Natural gas pipeline systems are incredibly complex. In addition to withstanding the changing pressure and flow of vaporized gas, pipelines must be weather resistant and require little maintenance. Regardless of installation, gas pipelines are notoriously difficult to inspect and maintain and thus must be made of the most durable materials available.
Aptus is the leader in bridge-attached natural gas piping. We’ve worked on thousands of pipeline projects across dozens of states; we know which materials and coatings perform best under pressure. Of course, every project presents its own unique set of challenges, but if pressed to name the absolute best conduit material for bridge-attached natural gas pipelines, we would say carbon steel.
When our team of experts performs new on-bridge installs of natural gas pipeline, they typically use schedule 40 carbon steel piping for the job. Schedule 40 piping has an outside diameter of 4.5 inches and a wall thickness of less than 0.25 inches, making it an ideal size for gas transport. We prefer carbon steel to stainless steel because it tends to be lighter and stronger while possessing an extreme hardness; qualities like these are imperative for bridge utilities that must withstand vibration, weather, and even projectiles.
What about corrosion? Corrosion is one of the most serious issues facing many of America’s aging gas lines today which is why Aptus uses carbon steel piping with a factory-applied epoxy coating. The coating, typically a fusion-bonded powder, essentially becomes a hardened outer layer once applied, protecting the underlying pipe from moisture and rust. We prefer factory-applied coatings to ensure each and every millimeter of a pipe has been properly sealed.
Underground natural gas pipelines present a different set of hurdles for technicians. Even on bridge utility projects, certain lengths of a pipeline eventually go underground at the base of the bridge. For underground applications, HDPE is the industry standard material. High density polyethylene is incredibly durable and corrosion-proof; it’s an ideal material for use underground where moisture conditions and temperatures are variable.
Natural gas pipelines attached to bridges are the heart of what we do. At Aptus, safety and longevity are always primary concerns. We’ve built a team of bridge utility experts that travel around the country facilitating inspections, maintenance projects, and full installations…how can we help you?