New Steel Pipe Vs. Cast-Iron Pipe: Pros And Cons To Using Each In A Factory Setting

Posted on: 19 November 2019


Cast-iron pipe was once the industry standard in factories. Not much could eat through or leak through cast iron. Now, new steel pipe is replacing cast iron in newer factories. It begs the question, "What has changed?" Well, for one, the production of steel has changed this metal in ways that make it stronger and more durable. Whether you have an older factory or your company is planning on building an entirely new factory, you might be wondering whether you should keep using cast-iron pipe or opt for the steel pipe. Here are pros and cons of each to help you decide. 

Cast Iron


Cast iron literally lasts for decades. There are homes and factories with cast-iron pipes that were installed over sixty or seventy years ago, and the cast-iron pipes are still going strong. Property owners with cast-iron pipes find that they have very little to worry about and that they rarely, if ever, have to make repairs to the cast-iron pipes. 


It is iron, after all. This means that even though the pipes will last a long time, they will rust from the inside out. A buildup of rust sludge from the sloughing off of the interior walls of the cast-iron pipe may create flow problems. The cast-iron flakes may also contaminate anything your plant makes from whatever water or chemicals that flow through these pipes. 

Steel Pipe


More modern processes in the production of steel have made it resistant to more corrosive chemicals. Coatings applied inside and out to the steel protect it for much longer than older steel was known to handle. It may last a decade or two before you need to be concerned about replacing it. Steel pipe will not develop any sort of internal flaking that causes a sludge or creates impurities in what your factory does. Steel pipes may also be far easier to acquire than cast-iron pipe since steel factories are more common. 


In spite of protective coatings, steel pipe may not last as long as cast-iron pipe. It may leak sooner, although that is more often than not attributed to the joints and connecting pieces than to the actual pipes themselves. Various thicknesses of steel pipe may be needed to fully plumb your factory versus the standard thickness of most cast-iron pipe under the same circumstances. 

For more information, reach out to a company such as Hillenburg  Pipe & Supply.