With winterfast approaching, consumers are being warned of the risks of frozen pipes;however, there are times when freezing steel pipes can be a useful practice incommercial applications.

Unlike manyother materials, steel pipes and tubes can withstand cooling to a very lowtemperature, using liquid nitrogen to solidify their contents.

This createsa solid plug, blocking the flow of the contents so that maintenance work can becarried out on the neighbouring section without the need to totally drain thesystem.

But whilethis is beneficial, it is important to ensure the pipes used are able towithstand extremes of cold, before exposing them to liquid nitrogen or otherrapid cooling methods.

For moststeel pipes and tubes, this should not be a problem; for some other materials,particularly including plastic, the low temperatures could cause them to becomebrittle and fragile.

With theright materials and methods, however, pipe freezing can be a valuable additionto the maintenance methods used in many workplaces.

And withsteel pipes that are resistant to extremes of temperature, the winter monthsshould not pose a problem in terms of breakages and leaks either.