Three Common Kinds of Tubing Materials

When choosing tubing for your application, you must consider the material you may need. Tubing is important for both basic and complex kinds of machinery for all kinds of applications to function. Tubing differs from pipes in terms of thickness and the resulting joining method. In general, tubing has thin walls. Below are the most common types of tubing materials you can choose from:

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a steel alloy composed of iron and carbon. In terms of commercial steel, carbon content can be both a blessing a nightmare. Increasing the carbon content in your tubing will increase the strength and hardness of the material. But, extra carbon also means less ease with welding and increased brittleness. This kind of tubing is usually used in building applications that include liquid flows.

Carbon steel can be manufactured using the cold drawing or hot finishing method. Cold drawing involves drawing or shaping the tubing at room temperature. This is the ideal method when you desire for tubing with a better surface finish, lighter walls, close tolerances, and smaller diameters. In the hot finishing method, the tubing is made while the material is very hot.

Stainless Steel Tubing

Recognizing stainless steel tubing is quite easy because of its shine which is due to the material’s chromium content. Stainless steel tubing Houston does not readily corrode, stain, or rust with water. Stainless steel tubing has two kinds:

  • 304 stainless steel. This material is highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation while offering durability.
  • 316 stainless steel. This stainless steel is resistant to heat and corrosion. It is particularly resistant to chemical corrodents like water and brine solutions, as well as chlorides, sulfuric acid, fatty acids, bromides, and others.


Tubing made from copper a durable option for a leak-proof system. It is exceptionally resistant to corrosion and can be joined by using compression connection, flare connection, or solder. Below are the two kinds of copper tubing:

  • Annealed copper. This is hard tubing often found in specialty applications like appliances or distilling. Because it can be easily bent, it has to be supported with brackets or clamps every 4-6 feet.  Annealed copper tubing can harden because of vibration, bending, and oxidation.
  • Hard drawn copper. This tubing is usually used for channeling water through homes. It can be easy to bend so it is important to use soldered or brazed fittings when creating connections or altering directions.

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