Touring a McWane Ductile Iron Pipe plant is a unique and memorable experience. You get the opportunity to see firsthand how we take just a few simple raw materials and convert them into the strongest, most reliable, most time-tested pipe material on the market today.
What Will I See On The Tour?
A tour of one of our plants follows the manufacturing process from start to finish. Ductile Iron Pipe is made from scrap metal that is melted down into molten form at about 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Casting good ductile iron pipe requires that the chemical balance in the molten iron is optimized. On the tour you will learn how we add carbon, silicon and magnesium to the iron and remove other chemicals such as sulphur to give us the best chemical properties to cast a piece of ductile iron pipe.
We always say that good dough makes good cookies and the molten iron is the dough in our kitchen that needs to be just right.
The molten iron is then poured down a spinning casting machine where centrifugal forces form it into a pipe.
The pipe is then annealed (tempered for strength) in a long oven which gives the pipe its industry leading minimum strength characteristics of 60,000 psi tensile strength, 42,000 psi yield strength, and 10% elongation.
The next step in the process is to hydrostatically test the pipe. Every piece of pipe that is manufactured in our plant is hydrostatically pressure tested to at least 500 psi.
Each pipe is then manually inspected for dimensional conformity and quality standards to make sure it meets or exceeds the industry standards.
The pipe is then lined and coated with a number of different configurations depending on what the end user has requested. Most of our pipe is lined with a Portland cement mortar and coated with an environmentally friendly water based asphaltic seal coat.
The pipe is then bundled and stored for one to three days in a moderate temperature environment while the cement lining cures. It is then ready to ship and be put into service in the water and wastewater utilities throughout the United States, Canada, and the world.
How Long Does A Tour Take?
A tour of a McWane Ductile plant usually starts out with a brief presentation about the basics of ductile iron pipe before heading out into the foundry to see the process first hand.
This presentation and the tour itself can be easily and significantly adjusted if needed to accommodate your schedule and time constraints. On average, you should plan on being at the plant for a total of 3 to 4 hours.
What Should I Wear?
If you come to visit one of our pipe manufacturing plants we will provide personal protective equipment for you to wear during the tour that includes a hard hat, a fire resistant jacket, safety glasses, and hearing protection.
You will not only have a great time touring the facility, but you will look good doing it! It is best to come wearing denim jeans or something similar and closed toed shoes that are easy to walk in.
We love to have visitors get this type of firsthand experience in learning about our pipe and how it is made. American manufacturing is alive and well at McWane Ductile and we invite you to come and see for yourself.
How Can I Schedule A Tour?
McWane Ductile has 3 foundries spread across the United States. Utah, New Jersey, and Ohio. I hope that you will be able to take a tour one day and see this fascinating process in person. Please reach out to your local salesperson to schedule a tour today.