Pipe and Tubing Industry

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pipe and Tubing Industry

 

a specialized branch of ferrous metallurgy, engaged in the manufacture of steel pipe and tubing and cast-iron pressure pipe. The industry’s products are widely used in the petroleum and natural-gas industries (seeGAS PIPELINE and PETROLEUM PIPELINE) and in power engineering, machine building, instrument-making, construction, land reclamation, and other branches of the national economy.

The manufacture of forge lap-welded pipe began in Great Britain in 1842, and seamless steel tubing was first produced in Germany in 1886.

Table 1. Output of main types of pipe in the USSR (tons)
YearSteel pipeCast-iron pressure pipe
1913. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7770066200
1940. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .966 000231 500
1945. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .571,00080,900
1950. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2,001,000324,900
1960. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5,805,000608,100
1970. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12,434,0001,253,000
1975. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15,9630001,436 700

Pipe and tube production in Russia was begun in the 1890’s in Ekaterinoslav (now Dnepropetrovsk) by the Joint-stock Company of Russian Tube-rolling Mills, which built a small plant for the production of sheet iron and pipe. In 1894 the Franco-Belgian firm Chaudoir constructed a tube-rolling mill in Ekaterinoslav (now the V. I. Lenin Dnepropetrovsk Tube-rolling Plant). Pipe-production shops were established in 1897 at metallurgical plants in Taganrog and Mariupol’ and at a locomotive plant in Lugansk. In 1900 the Admiralty constructed a tube-rolling shop at the Izhora Plant in Kolpino, raising the total Russian production of pipe to 21,000 tons. During the period 1907–13, new manufacturing facilities were added at the Vyksun’ Metallurgical Plant and the Bezhitsa Locomotive Plant, and existing production capacity was expanded at the Chaudoir and Izhora plants. The first tube-rolling mills were installed by the German firm Hantke at their plant in Nizhnedneprovsk (now the K. Liebknecht Nizhnedne-provsk Tube-rolling Plant in Dnepropetrovsk). In 1913, about 40 percent of the output of steel pipe in Russia came from plants owned by foreign capital, and the Russian pipe and tubing industry lagged behind the technologically advanced countries in both output and technical know-how. In 1913, Russia produced about 2 percent of world output of pipe and 6.4 percent of world steel output.

The production of steel pipe was almost completely halted during World War I (1914–18) and the Civil War of 1918–20. By 1925, however, the USSR’s level of production was up to 75,000 tons. At the start of the first five-year plan (1929–32), the output of the pipe and tubing industry was more than double the 1913 level, having reached 171,000 tons in 1928. During the prewar five-year plans (1929–40), existing tube-rolling plants were expanded and new plants were constructed in Moscow, Leningrad, Khartsyzsk, Pervoural’sk, and Nikopol’. The volume of production of steel pipe reached 923,000 tons in 1937 and 966,000 tons in 1940.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), immense damage to the pipe and tubing industry was caused by the fascist German aggressors. Nonetheless, an uninterrupted supply of pipe for the defense and construction industries was ensured by the evacuation to the Urals of some equipment from plants in the southern part of the country; the equipment was quickly placed in operation at the Pervoural’sk New Pipe Plant, Sinarsk Tube-rolling Plant, and the Cheliabinsk Pipe-rolling Plant, which was constructed during the war.

Restoration of plants in the south began immediately after the liberation of the Ukraine and was accompanied by increase in production capacity. At the same time, construction was started on new large tube-rolling plants in Rustavi, Georgia, and Sumgait, Azerbaijan. During the postwar years the rate of development of the pipe and tubing industry has outstripped that of all other branches of ferrous metallurgy, particularly the manufacture of rolled products. This was due to the continuously increasing demand for steel pipe in all branches of the national economy, particularly the petroleum and natural-gas industries, power engineering, machine building, and construction.

Since 1962, thanks to the successful execution of plans for modernization, technological reequipment of plants, and introduction of added production capacity, the USSR has been a world leader in the production of steel pipe. The production of cast-iron pressure pipe has also made significant progress. The USSR manufactures steel pipe ranging from 0.3 mm to 2,520 mm in diameter and cast-iron pressure pipes from 65 mm to 1,000 mm in diameter. (See Table 1 for data on production of these two kinds of pipe.)

The pipe and tubing industry of the USSR is concentrated in the southern part of the country and in the Urals. The largest plants are the Cheliabinsk Tube-rolling Plant, the Pervoural’sk New Pipe Plant, the Nikopol’ Southern Pipe Plant, the Taganrog Metallurgical Plant, the K. Liebknecht Nizhnedneprovsk Tube-rolling Plant, and the Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant. During the mid-1970’s these plants accounted for 60 percent of the country’s production of steel pipe. The largest plants for manufacture of cast-iron pressure pipe are the Makeevka Metallurgical Works, the Si-nara Pipe Plant, and the Svobodnyi Sokol Lipetsk Metallurgical Plant.

The Soviet pipe and tubing industry is at a level equal to that of the world industry in terms of equipment and technology, and it is at a superior level with respect to the degree of mechanization and automation of the main technological processes and the capacity of its tube-rolling mills and pipe-welding equipment. The industry is equipped with advanced production machinery. During the early five-year plans and in the first postwar years, some of this equipment was purchased abroad, mostly in the USA and Germany; by the 1950’s, however, pipe-manufacturing equipment produced in the USSR, which was performing better than the best foreign models, was used for new production facilities. Significant assistance has been rendered to the Soviet pipe and tubing industry by machine-building plants in Hungary (the Cse-pel Combine), Czechoslovakia (the Vitkovice Metallurgical Combine), and the German Democratic Republic. Automatic control systems for production and engineering processes and automatic quality control systems have come to be widely used.

Among the tasks facing the pipe and tubing industry are the improvement of quality, an increase in the range of types of products available, and mastery of the production of new types of large-diameter pipes for gas mains and new products for construction of high-capacity thermal and nuclear electric power plants.

Table 2. Output of steel pipe in selected socialist and capitalist countries (tons)
 196019701974
Socialist countries. . . .   
Czechoslovakia. . . . . . . . . .629,0001,133,0001,399,000
Poland. . . . . . . . . .366,000723,0001,101,000
Rumania. . . . . . . . . .338,000767,000973,000
Capitalist countries. . . . . . . . . .   
USA. . . . . . . . . .6,929,0007,056,0008,930,000
Japan. . . . . . . . . .1,1790007,672,0009,571,000
Federal Republic of Germany. . . . . . . . . .2,537,0004,324,0005,713,000
Italy. . . . . . . . . .876,0001,941,0003,193,000
France. . . . . . . . . .1,064,0001,790,0001,957,000

The pipe and tubing industry is successfully developing in certain other socialist countries. Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Rumania produce pipe ranging from 4 mm to 1,020 mm in diameter. The socialist countries are continuously increasing their share in world production of steel pipe. They accounted for 17 percent of production in 1950, 32.6 percent in 1960, and more than 36 percent in 1974.

Among the capitalist countries, the USA, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, and France have the most highly developed pipe and tubing industries. (See Table 2 for data on foreign production of steel pipe.)

According to 1976 data, the USA produces pipe ranging from 4 mm to 1,220 mm in diameter, Japan from 10 mm to 1,420 mm, the Federal Republic of Germany from 4 mm to 1,620 mm, Italy from 4 mm to 2,520 mm, and France from 4 mm to 1,420 mm.

The increase in pipe and tubing production in a number of capitalist countries is attributable to a steady increase in world demand for large-diameter arc-welded pipes for gas mains and petroleum pipelines. The pipe and tubing industry in capitalist countries is characterized by a high concentration of production. (See also.)

REFERENCE

Osada, Ia. E., and L. I. Spivakovskii. Ekonomika trubnogo proizvodstva. Moscow, 1963.

IA. E. OSADA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.