7 Uses of Steel Tubes in Automobiles
November 30, 2022
What are some uses and applications of steel tubes in your automobile?
- Exhaust pipe
- Sway bars
- Propeller shaft
- CV joint
- Car accessories
Steel is one of the most versatile materials on the planet, and so it is commonly used in several industries, including manufacturing, construction, petrochemical, and automotive. In the automotive sector specifically, steel tubes are often part of car and truck manufacturing.
For example, here are some applications and uses of steel tubes in automobiles:
This is probably the most common and obvious use of a steel tube in your automobile. After all, just by looking at your exhaust pipe, you know exactly what it is. Why is an exhaust pipe so important?
The answer is two-fold: one, it protects the people inside the car from harmful gasses like the hydrocarbons your car emits; two, it reduces the air pollution your car may cause to the environment.
It’s also connected to the catalytic converter, which essentially “cleans” your car’s emissions, converting them. This helps prevent harmful gasses.
Sway bars form part of a vehicle’s suspension system and make sure the car doesn’t roll too much when it makes turns. Besides that, they also stabilize your car’s alignment by making sure the wheels aren’t lopsided. Both of these benefits give you better traction on the road, which is very important.
The suspension system of a vehicle is composed of wheels, springs, steering controls, shocks, links, bushings, and joints. If your car starts to lean to one side or sways too much when moving, you’re more susceptible to crashing into obstacles or losing control of your movement.
That said, not every vehicle has a sway bar. However, this cart part is particularly useful for big automobiles like RVs and motor coaches.
Also known as the driveshaft, the propeller shaft transfers torque from the transmission to the differential, which in turn transmits this torque to the wheels so that the car can move.
In mechanics, torque is a twisting force that causes rotation. In cars, it’s a measurement of how efficiently your vehicle can work—the more torque there is, the more power your engine is producing.
The transmission represents your control of the car’s movement, while the differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds to facilitate turns and motion.
Getting torque from your gearbox to the wheels is essential, and the propeller shaft plays a big role in doing so.
Primarily for front-wheel, but also applicable to four-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles, the inner constant velocity (CV) joint connects the transmission to the driveshaft, while the outer CV joint connects the driveshaft to the wheels.
These connections are responsible for being able to drive the wheels at a constant speed while accommodating the bounce of the suspension.
Like any kind of joint, these are crucial to ensure that connections are made, and without them, the entity cannot function. In other words, without these steel-pipe-made joints, your car wouldn’t run.
The chassis is also known as the frame of a vehicle. As its name suggests, it’s the skeleton of the car that supports its weight when it’s moving as well as when it’s idle.
There are multiple types of chassis including one that is made primarily of steel tubes (the tubular chassis), but all of them utilize steel in one way or another.
The chassis is the foundation of the car not just because it holds its weight of it, but also because in cases such as the tubular chassis, it can even make up the walls and overall framework of the car itself.
We’ve mentioned specific parts of various car systems—the exhaust pipe is part of the exhaust system, while the sway bars, propeller shaft, and CV joint are part of the steering and suspension—but other systems also utilize steel tubes.
Among these are the oil and fuel flow systems and the coolant circulation system. Oil, fuel, and coolant pass through steel pipes, which is why these tubes need to be kept in top shape always.
Finally, add-ons to the car can also be made of steel tubes. Car accessories are decorative yet functional pieces. This includes things like bumpers, side railings, and grill guards, which can be formed out of steel tubes to add to the aesthetic and protection of the vehicle.
We’ve discussed the applications and uses of steel tubes in automobiles. As you can see, there are various parts and systems where steel tubes are beneficial if not necessary to the car’s balance and movement.
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