Stainless Steel Tubing: What Buyers Need to Know

Some projects that require resistance to high pressure, corrosive environments, and high pressure will need stainless steel tubing. These can include beverage, food, nuclear, gas, and chemical plants. Different wall thickness is available to suit a range of pressure requirements and various finishes to achieve the desired aesthetic.

Stainless steel tubing Houston is made into a lot of shapes and thickness from round and oval, to rectangular and bars. Usually, tubes are formed into coil shapes. Military, aerospace, industrial, and nuclear developments buy highly resistant steel tubs manufactured with the toughest alloys. There are standards set for nearly all stainless steel tubing to make sure that industries have a set measurement to judge the tubing they buy.

Kinds of Stainless Steel Tubing

Stainless steel tubing can be straight length or continuous coiled stainless steel tubing. Typically, the straight length type is available in 20-foot section while the special length type like 30 or 40 feet is available upon request.

Wall Thickness and Diameter

The main distinguishing element between stainless steel tubing and pipe is the dimensions to which they are formed. Although pipe follows Nominal Pipe Sizes and pipe schedules, stainless steel tubing has precise dimensions. A tubing burst chart will identify the right wall thickness based on the working pressure. Also, unlike pipe that specifies wall thickness through pipe schedule, the wall thickness in stainless steel tubing is specified in inches.

Surface Finish

Stainless steel tubing has three surface finishes.

  • Bright annealed.  This stainless steel tubing finish is commonly called BA finish. This surface finish is cold rolled using highly polished rolls in contact with the surface of the steel, to make it both bright and smooth. The tubing is polished to 400 grit and provides a more accurate thickness than other surface finishes.

  • Polished stainless steel tubing. The tubing is mechanically polished and brushed using abrasive materials which cut the steel surface to a slight degree. Typically, this polishing is done to 240 grit.
  • Annealed and polished. This is the basic supply condition for all stainless steel products. To maximize the metal’s resistance to corrosion, the finishes are acid-cleaned to eliminate scale formed during the hot rolling and annealing process. In general, annealed and polished finished stainless steel tubing is less expensive than polished, stainless steel tubing. This is because it follows the same steps to produce polished stainless steel tubing without the extra polishing process.

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