What are the common applications of tubular steel?
As one of the most versatile materials on the planet, steel can be virtually fabricated into anything. Steel tubes are an example of this. In fact, tubular steel applications can range from simple construction to industrial uses, such as in the petrochemical industry. What makes steel tubes an excellent choice is their ability to withstand high-pressure levels and durability. This is because steel tubes have been manufactured to the tee and have undergone proper testing to ensure their strength while in service.
Tubular steel starts off from raw steel materials such as billets or ingots. These can be transformed into tubes through rolling or extrusion. Unlike steel pipes, steel tubes may come in various shapes and sizes, be it rectangular, circular, or square. These can also be produced in a variety of sizes, depending on the use or the preference of the client or the specifications set by the manufacturer.
Due to the many properties of steel material, it’s no wonder why steel tubes have been found in almost all fields — petrochemical, automotive, construction, and the like. Continue reading to learn more.
As the name suggests, the petrochemical industry is concerned with manufacturing products that require fuel burning or other high energy-intensive processes. To support their operations, they need to be able to use systems and components that can withstand these conditions.
For this economic sector, tubular steel is often found in pipelines, HVACs, and other systems. These steel products have been designed to resist chemical changes and high-pressure conditions that may result from the constant fluid transmission.
While steel in itself isn’t resistant to corrosion, tubular steel can be coated with a layer of zinc through galvanization. This forms a corrosion-resistant layer on the product which allows it to retain its shape and quality even during chemical exposure and extreme temperature changes.
Aside from this, steel is also known for its high tensile strength — or the ability of a material to sustain external stress before breakage. As petrochemical operations rely on a constant flow of volatile and non-volatile substances, tubular steel has become a reliable addition in such high-pressure processes.
As mentioned before, tubular steel is also used in healthcare which relies on sanitary medical supplies, devices, equipment, and other assets that are essential for patient care. Since lives are at risk, tubular steel-based medical products should be dependable and designed at the highest standard possible. This is done in order to support situations where critical care is needed and surgical precision is crucial.
Having said this, tubular steel can be seen in different healthcare buildings, such as hospitals, care facilities, clinics, birth centers, blood banks, surgical centers, and the like. Often, tubular steel comes in the form of assembly parts for wheelchairs, gurneys, conveyor belts, IV stands, or even small surgical devices — more precisely, tubular stainless steel.
When a patient is being transported on a stretcher, for example, steel tubes play a role in securing the mattress and other parts of this equipment in place. Its durability and non-corrosiveness also ensure the safety of the patient — if they are suffering serious injuries, any open wounds won’t be contaminated by the material. Hospitals can also reduce their costs on equipment repair and supply due to the durability of tube steels.
Combustion engines are powered through the production of vast amounts of heat. This is why cars, trucks, or motorcycles have to be assembled using components that will remain functioning despite heat exposure. Since tubular steel products often have a high melting point — ranging from 1400 to 1540 degrees Celsius — this reason alone makes them one of the choice materials for any kind of automotive manufacturing.
Steel tubes can be found in exhaust pipes, radiators, chassis, suspension systems, or even the body/framework of the vehicle. Aside from being able to last well under extreme temperatures, steel tubes are also choice metal products because of the improved safety they provide the driver.
For example, when the vehicle body is made out of tube steel parts and other steel alloys, the driver can be protected from major impacts in the event of a car crash. Steel tubes also have an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, that although not as lightweight as aluminum, is a great alternative for its excellent strength properties.
Tubular steel can also be used structurally in constructing different types of buildings, from low-height, mid-rise, and high-rise developments. They can be used as support beams or columns, or even in building rafters, roofing decks, framework, studs, and decorative beams in residential spaces.
Tubular steel is a popular option for low-cost building materials because they’re readily available in the market. To add to that, steel can be recycled indefinitely without losing its original properties. If you’re planning to build a mid-range and low-cost warehouse, for example, you’ll find steel tubes to be more affordable. Manufacturers, suppliers, and refineries are consistently ensuring that any scrap steel used in their production process can be fit for any structural or even decorative use.
Discussed in this short guide are just some of the many tubular steel applications that you’ll see in everyday life. In healthcare, steel tubes are the most common components you’ll find in medical equipment and transport apparatus. Meanwhile, the automotive and petrochemical industries rely on steel tubes due to their impact resistance and longevity even under duress. The same goes for the construction sector, which has maximized the use of steel tubes in almost any building.