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Why is Hydrotesting Important in Testing the Quality of Steel Pipes?

Why is Hydrotesting Important in Testing the Quality of Steel Pipes?

What is the importance of hydrotesting for steel pipes?

  1. Accurate equipment inspection
  2. Structural integrity assessment
  3. Identifies flaws in the pipe
  4. Simulates high-pressure environments

 

Steel pipes are some of the most important materials that are used in many systems like petrochemical, plumbing, irrigation, and other structural applications. Pipe manufacturers need to ensure that these products are able to meet certain standards as a way of gauging their quality and safety during the actual operating environment. With this in mind, one should not underestimate the importance of hydrotesting for steel pipes.

Although steel already has several properties that make it one of the most dependable alloys in the metal manufacturing industry, this is not necessarily a guarantee of the quality of its resulting products. There might be some defects on steel pipes that were not identified during the manufacturing process. If you are purchasing these materials, you need to make sure that you buy it only from a reputable supplier like Supreme Pipe. They ensure that all their pipes — whether it be black galvanized iron, steel, or red-painted pipes — have undergone comprehensive and 100% hydrotesting as a measure of quality.

There are many stages involved in the hydrotesting process that aims to address any problems, if any, during pipe-making. Read on to find out more.

 

What is hydrotesting?

Hydrotesting, or hydrostatic testing is simply the method of testing and inspection of any type of plumbing, or pipeline equipment for any defects. This is done through the use of a hydrostatic tester that gauges the level of expansion that takes place in the pipe, while under pressure. If a low pressure has been recorded, then this is a good indicator that there are some leakages in the pipe that need to be immediately fixed. On the other hand, a good pressure rating means that the pipe is of good quality and may not need to be subject to further post-processing.

 

Accurate equipment inspection

Any piping product that has been manufactured should be subject to an accurate equipment inspection. Skilled pipe suppliers like Supreme Pipe know the importance of inspecting every equipment that passes through their facilities. Materials that have only been assessed through surface-level testing may not necessarily be fit for their intended use, which is why a comprehensive testing process like hydrostatic testing should take place.

Through rigorous inspection, shoddy or haphazard techniques are avoided. Vessel manufacturers are not simply eye-balling the quality of their products because there might be problems that cannot be identified through simple inspection. Each pipe first undergoes a thorough surface cleaning treatment prior to the testing phase. Depending on the testing method, water is needed to fill up the pipe inside a test jacket, before being pressurized. Alternatively, the volume of the pipe while it is unpressurized may also be tested.

 

Structural integrity assessment

Structural integrity assessment

Another reason why hydrostatic testing is important is that it determines the pipe’s structural integrity or strength rating. As the component undergoes pressure or water jacket testing, for example, the build of the pipe is also examined and assessed. This is able to provide the manufacturers with a clue as to the quality of their pipe-making techniques.

For example, non-seamless pipes need to be measured for structural integrity. For this kind of pipe, a steel billet is first rolled before the ends are joined together using a welding technique. Welding errors that may take place will certainly affect the strength of the pipe. As such, hydrostatic testing is done to correct any defects, or subsequently to ensure that these defects won’t occur in future manufacturing.

 

Identifies flaws in the pipe

Supreme Pipe subjects all of its available pipes to hydrostatic testing before distributing them in the market. This is a way for them to identify the presence of flaws on the products. Subsequently, pipe-testing work is also done as part of a pipeline, or a tubing system’s regular maintenance. Wear and tear can affect the quality of the pipe, so they need to be periodically tested for any flaws that may result in order to measure the serviceability of the pipe.

Some flaws that may take place on the pipe, include leakages, cracks, or even pitting corrosion. These problems may be directly or indirectly identified through applying a certain level of specified minimum yield strength test, or SMYS. Sometimes, hydrostatic testing can be done alongside other techniques and materials, such as an in-line-inspection tool.

 

Simulates high-pressure environments

Pipeline and pipe rack of petroleum industrial plant with sunset sky background

The proof-pressure test is another common hydrostatic testing method across all steel pipes. In this method, the pipe is testing at a higher pressure than the rating that it was given. By significantly increasing the pressure during the testing phase, this provides the manufacturers an idea of how the pipe can function in the actual environment itself.

Testing at high pressures can determine the reliability and durability of the steel pipes. Fluid transmission is a high-pressure and temperature activity — by being able to withstand these stresses, the vessel can be marked with a rating to designate them for these functions. With this, the pipes can now be distributed for sale — any pipeline or tubing work where they would be used can be guaranteed the safety rating of these pipes. Any future maintenance or replacement work can be safely undertaken without the dangers of burst or leaks.

 

Key Takeaway

In buying steel vessels and other fluid conveyance materials, it is important that you are aware of the importance of hydrotesting for steel pipes. Different hydrotesting techniques can determine if there are any flaws on the piping. This also provides manufacturers with an opportunity to identify any improvements that can be done in the pipe manufacturing process.

If you want to be sure that the pipe you are buying has undergone hydrotesting, see to it that you only buy from a high-quality supplier such as Supreme Pipe. All of our high-grade steel pipes have been certified as safe for usage and installation. Click here to contact us today!