Pipeline systems are a series of pipes and tubes that transport materials over long distances. They are typically used to transport liquids and gases from manufacturing locations to customers in a way that is very cost effective over time. Pipeline systems are responsible for delivering water, natural gas, and a variety of the most important resources to customers across the country.
What Are the Parts of a Pipeline?
The parts of a pipeline vary depending on what is being transported (i.e. gas or liquid) but usually consists of three main parts. Those parts are the pipe, pipe supports, and valves. The pipe does the job of transporting materials from one place to another and encloses the material from outside contaminants. The pipe support keeps the pipe in place, reduces strain on the pipe, and keeps it from bending, flexing, or breaking. Lastly, the valves form entry and exit points at which material can be put into or taken out of the pipeline. Valves are also used periodically along a pipeline to create a point at which materials can be tested or sampled.
What Other Tools and Materials Are Needed in These Systems?
There are a wide variety of parts and pieces that go into the care and maintenance of a pipeline and its systems. These depend on the needs of the company who uses it. Some common items available from pipeline product suppliers might be enclosures to protect valves and entry points, lids, lid lifters (for heavy lids like manhole covers,) and other pipe carts for safely sliding underneath pipes for maintenance. Many companies will also supply a wide variety of tools like specialty wrenches and ready-made parts to replace valves, junctions, and other access points.
The Importance of Pipelines
Pipelines serve millions of people across the United States. The majority of freshwater, wastewater, and fuel is transported by pipeline. That makes understanding pipelines and their maintenance both useful and fascinating.