Riccardo Barbone, Georg Fischer
Papers # 2014 Chicago
This short paper reviews the major milestones in the history of piping systems. A special emphasis is given to the sources and reasons for innovation. Starting with nature as a basis and discovering the basic laws of hydraulics, man has been driven to innovate by emulating nature. The political and social forces that drive innovation are reviewed within the context of piping systems. Future innovations in piping systems will come only with great vision outside the boundaries of what is the current state-of-the art.
The history and evolution of piping systems has been characterized by perpetual innovation. One could argue that using state of the art materials and technologies as a starting point, each subsequent generation of “inventors” benefited from preceding achievements. Was that sufficient? Or were there other motivating factors that drove innovation? As with natural evolution, the progress of piping systems often experienced discrete jumps in technological advancement. The powerful drive of necessity combined with a desire to challenge existing ways paved the way for experimentation and innovation and stepwise advances in materials and technology.