Pipelines are an essential part of many spheres of industry. People traditionally associate pipelines with water distribution and sewage, but in reality, pipelines are widely used in gas industry, petrochemical industry, and even some less obvious ones like food industry. Everyone knows what a pipeline looks like, roughly. But did you know there are many ways that the pipes can be connected to each other and that those different ways can largely affect the stability and endurance of said pipeline? Welding and bending are two of the most commonly used techniques, from which welding seems to be an easier and better choice for pipelines on a larger scale. What does a pipeline welder actually do and how does his day to day job actually look like?
Pipeline welding – characteristics
Pipeline welding is generally the process of building pipeline systems for industrial purposes by heating up a filler material that will join two ends of pipes together, creating a pipeline. The description is obviously majorly simplified, as getting into specifics of how the welding is actually done would require listing details on all the different welding techniques that vary across the industry and depend on the purpose the pipeline would be used for.
Depending on the industry, pipeline welders perform their job in a variety of work environments. Some welders work inside, preparing smaller portions of a welded pipeline, but most of them work outdoors, regardless of the weather. Pipes have to be repaired both in summer and winter, which gives us one of the major characteristics of pipeline welding – it can be done everywhere and anywhere. Some pipeline welders work under water! Pipeline welding generates heat and sparks, which means that the job itself is risky and requires proper protection of safety equipment such as masks, gloves etc.
Pipeline welding across industries
As mentioned before, pipeline welding is used to some scale in a variety of industries including petrochemicals, gas, water, sewage, paint, oils, chemical substances and even food. Most pipeline welders find employment in the heavier side of the industry, working on construction sites, doing maintenance for city pipelines and saving companies millions of dollars by repairing pipes before they burst. Some welded pipelines go outside their typical use though – there is a rising number of demand for pipelines in companies that produce beer and milk. Guess pipelines are multipurpose, which means that welders must be so too.