Since the introduction of steel to make water pipe in the mid-1800s, developments and improvements in the steel-making process, welding technology, and pipe forming equipment enable steel pipe to proudly point to a record of performance that spans more than 150 years.

Consistent Strength

Steel pipe is inherently strong and fully elastic, unlike pipe made of lower strength, viscoelastic materials where strength is time- and temperature-dependent. This consistent material strength assures steel is capable of maintaining high internal and other service pressures over full design life.

Steel Pipe Manufacturing

Today’s steel-making processes consistently provide excellent control of mechanical and chemical properties, as well as precision dimensional control. These controls assure end users that steel pipe manufactured by a Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI/SPFA) quality-certified member, it will be of the highest quality available.

Design and Manufacturing Flexibility

The manufacture of steel water pipe also builds on steel’s flexibility. Steel pipe is routinely manufactured to standard lengths that accommodate the demands of the project site and contractor equipment limitations or innovations. Fitting configurations are limited only by the imagination of the designer.

Due to the ease with which steel pipe can be cut, formed, and welded into various configurations during production, steel pipe accommodates challenging installation situations that require field flexibility and adaptability.

Durability and Long Life

Whether installed by direct-bury or above ground on supports, steel pipe can be coated and lined with innovative products to address external or internal corrosion concerns. The variety of quality coatings and linings offered by STI/SPFA manufacturers ensures that steel water pipe provides unmatched durability for large diameter pipe.

Further, the application of appropriate cathodic protection extends the life of steel pipelines indefinitely, a principle that cannot be applied to non-ferrous pipes.


Finally, steel is sustainable, an important consideration as we look to the future. Steel is the world’s most recycled material, with 80 million tons recycled annually in the United States alone.

Choose Steel Water Pipe

  • Strong – Easily designed to withstand high internal and other service pressures.
  • Flexible – Value-added design and manufacturing flexibility. Virtually any thickness, joint length, and fitting configuration allows uniquely difficult alignments and in-field modifications.
  • Durable – 150-year history, long life expectancy, indefinite serviceability.
  • Sustainable – Steel is the world’s most recycled material, with 80 million tons recycled annually in the United States alone.

Resource Type

  • Guidance


  • Steel Water Pipe