304 stainless steel pipe is made up of the 304 austenitic stainless steel. The pipes are used in different applications. Each application has its own purpose and therefore specific requirements. There are applications that demand precision dimensions. This is because some of the applications are very sensitive. In cases where highly corrosive fluids flow under high pressure, the corrosion risk is high. And these applications cannot tolerate deviations in the internal surface of the pipes. Uneven distribution of wall thickness will result in uneven pressure distribution and uneven thermal expansion when exposed to high heat. Therefore to avoid these situations the 304 stainless steel pipe is monitored for roughness.
When the roughness is above the recommended maximum level, the pipe cannot be used for specific applications. The roughness of the pipe increases the friction inside the pipe. This results in the fluid flow being interrupted. For fluids with less corrosion levels, the roughness can be tolerated to higher levels. But with fluids like chemicals and sea water, the roughness has to be minimal because increased friction will also mean increased corrosion. The 304 stainless steel welded pipes are stronger but the roughness is usually higher than the seamless pipes. When deciding the price of any stainless steel pipe all these factors come into play. For applications that don’t require precision dimension, the roughness is not a major issue. To reduce the roughness, the pipes are produced under cold drawn conditions or machined and polished for different needs.