The United States has an expansive pipeline network that transports and distributes various fluids and raw materials.
With an estimated 2.6 million miles of systems stretching over the nation, pipelines are a standard tool in many industries. But how important are these networks; how does their function impact industries across the nation, and do they require maintenance?
In this article, you’ll discover the importance of pipeline infrastructure and maintenance to gain a deeper understanding of distribution lines.
Why are pipelines necessary?
At first glance, many people don’t realize the amount of oil and natural gas they use in their day-to-day routine. Between ovens, stoves, clothes dryers, and other heating systems, there are plenty of household appliances that rely on gas as a power source. Also, pipelines are responsible for transporting oil and gas to industrial machinery that manufactures goods.
Furthermore, pipeline infrastructure may help provide economic growth for many communities across the nation. For example, existing networks require experts to help maintain functionality while other roles involve designing and creating new pipelines.
What industries rely on pipe systems?
There are plenty of industries that utilize pipeline infrastructure as part of their operations and services. This list includes but is not limited to the following markets:
- Solar power
- Oil and gas
- Power generation
What does pipeline maintenance entail?
Pipeline maintenance can include inspecting, reviewing, repairing, and cleaning systems to ensure they operate smoothly and efficiently. Each pipeline’s unique maintenance schedule depends on the materials used during its creation and its location.
One of the most significant threats pipeline networks can experience is corrosion. Caused by a number of elements like water or chemicals, corrosion is detrimental to a pipe’s integrity and supporting components.
Experts should remember to inspect expansion joints and bellows when servicing a pipeline. You can prevent expansion joint corrosion by using coatings and other forms of protection.
Why is maintenance important?
While maintenance is crucial to a pipe system’s operation, regularly upkeeping pipeline infrastructure can help prevent service disruptions. From temporary pauses to total shutdowns, a pipe system experiencing a service disruption can inconvenience everyone involved.
Regular maintenance can mitigate the risk of explosions caused by the transportation of flammable materials. Lastly, servicing a pipeline can curb the development of long-term operation concerns.
While the importance of pipeline infrastructure is imperative to a country’s function, its maintenance is just as crucial to ensuring the system efficiently transports material.