Pipe Manufacturing

           

In 1961, thanks to an agreement with U.S. Steel, Corporación Aceros de Guatemala opens its first industrial production line for pipes in different shapes (square, round, rectangular) and with a wide range of thicknesses, including duct pipe.

In 1987, the corporation purchased the plant of Industria de Tubos y Perfiles, S.A. (Intupersa), a company dedicated to the manufacture of metal pipes and metal sections. To improve production, it acquires two US -- Yoder and American-- brand lines for industrial pipe manufacturing.

A German Mas30 industrial and structural pipe production line is acquired in 2013, to broaden its installed capacity and satisfy the needs of the market.  

The raw material used to manufacture electric (duct) pipes and industrial (square, rectangular and round) pipes consists of SPHT1 grade, cold rolled steel sheets, complying with the JIS G3141 standard.            

The raw material used to manufacture structural pipes (banana pipes and galvanized fence pipes, square pipes, black exhaust pipes and mechanical pipes) consists of SAE 1008 grade hot-rolled steel sheets.

The process to produce any type of pipes begins in a cutting machine, where the sheets pass through blades that cut them in strips, their width depending on the product to be manufactured. The strips then pass through a coil winding machine to make new thinner steel sheets.

The ends of these new sheet rolls are joined to make a single strip that is placed in a collector, so that the strip subsequently passes through the shaping towers. In these towers, the strip is rounded with several rollers until it finally acquires the shape of a pipe.

The pipes then pass on to an Electric Resistance Welding (ERW) machine to weld and join the edge of the sheet. Once welded, the pipes proceed to the correction block where, with the use of rollers, they are provided with the precise exterior diameter and are fully rounded.  

Lastly, the pipes pass through the cutting machine, where they are given the required length, generally six meters, except for duct pipe, which measures 3 m and banana pipe, which measures 6 m or 6.70m.                    

In the following step, the pipes proceed to the dumping table, where they are prepared for packaging. This consists in placing a strap and seal that enables the pipe to remain strapped in a bundle. The amount of pipes per bundle varies according to its diameter. Once the bundles are prepared, they are taken to the finished product warehouse.

Galvanization Process

After they are cut, the fence pipe and banana pipe are submitted to a hot-dip galvanizing process, which consists in passing the pipe through a series of caustic soda, acid and flux preparation tanks. They are then moved with a crane to the galvanizing furnace in which they are introduced for zinc-bonding. The furnace temperature must be 840°F since this is the precise temperature for galvanization.

When they leave the furnace, the pipes are blown with compressed air to provide a better exterior finish, and with vapor in their interior, so as to eliminate any zinc excess. They then pass through the threading machines, where their ends are threaded and are, finally, sent to the finished product warehouse.

In August 2015 we began using new products in the galvanizing process, for both degreasing and pickling. In terms of degreasing, they allowed us to eliminate alkaline mediums and replace them with acid mediums; in terms of pickling, we were able to replace sulfuric acid with hydrochloric acid and in this way improve zinc consumption and performance, thus lowering operating costs.