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Pipeline Transportation Revealed: Their Pros and Cons | How to Choose for Different Projects

Hi, I’m Max Shi, the CEO of tytsteel.com. With more than 10 years of experience in OEM/ODM steel pipe, I’d love to share with you the valuable knowledge related to steel products from a Chinese supplier’s perspective. Hope you like this article, and please share it or subscribe to our newsletter.

Table of Contents

Before the invention of the steam engine, the main mode of transportation for the land-based human and animal pick and pack, as well as waterway ship transportation. With the continuous progress of science and technology, the formation of the current mainstream of road transportation, railroad transportation, water transport, air transport and pipeline transport 5 modes of transportation.

So what are the characteristics of these modes of transportation? See the table below

Type of transportationdefineAdvantagesDisadvantage
Road transportationRoads are built on the land and automobiles are used for transportation of passengers and goods.Advantages of road transportation are short distance flexibility, convenient turnover, easy loading and unloading;The disadvantage is that the transportation volume is small and the transportation cost is high.
Railroad transportationThrough the railroad train on the transportation of passengers and goods.Advantages of railroad transportation is a large amount of transportation, low transportation costs, transport speed, suitable for long-distance transportationDisadvantage is the construction of the railroad cost is high, the transportation flexibility is low.
Water TransportationWaterway transportation is a way of transporting passengers and cargoes through inland waterways and sea transport, using ships.Advantage is that the transportation volume is large and the transportation cost is low;The disadvantages are slow transportation speed, low transportation flexibility, and greater influence by waterways and climate.
Air transportationTransportation of passengers and cargo by air.Advantage is high speed of transportation;Disadvantages are small volume of transportation and high cost of transportation.
Pipeline TransportationTransportation of liquids and gases over long distances using pipelines.Advantages are high transportation volumes, low cargo loss and high safety;Disadvantages are the high cost of pipeline equipment and low transportation flexibility.
In 1970, a U.S. coal pipeline (273 miles long) from northeastern Arizona to Black Mesa at the southern tip of Nevada, with a diameter of 18 inches, transported 5 million tons of coal per year. Statistically, it would cost $862 million to build a railroad with a capacity of 15 million tons of coal per year, while it would cost only $160 million to build a pipeline with a capacity of 45 million tons of coal per year. At the same time, frequent managers are only one-seventh the cost of rail transportation. Taken together, the cost of pipeline transportation is almost 1/5th of railroad transportation, 1/20th of road transportation, and 1/66th of airplane transportation.

Among the 5 major modes of transportation, pipeline transportation has unique advantages. Also because we are a steel pipe manufacturer, we mainly talk about pipeline transportation today.

What is pipeline transport and its advantages?

pipeline transport advantages:

  • Pipeline transportation is safe, reliable and continuous.

For flammable and explosive high-risk fluids, such as oil and gas.
The use of pipeline transportation can greatly reduce the volatile loss, in addition, because the pipeline is basically buried in the ground, the transport process of the harsh and changeable climatic conditions of the impact is small, you can ensure that the transport system to operate stably for a long time.

  • Pipeline transportation is one of the most energy-efficient modes of transportation.

Developed countries use pipelines to transport oil, and the energy consumption per tonne kilometer is less than 1/7 of that of railroads, and the transport cost is close to that of water transport when transported in large quantities; therefore, under waterless conditions, the use of pipeline transport is one of the most energy-efficient modes of transport.

The larger the caliber of the pipeline, the farther the transport distance, the larger the transport volume, the lower the cost of transport, for example, the transport of oil, pipeline transport, waterway transport, railroad transport, the ratio of transport costs is 1:1:1.7.大口径

  • High efficiency

Pipeline transportation is a continuous transportation technology that is available 24 hours a day, 12 months a year, without interruption.

What are the disadvantages of pipeline transportation?

  • The loss of solid goods is large

Solid goods collide with each other irregularly in the pipeline, which is very serious wear and tear on the pipeline; solid goods need to be dewatered after transportation to the destination, which is more troublesome.

In order to make up for the shortcomings of hydraulic pipeline transportation, people use aluminum alloy, plastic and other materials to make a kind of cylindrical container, and then the solid goods into the container, and then use the pipeline to transport the container out. This is the hydraulic container pipeline transportation.

  • The cargoes to be transported are relatively single.

It is only suitable for transportation of gas and liquid goods such as oil, natural gas, chemicals, coal slurry and so on.

  • Inability to realize “door-to-door” transportation services.

For general users, pipeline transportation often needs to cooperate with railroad transportation or automobile transportation and waterway transportation to complete the whole transmission. Pipeline transportation belongs to special transportation, and its production and transportation and marketing are mixed into one, and it is not available to other shippers.

How to choose transportation pipes for different roles?

1.Seamless Pipe

Seamless Pipe is usually made from a solid round metal billet which is heated and pushed or pulled over a form until the material is shaped into a hollow tube.

The main products of seamless steel pipe include: structural pipe, hydraulic strut pipe, oil cracking pipe, high-pressure fertilizer pipe, automobile half-axle casing, cylinder casing, cylinder tube, axle pipe, geological drilling pipe, ship pipe and so on.

Seamless pipes for transporting fluids are characterized by high pressure resistance and corrosion resistance due to their hollow cross-section and weldless qualities, making them a very good transportation pipe

2.Welded pipe

Welded pipe is a steel pipe made of steel plate or strip steel that is rolled and formed and then welded, generally sized at 6 meters. Welded steel pipe varieties and specifications, but the general strength is lower than seamless steel pipe.

Because of its welding form is divided into straight seam welded pipe and spiral welded pipe. (Smaller diameter welded pipe is welded by straight seam, large diameter welded pipe is more spiral welding) because of the shape of its end is divided into round welded pipe and shaped (square, flat, etc.) welded pipe. Welded pipe is divided into the following varieties because of its different materials and uses:

/ galvanized steel pipe

Mainly used for the transportation of water, gas, air, oil and heating hot water or steam and other general lower pressure fluid and other purposes. Its representative material Q235A grade steel.

//stainless steel welded steel pipe

Mainly used for machinery, automobiles, bicycles, furniture, hotels and restaurants, and other mechanical parts and structural components. Its representative material 0Cr13, 1Cr17, 00Cr19Ni11, 1Cr18Ni9, 0Cr18Ni11Nb and so on.

///Spiral welded pipe

Spiral welded pipe is mainly used for oil and natural gas transportation pipelines, its specifications are expressed in terms of outer diameter * wall thickness. Spiral welded pipe has single-side and double-side welded, welded pipe should ensure that the hydrostatic test, the tensile strength of the weld seam and the cold bending performance should be in accordance with the provisions.

Spiral welded pipe

////PE water supply pipe

Polyethylene resin as the main raw material, the production of molded solid-wall HDPE pipe.
Uses: water supply pipe, pressure water supply pipe, irrigation pipe, gas pipe, etc.
The service life of PE pipe is more than 50 years.

These are today’s shares. If you have any questions about purchasing steel pipe feel free to contact me. Our company is specialized in producing steel pipe for 20 years. (Don’t worry, everything is free)

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