The pipe bending crew uses a bending machine to make slight bends in the pipe to account for changes in the pipeline route and to conform to the topography.
The bending machine uses a series of clamps and hydraulic pressure to make very smooth, controlled bends in the pipe. All bending is performed in strict accordance with federally prescribed standards to ensure the integrity of pipe is preserved.
Welding joins the various sections of pipe together into one continuous length. Special pipeline equipment called a side boom is used to pick up each pipeline segment and align it with the previous segment. The crew then makes the first part (pass) of the weld. The welding crew follows the pipeline along the route until each segment is welded together. Depending on the wall thickness of the pipe, three or more passes may be required to complete each segment weld.
In recent years contractors have used semi-automatic welding units to complete the welding process. Semi-automatic welding, done to strict specifications, still requires qualified welders and personnel are required to set up the equipment and conduct hand welding at connection points and crossings.
Other steps in the constructions process:
- Clearing and grading
- Pipe bending and Welding
- Depositing the pipeline and Backfilling