pressure

Steel’s high tensile strength, ductility and elasticity give it the ability to withstand severe pressures. This performance advantage is particularly notable in stresses resulting from uneven bedding, misalignment, fluctuations in temperature or abnormal cover. Plus, steel pipes are often able to hold up to severe bending or longitudinal stresses that may cause other materials to fail.

Resistance to Shock and Vibration

Modern traffic can impose jarring and damaging shocks and vibrations on the pipes beneath roadways. In these situations, steel pipes are preferable. Their strength and lack of brittleness means they can withstand the stresses of vibrations much better than some other materials.

Protection Against Corrosion 

Galvanized steel pipes have a zinc coating that allows them to endure corrosive environments. The zinc serves as a ‘sacrificial metal’. It rusts before the steel underneath it, even if the zinc layer is scratched. This allows the functional steel part of the pipe to maintain its integrity for longer.

Wide Range of Joints

A variety of joints are available for steel pipes, from very flexible to very rigid. These include:

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Copper Pipes: Types, Sizes and Applications

August 13, 2014 in Pipe by

Copper PipeCopper pipes are popular in plumbing, cooling and heating systems. Here’s some basic information about this reliable, long-lasting material.


There are two types of copper pipes: soft and hard.

Soft copper pipes are annealed to make them soft and flexible, and they can be bent so that they can travel around potential obstacles. Hard copper pipes are not annealed. They’re rigid, so fittings like elbows are needed to change the direction of the fluid flow.


In the U.S., copper pipes often fall into one of four categories, based on their wall thicknesses.

Type K has the thickest walls and is often used underground, beneath streets and sidewalks.

Type L is one step down in thickness, and is often used for water supply in both residential and commercial buildings.

Type M is thinner still and also used for water supply.

Type DMW is the thinnest and primarily used in unpressurized applications, like waste lines or drains.


Copper pipe offers a number of advantages, including:

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Welded Pipe vs. Seamless Pipe

July 23, 2014 in Blog, Pipe by

PipeWelded vs. seamless. It’s a debate that’s been around for a long time, and it’s still going strong today.

So when your next project arrives, what side of the debate will you fall on? Will you choose a welded steel pipe, a welded carbon pipe? Or will you go with one of their seamless counterparts?

Here are some of the advantages of both types of pipes to help you make your decision.

Advantages Of Welded

  • Welded pipes are typically more cost effective than their seamless equivalents.
  • Welded pipes are usually more readily available than seamless. The longer lead time required for seamless pipes can not only make timing problematic, but it also allows more time for the price of the materials to fluctuate.

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Alloy 20 Pipe

June 11, 2014 in Pipe by

Alloy pipeCertain applications require piping systems that can withstand extreme conditions.

Some materials lend themselves to this better than others. And one of those materials is alloy 20 pipe.

Also known as Carpenter 20, alloy 20 is a ‘Super’ alloy developed to hold up to sulfuric acid. Its nickel, chromium, molybdenum and copper components allow it to resist chloride ion stress corrosion cracking and pitting attack. What’s more, it has good mechanical properties and can be fabricated easily.


As you would expect, alloy 20 pipes are often used in environments where sulfuric acid is present. However, their other beneficial characteristics, like easy fabricability, also make them useful in many other applications. Some of the most common applications include:

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FAQ’s About Galvanized Steel Pipes

May 28, 2014 in Pipe by

Galvanized Steel Pipe SuppliersGalvanization involves coating steel, iron or aluminum with a layer of zinc. Although various methods can be used to apply the zinc layer, the most common method is hot-dipping, or fully submerging the metal in a bath of molten zinc. Hot-dipping is usually preferred over other methods because it produces a thicker, more durable zinc layer.

Galvanized materials have a range of uses, including pipes. Galvanized steel pipes are particularly popular for outdoor applications. Here are a few commonly asked questions about galvanized pipes.

How does galvanization protect pipes?

The zinc serves as a sacrificial layer. It will rust before the metal beneath it, keeping the integrity of the pipe intact for much longer than regular pipes. Furthermore, even if the zinc layer is scratched or damaged, it will still protect the metal beneath it.

Are galvanized pipes expensive?

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Quick Facts About Galvanized Pipes

January 29, 2014 in Pipe by

Galvanized steel pipeFor most projects, you want to use materials that will last, because pipes that fail create headaches and added expense.

In certain situations and environments, steel pipes and fittings quickly begin to rust. And once they begin to rust, failure isn’t very far behind.

In those conditions, galvanized steel pipe may be your solution. Galvanized pipes are coated in a layer of zinc, making them resistant to rust and corrosion. Here are some basic facts about galvanized pipe that will help you decide whether it’s right for your next project:

  • The galvanization process involves hot-dipping a steel, iron or aluminum product in zinc, which completely coats the metal in zinc. Once the materials are in use, rusting will still occur, but the zinc layer will rust before the material underneath. This means that galvanized steel pipes remain usable for much longer.
  • Although galvanized pipe can be used outdoors, it’s typically used for indoor projects.
  • Galvanized pipe is designed to carry liquids, like water, but is not typically a component in gas supply lines.
  • In extremely corrosive environments, galvanized steel pipe usually lasts between 50 and 100 years. To determine a more precise lifespan for your galvanized pipes, you should think carefully about the environment you’re placing them in and speak with a galvanized pipe distributor about your particular project.
  • Although the cost of galvanized pipes will vary depending on your project, over time galvanized pipes are often more cost effective than a typical paint project. Some opt to repaint their pipes to maintain their appearance, but if your pipes are corroding, galvanization is a better solution.
  • You can buy an array of different supplies made out of galvanized steel. Because galvanized steel is used in a wide variety of projects, you can find valves, nuts, fittings, bolts, I-beams, H-beams and other materials all made of galvanized steel.

Are you starting a project in a potentially corrosive environment? Do you want pipes with a long life span that will save you money over the long haul? Then galvanized pipes are probably right for you. Get in touch with us to learn more about our offerings and to get a quote. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

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5 Benefits of Nickel Alloy Pipes

January 01, 2014 in Pipe, Products by

Nickel Alloy PipeNickel 101

Nickel is a ductile, hard, silvery white material. You rarely find it alone, but you will find as an alloy in a wide variety of different materials. It’s used in the coins we pay with, the tools we build with and many other stainless steel items, including household objects like magnets, batteries and ceramics. It can even be added to things like guitar strings and glass. And, of course, you’ll find it a number of different nickel alloy pipes, which is our favorite application!

The Benefits of Nickel Alloys

Okay, so nickel alloy is fairly ubiquitous material. But why? Well, it has a number of different characteristics that make it useful in a variety of environments. Some of them include:

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Our ASTM A53 Pipe Inventory

December 18, 2013 in Pipe, Products by

Pipe from St. Louis Pipe & SupplyASTM A53 pipe is a specification that covers seamless, welded black and hot-dipped galvanized steel pipe from NPS 1/8″ to NPS 26. Engineers often use this type of pipe in pressure and mechanical applications, but you’ll also find it in more everyday uses, including steam, water, gas and air lines.

What is the ASTM in ASTM A53? It’s the American Society for Testing and Materials, which sets requirements for ASTM pipe alloys and ASTM pipe sizes.

ASTM A53 pipe comes in three different types (Type F, E and S) and two different grades (A and B). A53 Type F is longitudinally furnace butt welded or continuous welded and is available only in Grade A. A53 Type E is longitudinally electric resistance welded and comes in Grades A and B. A53 Type S  is seamless pipe in which the steel is produced by hot working or cold finishing, and like Type E, it’s available in both Grades A and B. Type S is almost obsolete, having been replaced by ASTM A106 for seamless carbon steel pipes.

At St. Louis Pipe & Supply, we offer a wide range of A53 products. Here are some details about our inventory:

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5 Advantages of Carbon Steel Pipe

November 20, 2013 in Pipe by

Each piping material has its advantages, advantages that make it particularly useful in certain types of projects. The key to picking the right material is knowing what your project requires, then choosing the material that can live up to those requirements.

In that vein, here are five advantages that carbon steel pipe suppliers often cite about carbon steel pipe, as well as applications when those advantages come in handy.

1. Safe to work with

Many building materials need to be treated with glues, pesticides or preservatives, but carbon steel pipe does not. Carbon steel is also inflammable and invulnerable to pests and rotting.

Application: Homes. No one wants to live in a house with pipes that have been treated with chemicals or that can be eaten by critters. Nor do you want pipes that make your house more susceptible to fire. 

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Steel Specs and Characteristics: 304 Stainless Steel, 316 Stainless Steel

November 06, 2013 in Blog, Pipe by

Stainless steelSteel. It’s resistant to corrosion and staining. It’s low-maintenance and attractive. It’s even recyclable. Simply put, steel is an incredibly useful material.

As such, it’s used in a variety of applications, from household items to industrial equipment, and even in the automotive, aerospace and architectural industries. There are over 150 grades of the material, offering the perfect steel for nearly any project, but two types tend to set the standard. Take a look at them below, as we examine their properties, differences and most popular uses.

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