Steel Tubes 101: Its 3 Different Types and their Purposes

by / Tuesday, 08 July 2014 / Published in Automotive News

Steel Tube

Having been around since ancient times, steel itself is still used today extensively for the construction and creation of buildings and infrastructures. It has remained by far the most sought-after material by construction experts and workers due to its malleability, which enables it to be shaped in any way through welding.

Because it can be shaped to just about anything people can imagine, manufacturers are able to fabricate it into many other useful tools and materials as diverse and unique as needles and bridges; thus demand for it has remained huge without signs of stopping. Throughout the years, people have fashioned it to suit their purposes to the point that steel is used in almost everything, especially in transporting enormous amounts of materials. This is where steel tubes comes into focus.

Differences with Pipes

Steel tubes and pipes are similar in many ways with the only obvious difference being pipes are more simple to assemble than steel tubes since steel tubes are tailored more to a specific size and shape to accommodate an engineer’s requirements for it.

Steel tubes resemble pipes but are infinitely more useful. While pipes are mostly relegated by people to refer to hollow cylinders used for carrying liquid materials, steel tubes are used in many other ways from connecting automotive parts to make them fit together to using them as supports for an aircraft’s wind resistance during flight.

The Types of Steel Tubes

The limitations of steel tubes lie only on what type of steel tube to use based on the assigned purpose manufacturers place on it.

  • Stainless Steel

A stainless steel tube would prove useful when transporting highly corrosive materials since it is the only one able to resist any form of corrosion longer than carbon or alloy steel. Without stainless steel tubes, toxic and acidic chemicals of both liquid and gas could not be controlled accordingly much less transported from one place to another without potentially destroying the environment during the process. However, stainless steel tubes are at a disadvantage when it comes to cost, which is where carbon steel tubes dominate.

  • Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is cheap and functions the same way and remains useful as long as it is used only in transporting non-corrosive materials. Its drawbacks however push it down as the least likely preferred steel tube type since it can be damaged in the midst of harsh driving conditions.

  • Alloy Steel

Both problems are addressed in the second best steel tube type: alloy steel. While not as corrosive resistant as stainless steel, alloy steel still remains useful as its alternative, especially when you’re short on cash.

Whatever steel tubes you pick, there will always be drawbacks. Choose the one that aligns with what you want transported so that you get your money’s worth. Also, make sure the distance of the transport is as short as possible, since steel tubes won’t be cheap if the distance is, let’s say, from California to New Mexico. But then again, if you have a fat budget, then the miles shouldn’t be an issue.

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