Stainless Steel Tubing
Stainless steel tubes are manufactured by using hot and cold extrusion processes. These types of tubes can be either a thin or thick walled type and can be seamless or welded. Stainless tubes are used for a variety of applications in many different environments such as in the: automotive, medical, chemical processing, petrochemical, food processing, dairy equipment, plumbing, and agriculture produce processing industries, etc. Stainless steel tubing is commonly used to make things such as ladders, oven and refrigerator door handles, luggage racks, bed rails, and structural support, etc. By using steel tubes, a lot of material is saved that would otherwise end-up as chip and considerable savings are achieved by reducing machining costs.
There are many benefits to tubes that are made out of stainless steel as stainless steel is a low-carbon, iron-based alloy which contains at least 10 percent chromium. The chromium produces an invisible chromium oxide film over the steel that is resistant to corrosion. The invisible film can also heal itself if it is damaged as long as there is some oxygen present. Stainless steels can also be strengthened with the addition of more chromium, or other elements such as titanium, nickel, molybdenum, and nitrogen.
Most stainless steel tubing is made of the 300 series of austenitic iron-chromium-nickel alloys, ferritic stainless steel, and martensitic stainless steel. Stainless steel tubing can also be used in highly acidic, alkaline, and chlorine-intensive environments as the more chromium that is in the steel, the more corrosion resistant it becomes. Different grades of steel tubing can also be resistant to very high temperatures and impacts. Stainless steel is quite easy to cut and weld however it isn’t malleable and this means it can keep its shape well.
Steel tubes are available with many different outside diameters, wall thicknesses and chemical composition. They are usually supplied as long tubes that can be cut off to the length that is required. The tubes can also be bent into the required shapes, turns and angles by using tube bending machines. The ends of the tubes can be swaged to form different collars and beads. Internal and external threading can also be done with turning machines or by manual methods.