Ultimate Guide To Stainless Steel Tubes Sizes And Varieties

Stainless steel tubes are versatile for use in various structural applications. Additionally, the tubes are widely popular in various industrial sectors. However, stainless tubes vary in size to match the various application requirements. The tubes are great for those in the construction and manufacturing sectors for their wonderful features including strength, low maintenance, and corrosion resistance. 

Structural application of stainless steel requires exact sizing depending on the wall thickness and outside diameter. And, there are various kinds of stainless tubing according to particular requirements for your application. 

Options for stainless steel material

Steel is an alloy of carbon and iron. However, it has a minimum mass of 10.5 percent chromium giving steel its stainless feature. So, this is how the name stainless steel comes about. There are various varieties and grades of stainless steel depending on the addition of alloys. Stainless steel might contain various elements including manganese, silicon, aluminum, titanium, selenium, and chromium depending on your application. Each alloy composition gives stainless steel various physical characteristics that enhance its mechanical properties. 

The stainless steel grade you select determines the degree of corrosion to match the service environment for your application. You can order 304 stainless steel tubes with low carbon steel and excellent corrosion resistance for machine and welding work. Stainless steel with more levels of molybdenum has better corrosion resistance and strength in extreme temperatures. So, this grade of stainless steel is ideal for applications including car exhaust systems and exchangers. 

How to measure stainless steel tubes

Stainless steel tubes are usually for structural applications that require exact sizing. In all situations, the size of the tubes is determined by outside diameter and wall thickness. You have to make sure that the outside diameter you measure and the recommended is not exact but close to allow tolerance. An inch of the stainless tube should have one inch outside diameter to match wall thickness specifications. When measuring stainless tubes, the inside diameter of the tubes becomes smaller with an increase in wall thickness. 

Classifying stainless steel tubes

Hypodermic tubes 

These are stainless steel tubes for use in industrial and medical applications. Hypodermic stainless steel tubes are easy to clean and use. In fact, needles are made of 304 stainless steel grade to allow a thin wall tubing that allows deburring and beveling for a high-quality finish. Blunt needles from hypodermic stainless steel are for pumping balls, tires, rafts, or other inflatable items. Keep in mind that measuring hypodermic tubes is different from other steel tubes. Determining gauge size is from the outside and inside diameter of the tubing ranging from 3 to 33 gauge. 

Fractional, metric, and square

Measuring fractional, metric, and square stainless steel tubing is by the outside diameter and wall thickness. Fractional tubes are either 304 or 316 stainless steel grade for applications that require high corrosion resistance and exceptional strength. Metric stainless steel tubes have a wall thickness ranging from 1.024 inches.052 inches outside diameter. 

These tubes are ideal for pneumatic and high-pressure hydraulic applications. Square stainless steel tubes have extra mechanical properties for various commercial and domestic applications. These tubes are ideal for their architectural appeal and exceptional strength with the ability to thrive in extreme conditions. 

Differentiating between stainless steel tubes and pipes 

Some people confuse stainless steel tubes with pipes. The pipes are not for structural applications but for the transportation of fluids and gases. Keep in mind that there?s no need to be strict when it comes to determining the size of stainless steel pipes compared to tubes. You can just approximate the size to match your needs. 

Stainless steel tubes are for various applications including production lines, mills, and factories that use various stainless steel components. Additionally, various companies making a range of products are available today. Stainless steel tubes come in various shapes, thicknesses, and sizes. The popular and versatile type of steel is available in shapes including square, oval, rectangle, and round. Stainless steel tubes  have mechanical properties that make them ideal in various industries including manufacturing, industrial, and commercial. 

Getting appropriate design for your stainless steel tubes

For any application where you have to use stainless steel tubes, getting the right design to match your installation is very important. Keep in mind that most suppliers offer stainless steel tubes with standard gauges and sizes. You are likely to end up with fewer options to handle your particular performance and design requirements. 

So, it pays to find a reputable supplier of quality stainless steel tubing who can help you address this problem. The company will draw and manufacture the steel tubes to match your exact requirements. Partnering with such a supplier allows achieving objectives, saves time and money, and builds trusted relationships. 

Stainless steel tubes are ideal for various applications. However, understanding the right tubes with the right size and grade is key. You have to find a reputable supplier with stainless options to match your particular requirements.