The pipe and piles market is a booming industry, with a compound annual growth rate of 2.2% since 2021. It is projected to reach a net worth of $52,600 million by 2028. With major industry players occupying much of this market share, this growth is expected to be long-term and sustainable. 

Oil and gas and construction are among this industry's main drivers, as increasing fuel demands, and rapid urbanization push these consumer markets forward. Knowing what makes the pipe and pile such an attractive market is essential considering such developments.

Oil and gas, as well as the construction businesses, favor this method over more conventional concrete-based building modes. Any work that involves stabilizing foundations can benefit from pipe piling.

Introduction To Steel Pipe Piles

Pipe piles help strengthen the foundation of construction, but for this equipment to be most effective, the place and right angle are crucial. To avail such precision, the service of a geotechnical engineer is necessary.

They will study the area to find the perfect spot to drive the pipe pile into the ground. The insertion process is simple enough; pre-made, ultra-durable steel pipes get driven into the ground at specific angles upon finding the preferred spot.

High-impact machines are needed to hammer them into the ground since the pile must get fully inserted to serve its purpose. 

Pipe Pile Durability

Since the pipes used in piles are made from high-grade, durable steel, they can weather these blows without affecting their build. 

Steel Pipe Piles Properties Having a high bending strength and showing considerable resistance to horizontal forces helps keep your structures safe during earthquakes.Also, a high vertical bearing capacity and ease of use are not present in concrete piles.

Other Advantages of Steel Pipe Piles 

  1. These piles can withstand more force and pressure while also producing less waste. 
  2. Since they are hammered directly onto the ground by specialized machines, there is no need to dig up the earth beforehand to facilitate the insertion. 
  3. Less earth gets removed in this process, and it is possible to integrate these piles into existing upper structures by adding well-placed rods.

Depending on your requirements, there are two main types of piling- open-ended or closed-ended/plugged piling. The former uses a steel pipe that is uncovered at both ends. 

This type of piling gets typically used on loose ground that offers minimal support to help compress the area. Open-ended pipe piles have no driving caps on either side.

In contrast, plugged and closed-ended pipe piles have a welded bottom steel or a cast iron shoe as their driving point. They usually get used on rocky ground with minimal soil content. 

Since there is no open path for the earth to pass through, it is forced to sit tighter against the rocks and the pile itself. This friction also helps keep the pile in place, stabilizing it.

Type of Piling Driving Point Compatible Soil Type Advantages
Open-ended No driving point Loose soilImproves soil compression
Closed/Plug-ended Yes/Or an iron shoe Rocky ground Stabilizes ground with less soil

Applications Of Steel Pipe Piles

Steel pipe piles can drill into the ground without vibrations and adjoining areas' disturbance. This trait makes them well suited for seafloor oil and gas extractions because the seabed is often covered with soft and covers with sand. 

Applications of Steel Pipes Aside from strengthening existing structures, pipe piles get used in oilfield foundations, bridge/flyover constructions, dockyard buildings, and more.
 These qualities make it difficult to employ conventional drilling methods because the seabed tends to be easily disturbed, causing problems with visibility. 
Why Steel Pipes are a Good Idea? Steel pipes, which can be driven into the ground with minimum environmental agitation, are an obvious solution. 

Ease Of Customization

However, water depth and even the distance of the oilfields can sometimes demand certain alterations in these products. 

Many oil wells and gas reserves, particularly off-shore ones, are difficult to access with the average length piles and therefore need some alterations to add to their length. In such cases, joining two pipe piles together by welding is not uncommon in the oil and gas industry. 

  • When using pipe piles in construction, the industry average for pipe thickness and diameters are 250-1500 mm and 8 to 25 mm, respectively. 
  • However, customizations on steel pipe piles are easily available and common market practice. 
  • In addition to alterations in thickness, length, and diameter, coating treatments of zinc, FBE, and 3PE are also available on request. 

Galvanizing steel piles make them less susceptible to corrosion and last longer. 

For these customizations, only the following specifications need to be provided.

  • Seamless/welded
  • Grade
  • Size- including length, thickness, diameter
  • Open-ended/closed-ended
  • Pipe Pile material
  • Coating instructions

Industry Specifications

However, for most standard construction jobs, ASTM A252 pipes of Grades 1 and 2, 3 should work just fine. Among these ASTM Grade-3, pipe piles are the preferred variety because it has a tensile strength of 60,000 psi and yield strength of 45,000 psi.

Tensile Measurements

Grade Yield Point Min. Elongation at 2° Tensile Strength Min. Elongation at 8° 
1 30000 psi 30% 50000 psi18%
235000 psi25%60000 psi14%
345000 psi20%66000 psi..


ASTM A252 is known to come in seamless or welded variants, and each type has its specific benefits. For example, seamless pipes are the strongest piling, as they get made from steel billets. 

These billets are heated and perforated during manufacturing, creating pipes with no welded edges. This quality makes them stronger than the average LSAW and SSAW pipes because the absence of welding makes them less prone to corrosion and rusting. 

Seamless pipes use costly materials and undergo an intense heating process, making them expensive to manufacture. This cost is reflected in the final price, with these products being 20 to 30% more expensive than welded pipes. 

In comparison, welded variants like ERW, LSAW, DSAW, and SSAW are more pocket-friendly yet more likely to corrode than seamless piles.

Pipe Type  Manufacturing Method        Advantages     Disadvantages
Seamless Heating/ hollowing steel billets Less prone to corrosion Expensive product
ERW Electrically welding steel coils together Cost-effective alternative Not as strong as seamless pipes
LSAW/SSAW Welding/bending steel platesSuited for pipelines More corrosion-prone