7 Types of Stainless Steel Tubes: What Are They Mainly Used For?

Stainless steel is one of the world’s greatest inventions. Modern stainless was created by a German in 1890. Hans Goldschmidt developed a thermite process for creating carbon-free chromium alloys. Today, stainless steel is valued because it’s non-corrosive and withstands extremes in temperatures.

1.3 billion tons of stainless steel are produced every year. The metal is a major component in the construction, energy and transportation industries. Further, every major building in the world has stainless steel pipes and tubes somewhere. The tubing is manufactured in standardized shapes and sizes. The different tubes are given numbers that are recognized in all industries. Tubes are formed in triangular, square or polygonal shapes. Tubes may contain certain alloys in order to withstand pressure. Learn about tubing costs at varnerpipe.com.


U-Bend tubes are used in heat exchange systems. These systems can be found in refineries, power plants, and your home. U-bend tubes are commonly used in boilers. The tube is shaped like u to move heat from a hot to a cold side. Tubing for this purpose has to be strong. Leaks can lead to environmental hazards and other conditions.


Ferritic tubes are made with a high chromium content which makes them resistant to corrosion from acids and gases. The tubes are also magnetic and contain very little carbon. Ferritic tubes are highly pliable so they serve many purposes. They’re used in washing machine drums, automobiles, dishwashers, and kitchen sinks.


These stainless tubes contain chromium and nickel. Austenitic tubes will not harden when treated by heat. This type of tube is very popular because it’s non-corrosive and very pliable. Additionally, they are not magnetic. Austenitic tubes are used in the food-service industry, for automotive trim and processing equipment.


Duplex stainless steel tubes are half austenitic and half ferritic. Therefore, duplex tubes share their properties. There are four types of duplex tubes: lean duplex, duplex, super duplex, and hyper duplex. Duplex stainless steels are used to form thinner tubes that are easier to weld and form. Duplex tubes withstand corrosion from chloride and are desired in chemical industries.


Martensitic stainless steel is an alloy composed of chromium, iron, and carbon. Martensitic is resistant to corrosion and oxidation and high and low temperatures. This steel is very magnetic and easily hardens with heat treatment. These tubes are used in turbine and petrochemical equipment.


High-Pressure tubes are tested under extreme conditions to make sure they withstand all types of extremes. The user has to make sure they don’t crack under pressure. Further, the size should be inspected to make sure the tube is used correctly. These tubes are so strong they’re often used in heat exchange systems. However, the main use is in chemical and hydraulic high-pressure containers.

Heat-Resistant and Heat-Exchanger

Heat-resistant tubing withstands temperatures up to 550 degrees celsius. It has a high chromium and nickel content. These tubes are most often used in boilers. Meanwhile, heat exchanger tubes come in a variety of formulations including austenitic and duplex stainless steel. Heat exchanger tubes are used in seawater coolers, condensers, evaporators, and heaters.

Hans Goldschmidt had no idea that others would take his work and achieve wonders with stainless steel. Stainless steel tubes are relied upon for versatility, resistance to corrosion and low maintenance costs. Think of all the things in your home that contain stainless tubing.

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