From massive load-bearing line pipes to high-strength piling piles, steel pipes are used for various purposes, and their usage is particularly pronounced in the petrochemical industry. 

Among these, ASTM A 53 pipes are somewhat of an exception as they are used for more common applications. Instead of applications in petrochemical plants to carry refined oils, they are primarily found in plumbing, water, or steam systems. Since ASTM A 53 pipes can be easily shaped/ bent/coiled, it is a suitable product for these applications.

These pipes are suitable for traditional mechanical work and have pressure applications. ASTM A 53 pipes can be welded or be used in projects requiring bending, coiling, and flanging steel.

Galvanized pipes. Source: Shutterstock

Advantages of Galvanized Pipes

One of the pipes covered by specification ASTM A 53 is the galvanized steel pipe. Treated with a thick zinc coating, these tubes are well suited for carrying normal, moisture-containing liquids like water. Galvanized pipes are a plumbing mainstay as their zinc coating prevents the pipe from being eroded. 

These pipes are used in water supply lines repair or on a larger scale in commercial water distribution. The coating also ensures that these pipes last longer as they can resist corrosion caused by water better than non-galvanized pipes.

Pipes under ASTM A 53 specification are thoroughly coated with zinc. Both the pipe interior and exterior are covered with this substance via a hot dipping process. The zinc used for this coating has to abide by the standards specification B6. This coating must not weigh less than 1.8 oz per square foot.

ASTM A53 - For Galvanized Welded and Seamless Pipes 

This specification cover seamless/welded/galvanized pipes between Nominal Pipe Size ⅛ to NPS 26. It supports Schedules 10 to 160 and STD, XH, and XXH.

ASTM A53 covers a variety of pipes, including welded, seamless, zinc-coated, and hot dipped. The variety is best expressed in the three principal pipe types found under this specification

  • Type S covers Grade A and Grade B seamless steel pipes.
  • Type E- Refers to electric resistance welded Grade A and B steel pipes.
  • Type F- These are continuously welded steel pipes that are furnace but welded.

Garde A steel of Type S and Type E are intended for cold bending or close coiling, while Type F is not meant for flanging. Type E steel under ASTM A 53 specs are either non-expanded or cold expanded depending on the client's demand.

Characteristic Features of ASTM A 53 Pipes

  • NPS ⅛ inches to 26 inches is the average diameter for ASTM A 53 pipes.
  • This specification covers Schedules 10 to 160 and others, including XH, XXH, and STD.
  • The specifications include seamless, welded, black, and hot-dipped galvanized nominal wall puppies in ASTM A 53.
  • ASME SA53 is the ASME counterpart of ASTM A 53 pipes, also called SA53 pipes.
  • A permissible variation of +/- 10% is allowed in weights per foot.
  • It is necessary to heat the seams of Grade B electric resistance welded pipes to at least 1000 Degrees Fahrenheit after welding. This process helps get rid of the untempered martensite in the steel.
  • The ASTM A 53 pipes manufacturing process includes an open hearth, basic oxygen, and an electric furnace.
  • According to ASTM A 53 Garde B standards, the welded edges of electric resistance welded pipes are to be heat treated after fusing.
  • This specification covers three main pipe types, seamless, electric resistance welded, and furnace welded, expressed as Type S, Type E, and Type F.
  • Double extra strong pipes with NPS over one do not have to undergo the bending test.
  • Pipes with NPS 2 and over with extra strong and lighter thicknesses are subject to the flattening test (for NPS 2 pipes with larger XM and lighter walls).

Chemical Properties of ASTM A 53 Pipes

 Element  SeamlessGrade A SeamlessGrade B Type EERW Grade A Type EERW Grade B Type FGrade A
 Vanadium (Max %) 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08
 Molybdenum (Max %) 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15
 Chromium (Max %) 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.4
 Nickel (Max %) 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.4
 Copper (Max %) 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.4
 Sulfur (Max %) 0.045 0.045 0.045 0.045 0.045
 Phosphorous (Max %) 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
 Manganese (Max %) 0.95 1.2 0.95 1.2 1.2
 Carbon (Max %) 0.25 0.30 0.25 0.30 0.3
  • NOTE: These elements should not make up more than 1% of the steel composition.

Tensile Properties of ASTM A 53 Pipes

    Tensile Strength (Minimum) Yield Strength  (Minimum)
  Seamless/ERW Pipes  Grade A 48,000 psi 30,000 psi
 Grade B 60,000 psi 35,000 psi
Continuous Welded Pipes  45,000 psi 25,000 psi

Length Specifications of ASTM A 53 Pipes

  • On orders of extra strong or lighter double random length pipes, the minimum length should be 22 feet, with a minimum average for the demand being 35 feet.
  • Random lengths of 12 feet to 22 feet are preferred for extra strong or heavier pipes. However, a concession is available as 5% of these pipes are allowed to be in lengths of 6 feet to 12 feet.
  • The proportions for orders requiring extra strong wall thickness lengths longer than single random is customizable and based on client feedback.
  • Single random lengths of 16 to 22 feet are the go-to proportions for pipe lengths lighter than extra strong. Out of these, a maximum of 5% are allowed to be composed of two pieces coupled together.
  • For plain-ended pipe orders, 5% can have lengths varying from 12 feet to 16 feet.

Permissible Variations in ASTM A 53 Pipe Production

  • Outside Diameter: A 1/64 inch over and under the specified limit is authorized for smaller NPS 1 ½ and smaller pipes. The variation limit for NPS 2 and more is 1% of the specification.
  • Wall Thickness: A 12.5% variation under the specified amount is allowed for the wall thickness of ASTM A 53 pipes.