American Cast Iron Pipe Company

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AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company
Type Private company
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1905
Headquarters Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Key people Van L. Richey (President, CEO)
John M. Cook (VP, Finance]])
Products ductile iron pipe, spiral-welded steel pipe, fire hydrants, valves, fire pumps, steel pipe, static castings
Revenue Increase$1.2 billion USD (2007)
Employees 3,000 (2010)

American Cast Iron Pipe Company, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is a manufacturer of ductile iron pipe, spiral-welded steel pipe, fire hydrants and valves for the waterworks industry and electric-resistance steel pipe for the oil and natural gas industry. ACIPCO's diversified product line also includes static castings and fire pumps.


John Joseph Eagan founded of American Cast Iron Pipe Company in 1905.[1]

Upon his death in 1924, Eagan willed ownership of the company in a trust to its employees.[1]

In the 1920s, AMERICAN developed a proprietary Mono-Cast centrifugal casting method and increased pipe diameters to a record 24 inches (610 mm). The company also introduced cement-lined pipe, which became the industry standard.

The company’s first official safety program served as an industry model. A program of excellent employee benefits became synonymous with the American name.

The financial crash of 1929 had little effect on the company at first, but soon, business started to decline resulting in a loss of jobs. But by the mid-1930s, government spending on municipal water supplies, fire protection and sanitation brought a resurgence in business and helped restore jobs.

In 1939, business was further boosted by federal defense spending to support the impending war. When the country entered World War II, American was asked to apply its centrifugal casting experience to another metal – steel. The manufacturing of steel parts of ships, planes and tanks led to the creation of a new Special Products Division for steel products, the first diversification in American’s history.

The 1940s were marked by the industrial invention of a stronger and more durable iron called ductile iron. American took a lead role in use of this new iron to make large-diameter pipes that were thinner yet stronger.

The country’s growing population and rapidly expanding infrastructure in the 1950s and 1960s meant more demand for pipe for use in water, energy, transportation and sanitation systems.

In 1955, American shipped its first large order of ductile iron pipe. A new melting system in 1972, including the largest cupola of its kind in the world, would supply the new iron for this pipe, and American would move from a Sand Spun casting process to a generation of deLavaud metal molds, still used today.

Throughout the 1960s, American would continue to diversify, adding its valves and hydrants product line and gaskets.

American’s innovation, diversification and capital investments saw it through economically challenging times in the early 1980s.[citation needed] It expanded its steel pipe business and acquired Waterous Company of St. Paul, Minn., to add fire pumps to its product line and increase market share in valves and hydrants.

Throughout the 1990s the company embraced the digital age, applying computing and Internet technologies across the board. It also opened a scrap recycling facility on site – the only one of its kind in the region.

As the new millennium dawned, American was poised for further growth, opening American SpiralWeld Steel Pipe Company in Columbia, S.C., and diversifying its product line to include spiral-welded steel pipe in diameters up to 144 inches (3,700 mm).

Also in 2000, American engineered a single electrode DC furnace that is the only one of its kind in the world used for melting iron.

From a pipe shop that began with $150,000 in capital in 1905, American has grown from providing a single product line to producing materials for several industries: water, waste water, petroleum, gas, capital goods and power generation.


American Steel Pipe[edit]

American Steel Pipe, based in Birmingham, Ala., produces electric-resistance welded steel pipe. Applications include high pressure oil and gas transmission lines, distribution main lines, offshore gathering systems, steel pipe pilings, abrasive-resistance pipe, HIC resistant pipe for sour service, dredge pipe, and product pipelines.

American Ductile Iron Pipe[edit]

American Ductile Iron Pipe, based in Birmingham, Ala., manufactures ductile iron pipe in standard 20-foot (6.1 m) lengths ranging from 4- through 64-inch (1,600 mm) diameters. The company’s product line also features joints of various types designed for ease of installation and dependability in a variety of conditions. AMERICAN also furnishes standard and special linings and coatings.

American Flow Control[edit]

In March 1991, American Cast Iron Pipe Company merged its two valve- and hydrant-producing subsidiaries—American-Darling Valve and Waterous—into one division, American Flow Control. This merger yielded a division active in the design and production of waterworks and fire-protection products. Production facilities are located in Beaumont, Texas, and South St. Paul, Minnesota.

American Spiral-Weld Pipe[edit]

American SpiralWeld Pipe Company, LLC (ASWP) was established as a division of AMERICAN in 1999. ASWP, located on a 150-acre (0.61 km2) site in Columbia, S.C., manufactures spiral-welded steel pipe for use in water, wastewater, hydropower, and industrial applications.

American Castings[edit]

American Castings, LLC is located in Pryor, Oklahoma, producing grey and ductile iron castings for automotive, heavy-equipment, industrial machinery, and other product manufacturers.

International Sales[edit]

ACIPCO's International Sales Division is responsible for the export marketing of ductile iron pipe, steel pipe, valves, hydrants, and centrifugal castings. ACIPCO has been an exporter of piping products since 1915.


  1. ^ a b "The McWane Story – Two Companies, Two Visions". Frontline. 2003. Retrieved May 10, 2012.