Carbon steel is often perceived as a cheaper alternative to stainless steel. But with its advantages and benefits, in some cases this material deserves to be the first choice, rather than a second-rate option, in selection of piping systems.
Just to clarify, this article doesn’t intend to pit stainless steel against carbon steel. Rather, it highlights how every piping material has its strengths and weaknesses; how it’s ideal for one application and impractical for another.
Probably the single biggest factor in selecting Carbon Steel rather than one of the grades of Stainless Steel is its lower cost. Not every application has to utilise stainless steel, so why not exploit the advantages of press fitting carbon steel?
Carbon Steel is the product of choice for an economic and fast way to install oil and diesel fuel pipework.
- No open flames
- No Hotwork permits
- No laborious threading of pipes
- No observer that may be mandatory for welding operations
Carbon Steel pressfit pipework is used extensively in Europe for closed circuit heating systems and compressed air. In a closed circuit heating system air or oxygen – the principal source of oxidation corrosion – is eliminated.
Let’s dive into the strengths of carbon steel alloy and what its strengths mean for piping systems.
Carbon steel lends a high tensile strength to any material it is made with. It can be bent and stretched to any shape without losing any of its strength. With this characteristic, carbon steel tubing can be made thin and retain the ability to hold flowing substances with high pressure.
As a shock-resistant and highly durable alloy, carbon steel is able to withstand shock. Its resistance to fire makes it ideal for piping systems and other structures resistant to fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.
Pipes made of carbon steel are safe to work with and are invulnerable to eliminating the need for pesticides to treat some other pipes.
Carbon Steel Pipe Fittings are also excellent in handling refrigerants and other some other chemicals. They also perform well in industrial environments with very low pH levels or very high temperatures.
The durability and resistance of carbon steel piping to various environmental factors mean safety and reliability across industries. This also translate to more years of continuous operations, as pipes and fittings do not need to be replaced as often as other systems.
A great advantage of carbon steel’s high tensile strength is that Carbon Steel Pipe Fittings are made thinner. Carbon steel pipes then have larger internal diameter than other materials like copper or plastic and therefore a bigger carrying capacity. Compared to pipework built with other materials, Carbon Steel Pipe Fittings systems can transport more gas or fluid.
With these advantages, carbon steel pipes aren’t only economical upfront, but they are also economical in the long run.
- Proper storage is essential for system longevity:
- Carbon steel pipes for pressfittings must be protected from the weather;
- Absolutely avoid any formation of condensation;
- Avoid direct contact with the ground and wet surfaces;
- Avoid contact with stainless steel pipes;