Stainless Pipe & Tube
Tips for Purchasing, Ordering & Using Stainless Steel Tubes and Pipes
Whether you have a job that is large or small, buying stainless steel tubes or pipes is an extremely popular choice. Stainless steel is an extremely durable metal that’s easy to fabricate, with a high corrosion resistance, long lasting durability and near endless applications. With its many different types, grades and uses, finding the right option for you can be difficult to say the least! This article will take all the mystery out of the different grades and applications for pipes and tubes, in particular those which are stainless.
What’s the Difference Between Pipes and Tubes?
Though you may have heard the terms pipes and tubes used interchangeably, they are actually two different things. Pipes are always round in shape, and are measured by schedule, (SCH) which is wall thickness, and nominal diameter, (NOM) which is the pipe size. Stainless pipe in particular is good for larger applications, like aesthetic or structural.
Tubes, on the other hand, can be round, square, or rectangular. They are only used for transporting fluids or gasses, which is why they are measured by their inside diameter and wall thickness. They are held to a more stringent standard, stronger than pipes, and best used for smaller applications.
How Expensive are Stainless Steel Pipes and Tubes?
Depending on the thickness, style, and fabrication, the price for stainless steel pipe varies greatly. It is also dependent upon factors like which alloy or hardness you need, if you want welded, drawn, or seamless, and of course the diameter and how much the job calls for. The price can vary from about $3,000 per ton all the way up to $15,000 per ton, and it is sold per foot as well, which is ideal for smaller jobs. Make sure you have the exact specifications and measurements you need, including inside/outside diameter and wall thickness, before you get a quote or place an order.
What are the Different Families and Grades of Stainless Steel Pipes & Tubes?
When purchasing stainless steel pipe, you should remember that they are classified in two different ways: families and grades. Families refer to the specific aspects and properties of each metal, and also signifies the alloy composition ratio. When it comes to understanding the different families and grades of metal, a stainless pipe chart can definitely come in handy.
Here’s the four different families of stainless steel:
Grades of Stainless Steel Pipes and Tubes
Grades are the different properties each metal has within its family. Grades can also refer to the alloy ratio in the metal, as well as the level of corrosion resistance, durability of the metal, and its magnetism. In North America, grades are identified using a six character figure set by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM). For the metal to make the grade it must adhere to strict quality standards.
Final Thoughts on Stainless Steel and its Applications
If you have a large or small job, or even one in-between, stainless steel piping and tubing can offer what you need for any job, in any industry. Stainless steel is highly durable, strong, has excellent corrosion resistance, and can be easily fabricated to fit any application, measurement or specification. When it comes to pretty much any project, stainless steel is the metal for the job!
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