Process Piping

Moving liquids and gasses throughout a facility

As a one stop shop in industrial construction, we have to be well versed in piping. Industrial piping plays a vital role in industrial operations as it controls the transportation of fluid, gas, or small particles from one location to another. 

What is industrial piping made from?

This isn’t a straightforward answer. The material to form the piping depends on what is flowing through it. Regulations for safety look at multiple factors such as: corrosion, temperature, erosion, flammable, hazardous, pressure and others to set the standard for the material of the piping. Then the properties of the piping itself must be considered such as:

  • Strength: both ultimate tensile strength and yield strength 
  • Elasticity or the ability to resume shape
  • Percent elongation which measures ductility
  • Hardness is the ability to resist plastic deformation
  • Toughness measures how well it absorbs energy before breaking
  • Creep resistance ensures the piping won’t be distorted when under load for a long time
  • Fatigue resistance ensures repeated cycles will not cause failure

Based on all of these factors, metal, non-metal, or composite piping is recommended.

What is process piping?

Process piping is used in industrial settings to convert one material into another. To make this simple, think about making a beverage. Water is a base for most drinks. The water must be ushered through the facility to be combined with the other components. If there are other liquids or gasses, those too must have a transportation route through the facility. 

If making a food product, food grade piping must be used. These products must be sanitary and corrosion resistant. It’s also important that the piping materials resist bacteria growth and contamination. Steel and polypropylene are most often used to meet specifications in food grade piping. 

Process piping has many uses including moving water, steam, and waste. Unique piping materials might be needed for each type of material that is being moved in an industrial setting. It is key to have an expert lay this piping so that proper material is used, it is laid correctly, that ample space is available around the piping and insulation is installed where needed.

Why does piping need insulation?

You may understand that water pipes need insulation in your home to withstand cold temperatures. Industrial piping needs insulation for a wider variety of reasons

  • Safety of employees: the surface of piping may be extremely hot or cold. Protecting the surface keeps personnel safe from burns and downtime.
  • Stabilizes process temperatures: insulating the piping can help the material inside the pipe maintain a more constant temperature. Temperature of the liquid or gas inside the piping is important in certain industrial processing.
  • Prevents condensation on surfaces: you want your piping to last so it is important to limit corrosion. On pipes that are moving cold material, you want to insulate the pipe so that the surface temperature stays above the dew point of the ambient air.
  • Increase fire protection: fiberglass and mineral wool that are used in insulation are known to be fire resistant and noncombustible. 
  • Reduces noise and vibrations: piping mechanisms can cause quite a bit of noise. Insulation will provide a sound barrier.

MB&R Contractors has a team specializing in process piping for our industrial clients. We can help ensure that you are meeting safety regulations and keeping your building and team safe with a proper installation. In addition to piping, our team is a local full service construction company who can help with design, permitting, and installation and leave you with a completed project on time and within budget. Please reach out to us and let us help you on your next construction project.