What’s the right steel tube for the right application? Let a laboratory metallurgist tell you

Strength and weight, and the direction of force stress, aren’t the only considerations. Mechanical compatibility is also an issue. You literally don’t want to put a square tube into a round hole. Different types of steel have different properties. The metal finish on the tube can affect a tube’s ability to withstand corrosion. The list of factors to match the right tube with the right application goes on.

When you’re creating a new product or application that requires tubing, ask your tube supplier up front on the properties you need in the tubes to hold up to the stress, wear and other factors that will occur in your planned use. It’s not just a question of what fits or simple strength.

It helps if your tube supplier has the scientific qualification to provide you with the answers you need. That’s one of the reasons why Sterling Pipe & Tube employs a full-time metallurgist and in-house laboratory. The metallurgy lab helps meet specific needs of industrial and manufacturing customers while maintaining SP&T’s quality.

The metallurgist at the SP&T laboratory works with customers and company engineers to identify steel types, grades, gauges and strength required in the planned application or end product. The In-house laboratory also performs macro and micro analysis of electric welded tubes to resolve any issues that may arise in order to maintain delivery schedules.

SP&T’s metallurgy lab has the capabilities to perform the following tests.

  • Weld and tube failure analysis
  • Coating analysis
  • Microstructure analysis with material characterization
  • Weld characterization
  • Rockwell hardness testing
  • Micro hardness profiling
  • Grain size determination
  • Fracture analysis
  • Corrosion Analysis

The expertise of the metallurgist and other staff allow a customer to bring a product design or planned application to SP&T and receive the scientific and technical information needed to make the right tube selection that meets all critical factors. The proper, detailed information matched to an intended use makes your tube selection fairly easy.