Steel tubes are used in practically every type of construction. Whether it is just building a small house or a huge sky rise, steel tube is one of the most fundamental materials being used in creating structures.
The diameter of a this tube can range from 1/8 inch to 12 inches. The wall thickness is typically from .035 and 2 inches thick. Depending on where it is being used will define the diameter and wall thickness needed for construction. This can be manufactured in various materials, either using alloy or stainless steel.
Types of steel tubes
There are three standard types of tubes or pipes. Each one is manufactured differently and the way they are made is what differentiates them from each other.
Seamless steel - This type is first made as a solid, round pole. It is heated up almost to melting point and then a hole perforates the center creating the tube. This process is known as the 'hot finish seamless pipe'. This is the most popular variety of this tube. This is also considered the more expensive type of tubing compared to the ones with seams.
Electric resistance welded (ERW) - This type of tube starts off as a reel or a flat sheet. It is then inserted in coils so that it rolls into the shape of a tube. The sides are then welded together using an electric welder.
Buttweld - This type of tube goes through the same process similar to the ERW. It starts off as a flat sheet of steel, then rolled to form a tube. However, instead of using an electric welder, the sides are heated and fused together, creating the pipe. However, this is the least used manufacturing method.
Uses of a steel tube
This is used for plumbing, in the electronics industry and chemical plants. This allows for the safer distribution or transport of these delicate substances or materials.
In potable water distribution, steel plumbing tubes are used to provide underwater ground services. Steel plumbing tubes are also specially designed to handle medical gas services, oil distribution and radiant heating. These types are also the ones used for drainage systems. These plumbing tubes have a thin wall structure, so they may be prone to corrosion over time and needs replacement. Galvanized steel plumbing tubes can last for up to 40 years before having to replace them.
For use in aviation, electronics, HVAC, and in the marine industry, stainless steel tubing is often used because it can tolerate high temperatures and is resistant to corrosion. Chromium is added during the construction of these tubes that's why it is more durable. Thus, they are also used in chemical plants, food processing and paper mills.