Choosing the Right Steel Pipe or Tubing for a Particular Project

Choosing the right steel tubing for a given project often proves to be the first major step toward success. The proper choice of steel tubing for pipe fences, for example, will rarely be the same as for an application where significant loads must be borne for years or decades at a time. Understanding how the various options differ from one another and what the various trade-offs might be is the best way of making sure to settle on the best choice. When several grades of steel tubing is availaible for a particular project, being able to focus in on the most appropriate will always be helpful.

As with other forms of steel, pipes and tubing made from the material differ in a number of basic ways. For one, any of quite a few different specific alloys can be employed to produce them, and each choice of this kind will result in a particular blend of performance, value, and versatility. On the more general side of the scale, alloys that revolve mostly around the addition of carbon to iron form the basis for a great many materials and projects. When properly produced, carbon-rich steel alloys end up being some of the most versatile of all.

Illustration for article titled Choosing the Right Steel Pipe or Tubing for a Particular Projectem/em

On the other hand, these types of steel also generally come with drawbacks that can prove to be especially difficult to bear in particular applications. For some uses of structural steel tubing, for example, exposure to moisture over the long term will be all but guaranteed, and the most basic forms of the material will often not sustain this gracefully. Whether a particular application might benefit from a switch, instead, to a steel alloy labeled as truly “stainless” or simply to one which resists corrosion to a lesser but significant degree, recognizing and accounting for such factors often turns out to matter a great deal.

Beyond the choice of alloy for a particular lot of pipe or tubing, other basic considerations will arise as well. As might be expected, steel pipes and tubes are available in a wide range of dimensional formats, and settling on the most appropriate of these will typically matter just as much. Fortunately, decisions of these kinds tend to be even easier to arrive at, with the most obvious realities of any proposed project often settling such matters on their own. While there will normally be a number of choices to be made along the way, then, it typically becomes fairly clear how these might be best resolved without too much effort being required.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter