Business Tips

The Professional’s Guide to Commercially Purchasing Steel Piping 

Steel Piping

Making a purchase of a commercial steel pipe can pose a lot of questions. Commercial purchases are riskier, simply because of their grand scale. Knowing the important steps to take to ensure the right purchase is made is crucial. With this helpful guide, commercial buyers will be fully prepared to choose a supplier and purchase the right steel piping for their needs.


Materials of Commercial Steel Piping

There are a few materials used in the production of steel piping and the type you purchase should be based on how the piping will be used.

You can receive help from if you are unsure of which type you need.

There are three main metals used in making steel piping. Industrial steel pipe companies will typically offer stainless steel, galvanized steel, and carbon steel.

You will also notice there are both welded pipes and seamless.

In most cases, you are going to find welded steel pipes are a more cost-effective purchase and they are more plentiful. Some projects require seamless pipes and this will often result in a greater cost and a longer wait time for big orders.

Seamless pipes come in measurement ranges from 1/8 to 36 inches nominal.

There are two types of production for seamless steel pipes and they are hot rotary piercing and extrusion.

Welded pipe (ERW) comes in measurements ranging from 1/8 to 24 inches nominal.

There are multiple approaches to manufacturing welded steel pipe, depending on the application.


6 Types of Steel Pipes

  • Standard pipe – Standard pipe represents around ten per cent of all tubular steel produced. It comes in stainless steel, galvanized steel, and carbon steel. These can be made to order in different measurements.
  • Line pipe – This type of pipe is primarily used in the oil and gas industries and these are available in different grades. Line pipe represents around 21% of all steel pipe produced.
  • Pressure tubing – Pressure tubing is meant to stand up to immense pressure and is produced using seamless construction so there are no weak areas that could lead to leaks. About 2% of all steel pipe produced is pressure tubing.
  • Structural tubing – Structural tubing is made strong and can be round or square. This tubing can be used in the construction of buildings or fences. It makes up around 15% of all steel tubing products.
  • Mechanical tubing – This type of piping is used for mechanical and structural needs. These pipes must conform to ASTM specifications and they represent around 17% of all goods.
  • Oil country – This type of piping includes all types of drill pipes, casing, and tubing used in the oil field industry. This type of pipe represents around 35% of all steel piping produced.


What Should You Know About Steel Pipe Measuring?

Before purchasing any steel piping, it is imperative you fully understand how it is measured so you will be able to make the best choice for your needs.

A pipe is typically measured using nominal pipe size (NPS).

The weight of the pipe will be measured in pounds per foot.

This is considered a theoretical weight and not the actual weight since that will vary, depending on the tolerance level.


What About the Steel Pipe Finish?

Another consideration when choosing a steel pipe is the finish. Being aware of the different finish types is integral for deciding.

The following are the common finishes that will be seen when you are purchasing commercial steel piping.

  1. Threading without coupling
  2. Threaded with coupling
  3. 3. Plain end with a square cut
  4. Bevelled for welding with a 30-degree bevel
  5. Grooved end

Most steel piping is coated with lacquer to prevent corrosion, but there are also other finish coatings available, including bare metal, pickled, pickled and oiled, and galvanized.

Galvanized coatings add zinc to help fight against corrosion damage. Choosing a finish boils down to what the steel piping will be used for.

The more exposure to the elements the pipe will endure, the more protection it will need.


Answers to FAQ

There are so many choices when it comes to commercial steel piping and many people are confused when they enter the industrial steel supply store.

Being unaware of the different types and grades can make purchasing steel piping an overwhelming experience. The following are just a few questions new commercial buyers often have.


1. Is it safe to purchase used steel piping?

Used steel piping has been temporarily used and then removed from certain projects.

This type of steel piping is typically deeply discounted and is perfectly fine to use if there is no major damage that would prevent it from being safe.


2. What is surplus steel piping?

This is another type of steel piping category that is commonly seen in industrial supply stores.

Surplus supply occurs when a customer creates an order for a specific type and then never comes back to pick up their order.

The pipe is sold as surplus because its attributes are sometimes too specific for many buyers.


3. What is new reject steel piping?

It is another confusing title people will see when purchasing steel piping.

This is one of the most affordable ways to purchase steel piping.

These pipes are new, but they have slight imperfections that caused them to be rejected by the inspector.

They are still fine for use in most projects, depending on the need.



With this guide, you should now be better prepared to shop for commercial steel piping and ensure you are purchasing the right type to meet your needs.

In addition to following the above guide, it is also crucial to work with a reputable supplier who offers the highest level of quality and customer service, along with fair pricing.

Carefully researching the options will help to ensure the right supplier is discovered.

Steel piping is used in many types of applications, from construction to oil transport.

When in doubt, work with the professionals so you will know which type of steel piping will offer the highest level of performance and lasting strength.

Never rush the process of choosing a pipe.

By researching your options and learning about the different types, you should have no problem making a purchase.


Also Read: Online Business Manager: Complete Beginner’s Guide

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About Shristi Patni

Shristi is the Chief Content Officer at Raletta. She enjoys writing about food, fitness, finance and everything in between.
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