The boiler is a system in which you can boil water to create steam and transfer the steam to a different location using tubes and pipes. Manufacturers produce high-pressure boiler systems using materials such as stainless steel or carbon steel seamless tubes. In some applications, manufacturers may rely on external hot gases that heat the water inside the boiler tubes.
If you use a furnace, you must burn fuel to heat water or any other liquid. The hot fluid produces gas that you can pass through the boiler pipes in the form of steam.
Even though pipe fabricators use different materials, we will focus on carbon steel tubes for boiler systems in this article.
Carbon steel is an alloy with a higher percentage of carbon. However, you can choose the types of carbon steel you need based on your requirements. For example, you can choose low-carbon steel or high-carbon steel tubes.
Carbon steel is known for its moderate corrosion resistance. The strength of this type of steel tube can reach up to 1000° F. However, boiler tube manufacturers must remember that exposing carbon steel to high temperatures can lead to graphitization. Graphitization occurs when you expose the carbon steel pipes to over 800° F. However, you should not be worried about graphitization in carbon steel pipes because you need thick pipes for boiler systems. Thicker pipes do not face the problem of graphitization. To be on the safer side, you should not go beyond 800° F.
Overview of carbon steel:
There are different steel grades of carbon steel. Each grade has different percentages of carbon, which determines the quality of carbon steel. Carbon steel also contains manganese, silicon, sulfur, chromium, aluminum, molybdenum, etc. These alloying agents can also affect the quality of the metal alloy. Sometimes manufacturers may need to deal with impurities like phosphorus, sulfur, etc. Depending on the quality of the carbon steel, pipe fabricators may or may not get rid of these impurities. However, these impurities do not compromise the product quality.
Carbon steel seamless tubes for boilers:
The basic work function of the boiler starts when you burn fuel to heat the fluids. So, you need to either use liquid fuel such as oil and petroleum or wood and flammable gas to heat the fluids. In most cases, you can heat water to produce steam.
You can control the amount of pressure you need to create. Once the water or fluid starts to heat, it produces steam that you can transfer through the boiler tubes. Boiler tubes are not ideal for extremely high-pressure applications. You need to use steam turbines for that.
If you intend to use the boiler systems in the atomic power generation plant, you should use high-carbon boiler tube material. You can use high-carbon tubes in atomic reactors because the reactors produce electricity along with heat. Carbon is not a good conductor of electricity, which is why it is safe to use.
When using carbon boiler tubes, you must ensure the heat never reaches boiling. You do not want the water to boil. You should maintain a certain temperature at which water starts producing steam without boiling.
Pipe providers produce boiler tubes in different shapes and sizes so that you can use them in different industries. For example, depending on the characteristics of the fuel you use, manufacturers can change the size of the carbon steel pipes. Therefore, you may choose a boiler system for heating water. On the contrary, you can also invest in a specific boiler system that boiler tube manufacturers built to transport steam. However, you must keep in mind that these boiler systems are not interchangeable.
No matter which purpose you use the boiler system for, you must ensure that the pipes and tubes are corrosion-resistant. You can choose between the two boiler systems types- water-tube and fire-tube boiler systems.
Fire-tube and water-tube boilers:
Fire-tube boilers are easy to set up and maintain. Hence, it is most common in steam trains. Manufacturers mount straight tubes inside the boiler. The boiler has an outer shell that the pipe fabricators fill using water. Water allows manufacturers to pass the tubes through flammable gases without damaging these tubes. You can split fire-tube boilers into three classes.
Manufacturers use steel-grade ASME SA179 with 0.25% carbon content as boiler tube material for producing fire-tube boilers. They use low-carbon steel because it is cost-effective. However, low-carbon content does not affect the corrosion resistance of the tubes.
On the other hand, water-tube boilers are more common in factories and vessels, such as ships and boats. It is because water-tube boilers not only produce but also carry steam, which is necessary for maintaining sanitation inside the vessels. Also, the steam water-tube boilers produce help with the heating or insulation inside the vessel.
Water-tube boilers can handle more pressure and heat in comparison with fire-tube boilers. Hence, most industries prefer using water-tube boilers in their applications. You can use a furnace with hot gases to heat the water that passes through the water-tube boilers.
You can use boilers made of carbon steel seamless tubes for safety valves. The tubes help relieve pressure, which ensures that the boiler does not explode. Boilers, no matter which types you choose, have 2 to 3 pressure trolls. The trolls allow you to start and stop the burners. You will also see a manual pressure trolley that you can use for safety purposes.
The following industries use boilers the most:
- Food processing sector
- FMCG industry
- Sugar plants
- Plywood industry
- Thermal power industry
Manufacturers produce two types of boiler systems using different materials. Stainless and carbon steel are the two most common choices for most pipe fabricators. While stainless steel can be expensive, most industries choose carbon steel seamless tubes for boilers.
Carbon steel tubes are corrosion-resistant, durable, and even customizable. However, they do not incur as much cost as stainless steel tubes.
You can choose between the two boiler tube types – water-boiler and fire-boiler tubes. Many manufacturers also provide boiler tubes made from low carbon. You can contact a seamless pipe manufacturer near you if you need boiler tubes for your project. A renowned manufacturer can guide you in choosing the right product for your industry.