Steel Tubes: Applications and Manufacturing

Today, people use stainless steel tubes for many applications, especially those projects requiring rigid materials for portable water conveyance. This is why manufacturers are doing the best of their efforts to further improve the quality of their products. They calibrate for any unwanted or unknown exposure effects since stainless steel plays a vital role for maintain clean water.

In constructions, steel tubes are also being used as structural support in building and automobiles. Don’t be confused with the terms tube and pipe. These two are generally interchangeable. However, “tube” implies more improved engineering qualities. They are often designed and developed based on standardized sizes.


Manufacturing Steel Tubes

There are three processes used by experts when manufacturing tubes. Let’s try to dissect these in simpler words.

First, is the seamless steel tube that is manufactured through extrusion. The process involves heating and cooling. Operators or manufacturers will calibrate the long sections of steel bars, then force through a die to achieve the best shape needed for particular application.

The next one is called electric resistant welded. The process involves passing a rolled sheet of steel through the main weld rollers. This equipment has the ability to customize the circumference of the tube where the steel roll passes. The key here is to make direct contact at the roll seam, which will transmit electricity at a higher current enough to weld or mold the seam closed. You will notice here that the weld output can be very small.

And finally, the DOM or the Drawn Over Mandrel. A mandrel is small piece of metal being inserted into the tube to mold a shape. It provides more support to prevent any unpleasant or deformed qualities when during the shaping process. In this process, the tube is also being passed through a die that has a smaller diameter than the current tube size. As a result, it shrinks to achieve the right size for particular application. This method is also applicable for tight tolerances and specifications.

Each process are now being developed and modified to attain the project requirements. It allows manufacturers to achieve the best possible results including the qualities, durability, shapes, and sizes. Apart from cylindrical tubes, other common shapes of steel tubes are triangle, square, and polygon.

Take note that other applications may require extra processes, as well. For example, if your project involves hydrogen, it must be pre-cleaned or certified as instrument grade use to properties reaction that can often cause metal brittleness or even explosion.

Basically, the manufacturing for any application is calibrated thoroughly to determine the best type of steel to be used. Different types of steel may react differently to heat because of the carbon content present. This is why some metals are not easily welded. Experts should always run some tests, especially for volatile applications.
Steel Tube Applications

As mentioned earlier, steel tube is now being used in many applications. In plumbing, steel tubing really plays a vital role because of threefold. First, stainless steel, as we all know is very durable. It is composed of 80-90% steel and 10-20% chromium—that being said, they can pretty much handle the pressure exerted by water upon plumbing structures. In addition, the properties of stainless steel do not allow much adherence by any contaminants, so purification process will not pass on unintended detritus. Finally, steel does not contaminate drinking water.

Steel tubes are also used in a wide variety of structural applications, such as industrial and residential construction. Examples include fences, gates, railings, playground and athletic equipment. Steel is often used for construction tubes over other metals like aluminum when extra stress resistance is necessary. Steel tubes can also be used in automotive applications and even as parts of furniture.

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