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Carbon Steel Tube

Carbon Steel Tube


Carbon steel tube is an affordable option for a
variety of pipe and tube applications. This tube can be used for machinery
parts as well as a number of other applications. Advantages of using carbon steel
tubing are easy machinability, large variety of OD and wall thicknesses,
and lower costs than alloy and stainless tubing.
The first methods for producing steel pipe were introduced in the early 1800s,
and they have steadily evolved into the modern processes we use today. Large
diameter steel pressure pipes for water and wastewater applications are
typically made with carbon steel and installed as buried assets. Steel
pipe can be made using three main methods:

  • Seamless (extrusion mold) – Hot steel is pushed through a
    die to create the pipe shape. Diameters of up to20”(500mm)
    can be made this way. Expensive but the most reliable.
  • Welded – A sheet of steel is wrapped around a form then
    welded at the seam. Less expensive but not as reliable as seamless for
    high-pressure situations.
  • Casting Mold – Hot liquid steel is poured into a mold. Not
    very common and as reliable as seamless.

The primary benefit of steel pipe is its strength. These pipes don’t crack
under most impacts and can operate under high pressure. Under abnormal loads,
steel will bend, rather than break.


  • High tensile
  • High
    compressive strength
  • Range of
    corrosion protection systems
  • Wide range of
    diameters and wall thickness
  • Welded joints
    give continuity


  • Prone to
    external corrosion
  • Electrolysis
  • Jointing
    requires skilled welders
  • Internal/external
    corrosion protection systems add to price
  • Coatings and
    linings can get damaged during installation and by third parties

Main Forms Failure in Steel Pipes

Form of Failure

Causes of Failure

Indicators of Failure


Pitting corrosion weakening wall

Damage to coating/linings, wall loss, pitting, and


Thinning from general corrosion, and areas of pitting

Graphitization, groups of pitting, and wall loss


Third party damage

Construction activity

Three constraints affect the cross-sectional dimensions of welded tube:

  • Outside
    diameter (OD)
  • Gauge (wall
  • Inside
    diameter (ID)

An as-welded tube manufacturer can control the OD and gauge of the tube.
Since the tube is manufactured from the outside by a series of rolls that
ultimately produces the final OD size of the tube, the ID varies by the
combination of the final OD and gauge. Tight tolerance tubing reduces ID
variation compared to that of conventional tubing produced to American Society
for Testing & Materials (ASTM) standard 513. For fabricators, this
reduction helps to provide improved quality, reduced scrap, and the possible
elimination of processing steps.

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