Tag Archive: process piping

  1. Choosing the Right Materials and Types of Pipes and Valves

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    Reliable piping and valve systems start with great materials. One of the most important elements of a safe and easily-maintained system is the composition of metals. By selecting the appropriate metal – whether steel, copper, Stainless Steel, PVC, CPVC, and aluminum – fluids within the system stay contained and the system itself works more efficiently. When you are seeking pipe or valve system materials, keep the following considerations and factors in mind.

    Pipe Material Selection

    Pipe exteriors must be able to withstand demanding surrounding conditions, such as high and ambient temperatures, different levels of humidity, and some degree of wear. Due to these conditions, it is essential to consider the type of fluid contained within the system, the internal temperatures, and the internal pressure.

    Type of Fluid

    Corrosive fluids can quickly wear down a steel system. Instead, it may be more advantageous to use resilient metals such as stainless steel or CPVC. While carbon steel can handle common non-corrosive fluid loop materials, such as nitrogen or lube oil, opt for corrosion-resistant systems when the fluids include:

    • Acids
    • Ammonia
    • Crude oil
    • H2S
    • Seawater

    Internal Temperature

    Heightened temperatures can create a buildup of energy and pressure within the system, agitating the fluid within. Extreme temperatures also impact the elongation, resistance, and tensile strength of the metal pipes. This applies to both high and low temperature systems involved in refrigeration and cryogenics.

    Internal Pressure

    If pipes must sustain high temperatures or high levels of pressure, they must in turn be thicker to reduce the risk of leaks and damage. Varying levels of pressure can also impact the pipes’ elasticity, fatigue resistance, and overall strength. These characteristics need to remain stable, especially at connection points and valve fittings.

    While certain pipe systems can also be fabricated with nonmetal materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), the most common metal materials are:

    • Cast Iron. It is used in underground systems where variations in pressure and potential pipe blockages have less impactful effect. Many sewer and stormwater systems employ cast iron.
    • Copper. Copper is corrosion-resistant, lighter than steel, and has a relatively simple installation process. However, it comes at a higher cost, so it is usually applied towards domestic and hydronic systems.
    • Carbon Steel. Used in closed hydronic systems because it can handle high temperatures and pressure levels. However, carbon steel is heavy and corrodes easily when not properly treated.
    • Galvanized Steel. This type of steel is covered in a layer of zinc to give it the same advantages of regular steel, but with improved resistance to corrosion. Because of this, it tends to be priced higher than other materials. It is an ideal material for wetting and drying processes.
    • Stainless Steel. There are multiple varieties of stainless steel, each of which possesses steel’s characteristics and strong resistance to corrosion. Stainless steel pipes are usually constructed with 304 SS, which has 18% chromium and 8% nickel added during fabrication.

    While some metals may be more expensive than others, their benefits often end up saving a lot of time and effort down the road, such as reducing downtime, repairs, and replacements caused by corrosion or breakage. Investing in a stronger, more damage-resistant material will set up your piping system for long-term success.

    Valve Material Selection

    As with pipes, choosing proper materials for valves keeps the system in better condition and extends its functional lifespan. Cost is certainly an important consideration when selecting these materials. Most industrial valves are constructed from the options below:

    • 316 Stainless Steel. Similarly to pipes constructed from 304 SS, 316 SS offers superior corrosion resistance. However, it is notably a pricier choice.
    • Brass or Bronze. Brass and bronze are lower-cost and decently corrosion resistant. They are commonly employed as valve materials, which means that they can be easily sourced and replaced when needed.
    • Ductile Iron. It can absorb shock in the system from varying pressure levels. It is also widely available and inexpensive. However, it is more vulnerable to corrosion.
    • Inconel. It is a great choice for withstanding hot, corrosive fluids. Its composition consists of chromium, iron, and sometimes nickel, with chromium having the highest percentage.
    • Monel. This alloy is made from copper and nickel. Like Inconel, it resists corrosion well. Many facilities prefer this material for valve trim cladding.

    Valve Type Selection

    As with pipes, choosing a fitting type of valve is essential to proper functionality and lifespan. There are many different kinds of valves, such as Ball, Butterfly, Check, Gate, Globe, Needle, Pinch, and Plug, each of which has various specs available. Selecting the correct type of valve really does make a big difference in the operation of the system.

    Pipe and Valve Services at Base Construction

    Carefully choosing your pipe or valve system’s materials makes all the difference in the maintenance demands and lifespan of the system. Using higher-quality and corrosion-resistant materials from the outset can reduce maintenance costs, facility downtime, and replacement costs.

    We at Base Construction build on over 20 years of experience in pipe and valve installation and material selection for many kinds of facilities, and we have completed over 1,000 projects since our inception. Contact us today with details of your project, and we will help you choose the best materials for your needs.

  2. What are the Differences Between Process Piping and Plumbing?

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    Process piping systems are an essential part of many industrial facilities. At first glance, process piping and other piping systems, such as plumbing, may appear similar. While there may be several physical similarities, they serve very different functions. They also fall under different state, federal, and international regulations. 

    At Base Construction, our capabilities include design support and construction services for complex process piping systems. This blog post will discuss process piping and how users can distinguish between different piping systems.

    What is Process Piping?

    In industrial operations, process piping controls the movement of a wide variety of fluids and gases. These complex systems typically consist of components such as pipes, manual valves control valves, flow control instruments, pressure control equipment, temperature control instruments, flanges, pipe supports, tubing, bolts, nuts, and gaskets.

    Other components may also be included to facilitate mixing, separating, pressurizing, or other functions. The exact makeup of a process piping system will depend entirely on the application the system serves.

    Process piping is commonly found in many industrial settings, including:

    • Oil and gas refineries
    • Chemical processing
    • Food and beverage
    • Power plants
    • Paper mills
    • Brewing plants
    • COGEN plants
    • Aerospace manufacturing plants
    • Waste water treatment plants

    In these settings, gases, chemicals, and other liquids all pass through process piping. 

    What Makes Process Piping Different from Plumbing?

    While process piping and plumbing share many similarities, the ultimate difference lies with the purpose of the piping system. What system a pipe belongs to can often be determined by examining what the pipe is connected to and where the fluid goes.

    • Plumbing systems bring water into a facility and provide safe drainage for water and wastewater as it exits a facility.
    • Process piping moves chemicals, gases, water, and other fluids in support of an internal manufacturing or processing operation.


    Plumbing systems adhere to different codes and regulations, as well as industry standards. In order to be installed and maintained, all plumbing systems require permits, fees, and inspections.

    These strict regulations narrow material options for plumbing systems as well, so pipes will typically be made of copper or plastic based on pressure, corrosion factors, and other application requirements.

    Plumbing makes up an integral part of a facility’s mechanical systems. The most common uses for plumbing include:

    • Distributing potable water
    • Waste removal
    • Heating
    • Cooling 

    Process Piping

    Process piping does not fall under the same regulations as plumbing systems or power piping. This is because process piping is not installed in order to fulfill building services, but instead supports a specific internal operation such as the chemical manufacturing or products or the refinement of petroleum.

    Rather than municipal codes, engineering standards govern the design and construction of process piping systems. At many facilities, process piping will fall under American Society of Civil and Mechanical Engineers (ASCME) guidelines. Unlike plumbing, process piping is not a part of a building’s mechanical systems. 

    That’s not to say that process piping is free from federal oversight. Process piping must also adhere to OSHA standards for safe operation. In addition, some process piping systems may also require initial permitting, inspection, and approval.

    Process piping also offers a broader selection for pipe materials. Facilities can choose the best piping material based on intended usage, budget, and the type of fluids being moved. Process piping systems may support a variety of industrial or manufacturing functions, such as:

    • Fluid mixing/separating
    • Stopping/starting fluid flow
    • Pressurization/depressurization
    • Filtering

    Process Piping Services at Base Construction

    Many industrial operations rely on process piping as a critical part of daily operations. At Base Construction, we can assist our clients with all aspects of process piping, including:

    • Installation by qualified welders and pipefitters
    • Material selection
    • Routing design and implementation
    • Support design and installation
    • Manual and control valves
    • Piping & instrumentation drawing (P&ID) development and implementation
    • Testing (pressurized, vacuum)
    • Painting and labeling
    • Insulation
    • Heat tracing (steam, electrical)

    We adhere to all OSHA standards for process piping and we maintain up-to-date knowledge of state ordinances as well. To learn more about Base Construction’s process piping design and implementation services for your facility, contact us today.


  3. Cheers to Construction in 2017!

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    With the new year upon us, the team at Base Construction has been reflecting on 2016’s accomplishments while making our New Year’s resolutions and looking ahead toward what is sure to be an exciting, productive 2017.

    We had a lot to be thankful for this past year, as we were kept very busy working on a number of large-scale piping and construction projects for a wide range of industries. We were honored to be called upon yet again to work with UTC, SONOCO, Alcoa, PTG, BE Aerospace, 3M, and Karma Automotive and many others. We also constructed all parts of a co-generation power plant for Golden Road Brewery. This included the installation of water heater heat exchanger on top of the exhaust to ensure that every BTU would be used.

    The Base Construction team also had the opportunity to work on various industry-leading green initiatives focused on reducing the amount of power required to run particular systems, as well as capturing waste to redirect that energy.

    In looking ahead to the New Year, we will continue to focus on ways to improve our unmatched safety initiatives while keeping downtime to a minimum. In addition to continuing our weekly and monthly safety meetings — as well as daily meetings on all shutdowns and long shift projects — we will also be reevaluating our comprehensive Injury and Illness Prevention Program to ensure optimal worker health and safety.

    In 2017, we’ll be taking on new large-scale industrial projects in various areas, including:

    • Process piping
    • Concrete and slab
    • Structural steel fabrication and installation
    • Turnkey projects

    And finally, in the spirit of continual improvement, the team at Base Construction will also be looking for new ways in which to better service our customers. Working off-shifts and holidays to meet production schedules, we take pride in ensuring that our customers receive only the best.

    To that end, we would like to thank all of our wonderful clients for helping us grow, and we can’t wait to see the new challenges you bring to us in 2017. As always, if there are any ways in which we can better serve you in the New Year, reach out to us at any time or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates!

  4. Need Help with an Expansion Project? Base has you Covered!

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    As an experienced and trusted industrial contractor, Base Construction has completed over 3,500 projects involving process piping, concrete foundation, structural steel, and mechanical equipment for a wide range of industries. We provide creative solutions and manage all of the project details from start to finish on new or existing operation facility builds, work area expansions, or anything in between.

    Project Capabilities to Suit All Builds 

    Equipped with diverse expansion project capabilities and years of on-site experience, Base Construction can complete all phases of a project from the ground up. Our skilled team of professional engineers creates the cranes that assemble equipment, the platforms necessary for the development of new structures, and any stairways or catwalks needed to travel between constructed platforms.

    For builds involving specialized industrial equipment, we can design, fabricate, and install devices such as:

    • Air compressors
    • All type of tanks
    • Cooling towers
    • Pressurized vessels
    • All type of pumps
    • Scrubbers
    • Furnaces
    • Ovens
    • Heat Exchanges
    • Air filters and dryers
    • Bag houses
    • Blowers
    • Vacuum pumps

    Before using newly installed equipment, our team will conduct any assessments necessary to ensure that all components are working properly prior to completing the job.

    To further support all aspects of your build, Base Construction can also undertake any required mechanical work, such as process piping, insulation, heat tracing, lighting, painting, and motor installation, in addition to designing and implementing new control systems to better regulate your production processes.

    Finally, we can utilize our extensive knowledge of industrial plants to develop customized systems designed to resolve any issues that may arise. We have performed projects across a range of industries, including jobs in:

    • Aerospace facilities
    • Recycling plants (paper, battery)
    • Food & drink processing facilities
    • Insulation plants
    • Co-Gen plants
    • Casting plants
    • Forging plants
    • Plastic pipe manufacturing plants

    Our full list of past projects and current large-scale projects can be viewed on our website.

    Prioritizing Site Safety

    Safety is our number one priority at Base Construction; our team places a premium on safe working conditions and quality workmanship. Our fast problem-solving skills and focus on safety limit the number of accidents and errors on all projects, protecting our team and ensuring consistent, effective results for our clients.

    If you are looking to expand your facility or would like to learn more about our design and build capabilities, contact us today!

  5. Base Delivers Quality at Every Turn

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    No matter what the project, our number one priority is to have totally satisfied customers. To meet this goal, it requires the highest quality of craftsmen, with the knowledge and attention to detail to get an assignment done and have it done right. This background helps to prevent problems from occurring during or after a given project is complete. With Base Construction you are guaranteed to be satisfied because we consistently deliver high-quality results.

    Why Base Construction you ask? In business since 1998, we have established ourselves as a leader in industrial construction. We have completed over 1,000 projects for a wide range of industries. With capabilities in all areas of construction, we put special emphasis on process piping, concrete, and structural steel.

    Because of our vast experiences, there isn’t a challenge we can’t meet. For example, when we were contracted to update a machine from the 1930s, we researched how to successfully incorporate modern technology into old equipment. After completing the project we were able to see how far the industry has come. Our strengths took hold as we were able to keep a piece of history relevant and in best working condition.

    It is jobs like this that help lead our customers to realize why Base is the ideal option. We provide the best quality at the best price and deliver results that are built to last. We are trusted by leading oil companies to perform process piping at refineries, not to mention industrial companies and cities who require safe wastewater systems. In projects that deal with possible hazardous materials, quality and safety are of the utmost importance. As experts in the industry, we ensure that safety standards are upheld at all times because we know what disastrous results can occur if safety measures are not properly in place. We live by the ideals that a job well done combines quality with safety.

    Don’t be discouraged to demand that construction projects meet your high standards, because you deserve just that. At Base, we believe that the demands we hold for ourselves will meet and exceed those that you seek. Contact us to learn more about any of our high-quality industrial services today!

  6. Examining Effects of California’s Continuing Drought

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    The drought, now in its 5th year (though prominently noted last year), got a bit of a reprieve in January as El Nino’s rains poured down. February; however, saw unseasonably hot and dry weather. High temperatures broke records last month and the dry spell doesn’t yet have an end in sight.

    As California continues to struggle under hot and dry conditions, many industries are challenged because of the severe conditions. Hydroelectric power has been reduced due to the drop in water levels leading to an increase in natural gas use. Construction has been continuing and with the opening of a new indoor water park and hotel resort, Southern California has another destination for tourists.

    In December, San Diego County entered into a new era for water use when the largest ocean desalination plant opened in Carlsbad. As a model for the state, the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant gives San Diego County more control over their its own water supply and is protection against the current and future drought conditions. This plant could be the first of many throughout the state if the drought continues. The second plant is being planned for Huntington Beach and is currently in the permit process.

    Drought or no drought the NFL is coming back to Los Angeles with the relocation of the Rams and the possible relocation of the Chargers (although now the Chargers owner might be thinking of staying in San Diego). Building a new stadium (or two) will be a big win for L.A. and San Diego if the Chargers can get a new stadium approved – they have a year to decide what their best move is.

    Since our last post on the drought things have remained close to the same in the industrial sector. Manufacturing is still moving along and has seen an increase since the start of the year. Basics and durable goods (food, cars, and furniture) recorded the highest gains in output and the analysts expect U.S. manufacturing to be unaffected by overseas trends.

    The drought may be with us a while longer, but it isn’t slowing down industrial production. Because of this, Base Construction continues to provide process piping, concrete, and structural steel capabilities to all areas of manufacturing in the Southern California area. We specialize in designing, building, and installing piping systems for a wide range of industries and have the experience and the knowledge to handle challenging projects in times of challenging conditions.

  7. Don’t Overlook Potential Problems! Now is the Time for End of Year Repairs

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    Even though the temps are cooling down, it’s still hard to accept that winter is right around the corner. The cold temperatures that old man winter blows in are chilling to us, but could be disastrous to mechanical or structural equipment that may have been neglected since last winter. Many business and industrial sites deal with problems or issues as they arise, and, while this might seem like the only way it should be done, there are ways to try and prevent problems from happening in the first place.

    Since we are heading into the roughest season of the year in some Nov. Blog Image 2015parts of the country, now is the ideal time to consider predictive maintenance techniques. Even if the temperatures in your area stay moderate for most of the year, it is still a good time of year to focus on maintenance and repairs.

    Predictive maintenance (PdM) is used to determine the condition of equipment and predict when certain maintenance procedures should be performed. For most of us, we already do something like this with our cars: manufacturers know the working life of parts such as timing belts and will issue a guideline on when the belt should be replaced to avoid serious issues if the belt were to break. The OEM is predicting how long the belt will work so that preventative maintenance (PM) can be performed before disaster strikes.

    PdM and PM techniques may seem like a waste of time, but creating a timeline and schedule for equipment review and repair will keep systems in industrial sites in good condition year round. During routine maintenance larger problems may be discovered that require outside resources to fix. At Base Construction, our experience and expertise in process piping, concrete, and structural steel for industrial manufacturing operations allows us to take on many different kinds of projects.

    With a team of skilled engineers we can help you with reviewing Nov. Blog Image 2 2015systems and processes to make sure equipment stays in good condition. If PdM and PM find a problem, Base Construction offers important services and capabilities to help you make repairs. These include:

    • Pipe fabrication and installation of process piping in the manufacturing industry.
    • Insulation and heat tracing.
    • Concrete foundation and slab evaluation, design, and installation for mechanical systems
    • Structural steel fabrication and installation services
    • Turnkey projects for new and expanding industrial operations
    • Mechanical equipment setting

    This is the ideal time to perform end of year reviews and repairs to prevent downtime and future problems. Contact us today to learn more about end of year maintenance and repairs.

  8. Large-Scale Industrial Construction Projects in California Need Concrete Foundations and Concrete Slabs

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    All indications and reports are showing that California’s commercial and industrial construction activity is continuing to grow, rising to Base Construction Pipe Image 2levels the state hasn’t seen in almost 15 years. Earlier this year, one report from research firm CMD cited 10 of the largest upcoming California construction projects, including industrial projects, government buildings, sports and entertainment complexes, medical buildings, office buildings, educational buildings, and other large-scale construction projects. Some of the construction projects on the list are located in Southern California, while others are scattered throughout the state. Any way you look at it, the state is buzzing with construction activity, and all of these construction projects need concrete foundations and concrete slabs!

    A few months ago, an ENRCalifornia construction activity report said, “The commercial, public transit and health care sectors top the annual ranking of large-scale projects to begin construction in California.” The same report also cited large-scale constructions projects in Southern California saying, “In Southern California, work proceeds rapidly on the $1-billion Metropolis mixed-use development in downtown Los Angeles, which includes a 19-story hotel and three residential towers between 38 and 54 stories,” and, “Metro in Los Angeles has two transit projects in the top five starts, together worth nearly $3.5 billion. A pair of terminal upgrades at Los Angeles International Airport totals nearly $1 billion, and more work lies ahead for the facility…” And don’t forget about the construction of the 70,000-seat NFL stadium in Carson!Base Construction Recent Project Image 1

    Another report revealed that commercial and industrial construction activity in California is more active than it’s been in more than a decade. The survey reported, “During the second half of last year, the average value of newly issued permits for nonresidential construction—adjusted for inflation—was at its highest level since 2001.” All of these construction projects, whether we’re talking about stadiums, airports, industrial complexes, or any other facilities, require solid concrete foundations and concrete slabs, and that’s where we fit in.

    Base Construction is all about foundations and slabs (plus a whole lot more) including all types of industrial contracting and industrial projects. Process piping, structural steel fabrication, installation, and mechanical equipment projects are among the many projects we design and manage.

    So, let’s talk more about the topic of concrete foundations and concrete slabs: At Base Construction, we use professional engineers (PE) to design all of our concrete projects. Then we do what is needed – saw cut, core drill, excavate, form, install rebar and pour proper-strength concrete – to do the job right. Additionally, we’ll evaluate an existing concrete foundation and determine if it needs Base Construction Recent Project Image 2some fixing to add more strength and to extend its life in order to save any unnecessary excavation and cost.

    In addition to constructing concrete foundations, we set industrial equipment and machinery, furnaces and more in concrete or on concrete slabs; providing solid concrete bases to stand on. That’s not all! We also handle concrete demolition and excavation, working with engineers to ensure that demo is done safely and properly.

    Since 1998, Base Construction has completed hundreds of concrete foundation and concrete slab projects. Visit our website for a complete list of the concrete services we offer and to see photos of some of the large-scale projects we’ve recently completed in Southern California. Or, if you have any questions about our services and capabilities, give us a call at 949-387-3471.

  9. Meeting Out of this World Piping Project Needs

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    Process Piping ImageOne industry that we largely focus on at Base Construction is the aerospace industry. Multi-billion dollar companies have revolutionized the aerospace industry in recent years, and we are proud to be part of this advancement.

    So what does this have to do with us? When a company finds itself in need of a customized, one of a kind superior air handler unit, often times, they come to us. Such companies find it important to use a source that is, not only experienced, but trusted and highly capable.

    Today, we are currently in the process of designing and building a very custom skid that not only handles pumps, tanks, filters, and heater, but a tower and high elevation platform. This includes: handling the structural and mechanical engineering of the project, and building a customized skid that can be disassemble and relocated easily. Following that, we will handle all of the process piping for the project. We are extremely excited to know our role in aerospace industry will be affective.

    We design and build projects and products every day that deal with compressed air, vacuum piping, and process piping, taking care of all of the mechanical and structural engineering for a variety of clients in all kinds of industries.

    We can handle all aspects of pipe Aerospace Piping Imagefabrication and installation, from initial material selection through implementation, testing, insulation – and everything in between.

    If you are in need of a turnkey project with air handler, compressed air, air handler, vacuum piping, and/or process piping, you can rest assured we’ll give you the same attention and quality we’re giving to our current clients. Bottom line, our priority for every project is a completely satisfied customer.