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Stainless Steel Welded Tubes and Seamless Tubes

Usually, pipe and tubes are used interchangeably as both are hollow sections. Tubes are measured by outer diameter as well as wall thickness while pipes are measured by inner diameter. Tubes are considered suitable for structural applications while pipes are used for transporting fluids, liquids, and gases. Tubes and pipes are available in a welded and seamless form.

When deciding which type of tube to be used for a certain project you need to determine the project specifications and conditions.


Welded Tube

Welded tubes are the tubes that involve welding the two ends of a roll of metal sheet to join them together in order to form a cylindrical hollow section or tubing. The welding process used depends on the type of material, and its thickness. The welding processes that are used more often include high induction welding, laser, and resistance welding. Each technique used provides a durable and strong tube. Once the tube is formed it is then cut to a specific size as required.

Welded tubes are affordable and have a lower cost of production as it requires less time to manufacture them. Less time for manufacturing results in fast lead time. Welded tubes are used for several applications that require accurate dimensions, shorter completion time, and cost-efficiency. The applications are listed below:

  • Architecture
  • Construction
  • Automotive industry
  • Marine parts
  • Food and beverage processing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemical processing

Seamless Tube

Seamless tubes are homogeneous tubes that do not have welded seam. Seamless tubes are considered to have greater strength, hardness, durability, and resistance to high pressures. It is manufactured by a process called extrusion. Where metal is melted and formed into a cylindrical hollow section by using the mandrel milling technique. Once the tube is formed it is cut to a required length. It is comparatively expensive than welded tubing. 

Seamless tubes have several benefits because they have greater strength, better resistance to corrosion, and high pressure. It is suitable for several applications especially those that have extreme environmental conditions. It is recommended for use in many applications that have strict specifications as to strength and durability. The applications that require the use of seamless tubes are listed below:

  • Petroleum and oil transportation lines
  • Chemical processing
  • Below sea level safety valves
  • High-pressure vessels

Difference Between Welded Tubing and Seamless Tubing

  1. Strength: Seamless tubes are considered to have greater strength as compared to welded tubes.
  2. Cost of production: The cost of production of a welded tube is much less as compared to seamless tubes due to several methods available for welding.
  3. Fast lead times: The welded has faster lead times because its process is faster and requires less time to manufacture.
  4. Affordability: The welded tubes are more affordable as compared to seamless tubes.
  5. Corrosion Resistance: Seamless tubing offers better resistance to corrosion.
  6. High Pressure: Seamless tubes are considered suitable for high-pressure applications.
  7. Wall Size: Welded tubes have thinner walls as compared to seamless tubing.

The seamless tube can replace welded tube but the welded tube cannot replace seamless tube because the seamless tube has greater strength, thicker walls, corrosion-resistant and suitable for high pressure and extreme environmental conditions in which welded tubes are not.