Pipe bending is a crucial component in the formation of many different types of pipelines, like the ones that are used to transport such products as oil, natural gas, water and even sewage. The most valuable of all these products is of course oil.

Before the invention of pipe bending for oil pipelines, oil was transported from oil wells to railway stations by horse in converted wooden whiskey barrels. It is because of these wooden whiskey barrels that we still measure oil by the barrel today.

Oil pipelines were first used in Pennsylvania to connect an oil field to a railway station. This first pipeline spanned 6 miles and was made entirely out of wrought iron. Eventually the idea caught on and improvements where made leading up to our modern pipelines which are now made out of metal.

Although when one thinks of pipelines they may immediately jump to those that are used for oil, there are many other types of pipelines that are used for different reasons. Generally pipelines can be categorized in three types, which are as follows:

1) Gathering pipelines are a group of small interconnected pipes that are typically used to gather crude oil or natural gas from a number of different wells with the purpose of sending the material to a nearby processing plant.

2) Distribution pipelines send the finished product, such as refined oil or natural gas, directly to the processes consumer’s home. Pipelines that are located at shipping and storage areas that send the product to tankers and storage facilities are also considered distribution pipelines.

3) Transportation pipelines consist of very long pipes with large diameters and are used to transport products such as crude or refined oil and natural gas long distances. Transportation pipelines can stretch between cities, countries and even continents.

As you can see, all three types of pipelines are important, and the pipes in each one would require bending at many points along the way.

Pipelines have been made from many different types of materials. Oil pipelines are typically made from bending steel while natural gas pipelines are made using carbon steel. When it comes to water pipes, the majority of them are made using copper, but older houses and buildings may still be using lead pipes.

Trivia Time-out…

The Romans were the first civilization to use lead pipes to transport water. Plumbum is the Latin word for lead and one who works with water pipes is still known today as a Plumber. (The next time a plumber comes to your house – may it be a long time from now – ask him if he knows where the word “plumber” comes from.)

Back to our regularly-scheduled programming…

In order to bend steel pipe for pipelines a significant amount of heat and pressure is required. This is why only a major metal fabrication plant can construct them. That’s right – don’t try this at home! Pipelines play an important role in both the energy and water industries. They provide safe, reliable and economical transportation for all our energy products, such as oil and natural gas, and keep our businesses and homes supplied with fresh water. As the population grows the need for more pipeline systems will increase resulting in systems that are more reliable and economical than they are today.

Author Box David Leonhardt has 1 articles online
David Leonhardt and Corey Rozon are writing about pipe bending for Paramount Roll and Forming. You can learn more about how they bend pipe.

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