Piping Industry Glossary

Our glossary of the piping industry covers many fields of the pipeline supplier industry like special pipes, welding processes, organizations and materials that are unique or a necessity to the piping supply chain. 


Aluminium is sometimes used in piping because it is relatively inexpensive and resistant to corrosion and solvents. Furthermore its ductility and the fact that aluminium doesn’t create sparks when manipulated are other advantages. 

American Petroleum Institute (API)

The American Petroleum Institute is the central trade association for the oil and natural gas industry within the United States. It represents about 400 companies in the petroleum industry. For those the API negotiates with governmental or legal agencies and conducts research into common topics. Furthermore it establishes and certificates industry standards, most of which are received without any protest and implemented in the businesses of its members. 

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

ASME is a non-profit organization of mechanical engineers that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and development across multiple engineering disciplines. Today ASME has over 140.000 members in 151 countries – 30.000 of which are students. As well as API and ASTM, the ASME develops voluntary industry standards and guidelines that aim to protect the health and welfare of the public. ASME is currently certifying manufacturers in 75 nations.

ASTM International

ASTM (originally American Society for Testing and Materials) is an international non-profit organization that develops voluntary technical standards, some even on a global scale. It has over 30.000 members from more than 140 countries. The United States along with other countries have adopted many of the ASTM standards into official government regulations. Therefore the ASTM standards often are chosen by companies that operate internationally.

Boiler tubes

Boiler tubes are used in scenarios that require high heat and pressure resistance like boilers, steam superheaters or steam pipelines. They consist of heat resisting carbon and low alloyed steels. Ferrostaal Piping Supply offers boiler tubes for industries such as utilities, municipal works, co-generators, paper industry and many more. 

Casing & Tubing

Casing and tubing strings are the most important parts when it comes to well construction. All wells for the transportation of oil or gas must be cased with materials that are sufficiently strong and functional. Casing is necessary for maintaining borehole stability, preventing contamination of water sands, isolating water from the producing formations and controlling the well pressures. Tubing on the other hand is the conduit through which oil and gas are transported to the surface. The size of the tube is very important for controlling the rate of production of the well. 


Coating is primarily used to change the surface properties of the substrate, such as adhesion, corrosion resistance or others. Ferrostaal Piping Supply recommends using the TK™ internal coating system for corrosion prevention. It offers a long-lasting protection and additionally provides protection against encrustation and abrasion as well as improved flow and purity. 


DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, is the German national organization for standardization and the German ISO member body. There are currently 30.000 DIN standards that cover nearly every technology, for example the one that introduced A-series paper sizes.   

Double submerged arc welding (DSAW)

DSAW pipe is welded in a process where the welding arc is submerged in flux while the welding takes place. Because inside and outside welds are required the term contains the word double. DSAW pipes are used for example in gas and oil transportation lines at high pressures. 

Drill pipes

Drill pipes are used in water well drilling, the oil and gas industry and for Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD). Drill pipes are thick walled steel pipes with special threaded ends (tool joints). They have to withstand high internal and external pressure, bending and vibration. 

Electric Fusion welding (EFW)

For EFW the pipe is heated with an electric arc between the bare metal electrodes. There is no pressure involved and filler metal for the welds is obtained from the electrodes. It is relatively inexpensive and the focussed arc enables automation of the welding process.

Electric resistance welding (ERW)

ERW, also known as contact welding, is a process where the pipe is cold formed into a cylindrical shape and instead of a flame the edges of the pipe are heated by an electric current to merge the edges together. Due to the extreme pressure of the rolls, steel is extruded on both the inside and outside of the pipe at the point of the weld. This steel gets removed by stationary cutters while it is still hot. 


Pipeline fittings are mostly used to connect different pieces of pipe. They are available in almost any form factor, size, temperature resistance and other properties. Ferrostaal Piping Supply stocks fittings of up to 24 inches with different temperature qualities.


Flanges on the end of pipes provide easy assembly and disassembly to the pipeline. A blind flange is a plate for covering the end of a pipe while a flange joint is a connection of two pipes where they are bolted together. Ferrostaal Piping Supply is a leading provider of pipe flanges within the ASME range.  

High Frequency Induction (HFI)

HFI is used to make pipes from strip which are fed into rolls which form the strip into a cylindrical shape. The edges are brought together between squeeze rolls to produce a V at the point of welding. The angle is typically 2-5°. A high frequency coil introduces a current into the pipe which is concentrated in the V. A narrow zone is heated to welding temperature and the squeeze rolls consolidate the weld by expelling any metal and contaminants. 


The International Standards Organization is an international standard-setting non-governmental organization composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. The organization promotes worldwide proprietary industrial standards. The ISO is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards and therefore facilitates global trade. Nearly 20.000 international standards have been set by the ISO.

Line pipes

A line pipe can be welded or seamless and is typically used to convey gas, oil, or water. It is often the main kind of pipelines used to transport fluids over long distances.

Mechanical structural pipes

Mechanical structural pipes often find application in construction and steel structural work. They are a type of steel construction pipe that meets certain standards of chemical composition and mechanical properties. A common type of structural pipe is seamless steel pipe. 

Miscellaneous piping supply

The Ferrostaal Piping Supply product portfolio contains all essential pipe accessories such as bolts and nuts, gaskets, headers-collectors, welding electrodes, pig launchers and receivers, intelligent piping systems and many more. All of them will be made exactly according to the customers’ specifications.


Nickel is often used as part of alloys such as stainless steel and is the centrepiece of many alloys with other materials such as manganese, chromium, copper or iron (see also: Nickel Alloy). It is relatively corrosion resistant and ductile. 

Nickel Alloy

All compositions of metals that contain over 50% nickel are called nickel alloys. Nickel alloys are one of the most popular contemporary alloys which are especially preferred because of their high resistance to heat, corrosion, pressure and warping. They are used in multiple industries with a focus on engines, generators and the petrochemical industry.


Well screens are used for sand filtration in oil, gas and water wells. Other purposes include the food and drink industry, the pulp and paper industry, water purification and the treatment of liquids as well as petrochemical processes and refineries. 

Seamless pipes (SMLS)

The Seamless pipe manufacturing process (SMLS) begins by transforming raw materials into steel bars. They are formed into a solid round shape that is heated and pushed or pulled over a piercing rod which transforms the steel bar into a hollow tube. Seamless pipes are normalized due to the heating process and have a consistent steel pattern throughout its range. Because the manufacturing process does not include welding seamless pipes are perceived to have a higher corrosion resistance and to withstand higher operating pressure and mechanical stress. They are often more cost-effective than welded pipes because they are more durable.

Stainless steel pipes

Stainless steel does not corrode, rust or stain as fast as ordinary steel does. However, it is not completely stain-proof in bad circumstances. Stainless steel is available in multiple alloys to create a material that fits perfectly for the environmental necessities. It is used whenever the properties of steel and corrosion resistance are required.


Steels are alloys of iron and other elements like carbon, chromium or nickel. Steel is used mainly because of its high tensile strengths and low production costs. It is significantly stronger than iron but is less ductile in comparison. Modern steel is identified by different grades that are defined by standards organizations.


A superalloy is an alloy with better mechanical strength, thermal resistance, surface stability and corrosion resistance. Examples for superalloys are Hastelloy, Inconel and Waspaloy. While the corrosion resistance is provided by elements such as aluminium and chromium, the heat resistance is developed through solid solution strengthening. As the properties are significantly better than in other alloys, superalloys are used in especially difficult environments.


Valves regulate the flow of a fluid through a pipeline. They are technically fittings but often referred to as a separate category. Ferrostaal offers a broad selection of valves such as: Gate valves, globe valves, check valves, ball valves, butterfly valves, plug valves and strainers as well as fully assembled and tested actuators.

Welded pipes

Welded pipes consist of multiple pieces of pipes that were welded together. There are multiple welding processes in duty right now, most of which are explained in this glossary. Examples for welding processes are DSAW, EFW, ERW or HFI. Other than welded pipes, seamless steel pipes are manufactured out of one bar of steel. 


The central Ferrostaal warehouse between Rotterdam and Antwerp has over 2.500 piping products in stock. With over 30.000 square meters of space the warehouse enables Ferrostaal Piping Supply to address client’s requirements around the world immediately.