Kobe Steel has been granted a patent for a stepped pipe member design. The design includes a large-diameter pipe member and a small-diameter pipe member connected in series. The design features various portions such as pipe-end expanding, reduced-diameter, bulging, and tapered portions. The patent also includes the engagement of inner and outer circumferential surfaces of the different portions. Additionally, a stiffener is secured to the large-diameter pipe member. GlobalData’s report on Kobe Steel gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Kobe Steel, Ore pre-treatment was a key innovation area identified from patents. Kobe Steel's grant share as of September 2023 was 29%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Stepped pipe member with connected large and small diameter pipes

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Kobe Steel Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11774013B2) describes a stepped pipe member that consists of a large-diameter pipe member and a small-diameter pipe member connected together. The large-diameter pipe member has several distinct sections, including a pipe-end expanding portion, a reduced-diameter portion, and a bulging portion. These sections are designed to accommodate the insertion of the small-diameter pipe member. Similarly, the small-diameter pipe member has a pipe-end expanding portion, an enlarged-diameter portion, and a bulging portion. The inner circumferential surfaces of the large-diameter and small-diameter pipe members are in close contact with each other, ensuring a secure connection.

To enhance the structural integrity of the stepped pipe member, a stiffener is attached to the outer circumferential surface of the large-diameter pipe member's reduced-diameter portion. The length from the top of the bulging portion to the stiffener is greater than the expanding length defined by the free end of the small-diameter pipe member's pipe-end expanding portion from the stiffener. This configuration helps to reinforce the connection and prevent any potential weak points.

The patent also includes specific claims regarding the expanding length of the small-diameter pipe member's pipe-end expanding portion from the stiffener, which should be between 5% and 30% of the stiffener's width in the axial direction. Additionally, the length from the top of the small-diameter pipe member's bulging portion to the stiffener should be greater than the expanding length of the large-diameter pipe member's pipe-end expanding portion from the stiffener. Furthermore, the thickness of the large-diameter pipe member is greater than the thickness of the small-diameter pipe member.

Overall, this patented stepped pipe member design offers a secure and robust connection between large-diameter and small-diameter pipe members. The inclusion of a stiffener and the specific dimensions and configurations outlined in the patent claims contribute to the structural integrity of the connection. This innovation could have potential applications in various industries that require reliable and durable pipe connections.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.