What is the difference between metallic and nonmetallic pipes and their benefits

Posted by raci on December 28th, 2021

Both, gas as well as an oil pipeline in India, are transported through pipelines. They are the main component of the entire infrastructure. 

In earlier days, when oil was the only fuel, whiskey barrels were used to store oil. Then horses were used to transport these barrels from wells to railway stations. Then later people started using wood and metal pipelines. As the technology evolved, pipeline installation started happening with cast iron pipelines. The same was later replaced by steel. 


In the present scenario, the pipeline can be made from a metallic substance or a non-metallic substance. 


Non-Metallic can be classified as composite, rubber, glass, and concrete. 



Neither oil nor gas pipeline in India are constructed using composite pipelines. These are mainly used for water supply or as drainage pipelines.  The non-metallic composite pipelines though are anti-corrosive but even adding link seals at the ends the bearing pressure is limited. 



Plastic pipelines are corrosive-resistant and that’s what made them a popular choice with oil and gas pipeline companies. In low pressure or medium pressure environments, they are strong enough to replace steel pipelines. Even in the case of the main pipeline made from concrete, the link seal is made of plastic. 


Metallic pipelines can be classified as steel, stainless steel, copper, and cast iron. 


Cast Iron:

When the underground pipelines started, the pipeline installation companies started using cast iron because of easy installation. Their bending function became their biggest disadvantage as they are easy to deform. 



Steel pipelines are suitable for river crossings and rough terrain. However, their disadvantage is corrosion. Most of the pipelines are now running underground. In case of a leak; identifying a leak and then making an underground pipeline leak repair both become challenging tasks.


Stainless steel:

The best alternative for steel is stainless steel. It is corrosion-resistance and easy to install. In addition, it is vibration-proof and high-pressure-resistant.


The choice of material depends on many elements like geographical and environmental conditions. Also, the temperature and pressure should be kept in mind. In case these pipelines are transporting oil, gas, or any other fuel; sustainability becomes an add-on point to consider. RACI has been a leader in offering solutions for pipeline construction with their versatile casing insulator technology and their end seal simple solution for sealing existing pipes and constructing new ones. Choosing the right company can make this task much easier.

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Joined: May 13th, 2021
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