The Value of Aluminum Tube and Pipe
Continental Steel & Tube specializes in Marine Grade and Aerospace Grade Aluminum. Specifically 5083 and 5086 grades for Marine. In Aerospace the pipe and tube grades are 6061, 2024, and 7075.
Aluminum tubing appears across an extensive range of aerospace and commercial industrial applications, including healthcare products, recreation products, and machine parts. Manufacturers prize aluminum for its durability despite being only one third the weight of steel. Due to this versatile combination of strength and flexibility, many applications benefit from the effective use of aluminum tubing.
Aluminum Tubing’s Properties
Because of its light weight, aluminum tubing offers a greater volume of tubing per weight purchased than steel. Many products benefit from the use of a lighter tubing material, particularly those that require a degree of mobility such as wheelchairs and outdoor furniture. Aluminum tubing also does not tarnish, and it is more receptive to paint and other decorations than other metals, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
Aluminum conducts heat extremely well, making aluminum tubing a great candidate for applications reliant on temperature control, including refrigerators, solar power, and air conditioning systems. Additionally, applications such as hydraulic systems, fuel lines, frames, and racks benefit from aluminum tubing’s lightweight and durability.
Aluminum comes in several different alloys. Aluminum forms strong alloys with a variety of different combinations of magnesium and silicon. In particular, manufacturers use the aluminum square tube alloy 6061 for many medium- to high-strength applications because of its increased weldability and exceptional corrosion resistance. The 6061 aluminum square tube also anodizes easily, and its properties render it great for heat treating. It’s also the least expensive aluminum tube alloy available.
Manufacturers also use aluminum square tube alloy 6063 for its extremely smooth surface finish. Because it possesses only about half the strength of aluminum alloy 6061, aluminum alloy 6063 often appears in applications that value aesthetics over strength. This material still possesses many of the same anodizing capabilities as aluminum alloy 6061.
When to Use Aluminum Tubing
Aluminum tubing benefits a wide variety of industries. Outdoor recreation manufacturers use tubing to construct materials like tent poles, camp chair frames, and outdoor tables. In the medical industry, aluminum tubing appears in wheelchair frames, collapsible stretchers, bed frames, and crutches. Aerospace, automobile, and rail transporation manufacturers make use of aluminum tubing in fuselage, hydraulic systems, and fuel lines, and its heat-conductive capabilities render it a good alternative to steel or other heavier metals in refrigerators, engines, and HVAC systems. Aluminum tubing can also be found supporting chain-link fences, lining tables, and housing electric equipment such as desktop monitors.
Continental Steel, Aluminum Pipe and Tube Experts
Aluminum tubing offers not only flexibility and durability, but it is a lightweight, economic, highly conductive, resistant to corrosion, and environmentally friendly material well suited for many applications. Contact us today to discover how aluminum tubing will revolutionize both your next product and your bottom line!