Steel tubes are hollow, cylindrical steel shapes used throughout industry, commerce, and in consumer products contexts in a wide variety of applications.
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Applications of Steel Tubing
An extensive variety of industries make use of tubing. These include the construction, automotive, electronics, shipbuilding, furniture, plumbing, aerospace, and many other industries.
Steel tubing is often used in the manufacturing of these products:
- Lawn and Garden Equipment
- Playground Equipment
- Trailer Safety Equipment
- Flu Tubes
- Flag Poles
- Farm Equipment
Additionally, steel tubes are used in plumbing and electrical wiring applications, they can be shaped into furniture, as well as used to make mechanical parts, railings, ladders, poles, and even support rods in exercise equipment. They can also be used to support floating wooden or plastic docks on rivers and lakes.
Steel Tubing Design and Customization
Steel tubing can be made to any specifications. Shape, size, and thickness are variable depending on the intended application of the tubing. Steel manufacturers can produce round, square, rectangular, oval, or hexagonal tubing. In addition to all of the different steel tubing shapes and sizes, steel tubing can be made to varying specifications of thickness, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, strength, and other physical properties.
Manufacturing Process of Steel Tubing
Because of the wide variety of uses, each kind of steel tubing has its own unique attributes and ideal applications, and therefore each tube must meet tight specifications for its particular function. CNC machining, flaring, reductions, welding, and brazing are some of the processes that can be used to form steel tubing.
Steel tubing can be made by the extrusion process, which involves melting the steel and forcing it through a specially shaped tool (called a die). Extrusion requires a stock of raw steel that can easily be melted and shaped. In some cases, such heat-intensive processes are not feasible for steel shaping. In such cases, steel tubing can be formed by cold forming processes. A cold forming process is any metal forming process that does not involve heating the metal above its recrystallization temperature. Such processes decrease the risk of oxidation and can be less expensive than hot processes.
Notable Types of Steel Tubing