Applications of Steel Pipe

Jul 2019

There are many applications of steel pipe. Chances are you’ve come across steel pipe in your everyday life but just haven’t noticed it. Steel pipe is used in many different applications including piling, road boring, caisson, landrolling, and structures. In this post we’ll provide an overview of the different uses of steel pipe and a description of what each one entails.


Piling driving uses steel pipe to create structural support. Individual pipes are “driven” or hammered into the ground vertically using a pile driver in order to help create deep foundations for homes, bridges, roads, and viaducts. Piling is often used in places where the ground is unstable or soft. In doing so, piling helps with structural reinforcement. There are two types of piles: replacement and displacement piles. Replacement piles are driven into a hole that is already formed in the ground. Displacement piles are hammered into the flat ground, displacing the earth that is there.

Directional Boring

Directional boring aids in the installation of infrastructure such as telecommunications and power cable conduits, water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, oil lines, product pipelines, and environmental remediation casings. It is used for crossing waterways, roadways, shore approaches, congested areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and areas where other methods are costlier or not possible. Compared to other techniques, it provides less traffic disruption, lower cost, deeper and/or longer installation, no access pit, shorter completion times, directional capabilities and environmental safety.

There are generally three phases in the directional boring process. First, a small pilot hole is drilled along a directional path from one surface point to another. Next, the bore created during the pilot hole drilling is enlarged to a size that will enable installation of the desired size of pipeline. Then, the pipeline is moved into the large hole. This creates a continuous segment of pipe underground, which is only exposed at each end point. Through this process, directional boring can be used to help overcome many surface obstacles including roadways, railroads, wetlands, and water bodies of various sizes.


A caisson foundation, also called a pier foundation, is a watertight retaining structure used as a bridge pier in the construction of a concrete dam or for the repair of ships. The pipe is put into a deep hole in the ground and then filled with concrete. Caissons are drilled into bedrock (called “rock caissons”) or deep into the underlying soil strata if a geotechnical engineer finds the soil suitable to carry the load.


In this application, steel pipe is attached to the rear of farm machinery and is driven across the land. The land is flattened, making it better for aeration. Rolling the land also pushes down rock and debris, which is beneficial for the equipment that will be used later, decreasing the possibility of damage. Landroller pipe can also be used on seeded land, as it packs the soil around them and increases the moisture and nutrients.


Other structural applications for used steel pipe include use as culverts for roads and drainage, drainage for ponds, hand and guardrails, fences and corrals, bollards, bumper posts, signposts, and dredging pipe.

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