Steel Stands Up to the Heat: Tubing & Piping in the Solar Industry

Thursday, March 12, 2015

When solar companies are installing a system for a customer, they want to be certain that it will withstand the elements and the test of time. That’s why many companies in the solar industry are switching from using aluminum to using steel tubes in their applications.

Higher Modulus of Elasticity

Steel possess about three times the modulus of elasticity of aluminum, comparing the 30,000 ksi of steel to the 10,000 ksi of aluminum. This means that under the intense heat that solar panels attract, steel will stand up stronger and be more durable in the long run.

Minimize Transportation Costs

Because steel is galvanized prior to shipping out, there are no added transportation costs to move the materials from manufacturing to another location for coating or other related secondary operations. Sterling in particular offers numerous finishes and can cut to length to reduce later production costs.


Not only is steel fully recyclable, it is the world’s most recycled material. Any scrap metal is kept from landfills, and your company can remain environmentally conscious.

Save Costs

The cost of metal is always fluctuating based upon global supply and demand. However, steel is generally more inexpensive than aluminum. For large projects, there can be a significant cost savings. We sell our steel tubes and pipes by the truckloads. The exact amount varies with the product, but a truckload is typically 40,000 to 45,000 pounds of steel. Contact Sterling today to request a quote.

Additionally, larger and/or more members are required with aluminum than steel to support the same loads. This can result in more parts, labor, and time: which adds up to more cost.

How Sterling Pipe and Tube Can Help

Sterling has been supplying electric welded steel tubes and pipes since 1987, spanning industries in the United States to Canada and even Australia. Our products are quality, and building relationships with our customers is key. Give us a call today so we can figure out the best solution for your specific solar industry application.