In the mid-19th century, steel was mass-produced using the Bessemer process and was also produced cheaply. Although steel is widely used in almost every industry today, in many forms and many applications and uses, stainless steel tubing is the most common and widely used. Iron pipes and tubes have been used for more than two centuries, but are prone to rust.
Steel production has increased over the last century and is now used in various forms in various industries. Steel is used as plates of various sizes, shapes, and thicknesses, pellets, pipes, and tubes. Tubes are generally thought of as cylinders or hollow tubes and are typically used to support or transport materials, but can also be used as components in structures.
Pipes are measured by their inside diameter, whereas tubes are usually described by their outside diameter. Steel pipes and tubes have many uses, including domestic and industrial water supply systems to transport water from pumping stations to homes, office buildings, and industrial plants, and as part of indoor and outdoor plumbing.
Natural gas and drinking water are also transported to cities and industrial plants far from their source via large and extensive steel pipes. Some steel pipes are also used to transport chemicals to and from industrial and manufacturing facilities both internally and externally to consumers. Although pipes can also be used to transport sewage, foundry slurries, and even beer in breweries, the most important uses of steel pipes are for transporting drinking water for domestic use, crude and refinery oil, and natural gas.