Wheatland Tube Color

The difference between SureThread CW Pipe & Import ERW Pipe

When it comes to standard pipe (and really any steel pipe or tube product), there’s always a question of quality when comparing domestic and import products. At Wheatland Tube, we’re committed to manufacturing the highest quality products, including our SureThreadTM continuous weld (CW) standard pipe. That’s why we’ve set out to educate pipe consumers (distributors and contractors) about the differences between our CW pipe and import ERW pipe, specifically when referring to the smaller diameters of ½” to 2”.

Made to ASTM A53 Type F Grade A specifications, SureThreadTM CW pipe is easier to work with than import ERW pipe because of its uniform grain structure. This makes it easier to bend, cut and thread.

The difference in quality all begins with how the pipe is manufactured.

Where import ERW pipe is cold-formed, SureThread is hot-formed. Throughout the process of CW pipe formation, the entire steel pipe is heated, not just the edges as in ERW pipe. During a process called annealing, the manufacturers heat and slowly cool the steel to reduce its brittleness. When the steel reaches 2,450° F, it is rolled into a cylindrical shape and the edges are fused together through pressure and heat. During the ERW process, the edges of the steel are heated to 2,600° F by revolving copper discs (that serve as electrodes) and fused together.

For SureThreadTM, the result is a stronger, more ductile pipe with a smooth weld seam and uniform grain pattern throughout the entire pipe. Import ERW pipe, on the other hand, is harder and more brittle with: irregular grain patterns, a bump at the weld seam, and a weld seam with different metal properties that the rest of the pipe.For contractors using standard pipe, the difference really is in the quality of pipe used. According to a survey, 70% prefer working with SureThread over import ERW pipe.

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Wheatland Tube Plant Revitalization Will Prove Beneficial For Customers

Wheatland Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, recognizes the issues contractors face day in and day out. As manufacturers, we experience many of the same pain points as it relates to labor, costs, quality and service. Recently, we launched a revitalization program for our Council Avenue plant in Wheatland, Pennsylvania.

By adding new equipment, we are realigning our manufacturing footprint and automating many processes throughout the facility. 100 percent invested in this project, our goal is to ensure that we continue to deliver our customers the highest quality products, specifically a product that bends, cuts, and threads easier with our SureThread™ continuous weld (CW) standard steel pipe.

This investment will create a safer, cleaner workplace; eliminate production bottlenecks; reduce work-in-process inventory levels; optimize production efficiencies; and improve customer service in the most cost-effective manner.

How will this revitalization benefit our customers?


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Support Made In The USA Products: A Case Against Import Steel

Over the past several months, we’ve continued to see the number of import steel products rise – despite efforts to stop the dumping of inferior import products into the U.S.

In March alone, steel imports accounted for 34 percent of the U.S. steel market, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Compared to 2014, year-to-date steel imports have increased for total and finished products, up 20 percent and 35 percent respectively. The most notable culprits of importing steel into the U.S. during the first three months of 2015 include South Korea, Turkey, China, Japan and Taiwan. And while the non-enforcement of current trade laws continue to allow this to happen, steel manufacturers all over the country are being forced to shut and/or slow down operations and lay off workers.

And while we’re fighting to keep inferior quality and price-slashed imports out of the U.S., legislation is on the brink of being passed to undermine manufacturers and their workers. While that’s a story for another day (you can also read about it here and here), let’s focus on the “inferior quality” part of the growing import issue.

Better yet, let’s let a short video do the talking. Here’s a video that demonstrates the differences between import ERW pipe and our SureThread continuous weld A53 pipe – a Made in the USA product – as told by a Chicago piping professional:

When it comes down to it, steel that’s manufactured and produced in the U.S. is not only higher quality, but in purchasing and using domestic steel, you’re supporting American businesses, workers and communities.

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