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Use of Aluminium Tubing in Industrial Sectors

  • In industries where weight is a critical factor, such as the commercial and construction sectors, aluminium provides three times as much volume of metal per pound when compared with steel products. One of the most common aluminium components in use is aluminium tubing. Its preferred because of its ability to bend and be formed easily. The aluminium tubing suppliers in South Africa have a catalogue that mainly consists of both heat-treated and non-heat-treated alloys. There are usually three shapes in which they are produced: rectangular, round and square.  (Information source: https://www.eurosteel.co.za/aluminium/std-extruded-tubing/)


    Types of Tube Grade:

    The aluminium industry has created tubing alloy designations which use four-digit numerical designation to identify the specific aluminium alloy. The first digit stands for the major alloy metal while the second number indicates any modifications in the basic alloy.


    • 7075 Drawn Aluminium Tubing: This is a zinc alloyed aluminium product. Due to the fact that it is highly tensile and strong, it is heavily used in the aerospace industry.
    • 6061 Drawn Aluminium Tubing: This type of tubing consists of Silicon and Magnesium, which makes it suitable for brazing and welding. It is used in applications where a level of formability is required.
    • 5052 Drawn Aluminium Tubing: This type of tubing has Magnesium as the major metal in the alloy, providing it with easy weldability and good corrosive qualities.
    • 3003 Drawn Aluminium Tubing: This type of tubing is mainly used in condensers and heat exchangers in chemical equipment, as well as in pressure vessels.
    • 2024 Drawn Aluminium Tubing: This type of tubing is used in aircraft manufacturing due to its fatigue resistance and high strength.


    Applications in Various Industries:

    Aluminium tubing is used in several commercial sectors due to its versatile capabilities and properties. Being lightweight, yet strong, aluminium tubing is ideal for the aerospace and automotive industries as well as rail transportation. It is also a good conductor of heat. This is one of the reasons why 1XXX grade aluminium tubing is primarily used in engines, steam generators, solar power applications and reboilers. Aluminium is also used in government contracted works such as in highways and guardrails. Some of the common uses of aluminium tubing include in automotive, sports, ventilation and refrigeration, air conditioning and heating systems, marine accessories, outdoor lawn furniture, electronics, and healthcare product applications.


    Although aluminium tubing seems to be the ideal material for any engineering project, it is still important to figure out whether it fits one’s needs or not. While it is true that aluminium is a combination of durability, flexibility and impeccable strength-to-weight properties, there are some important things to consider when it comes to tubing. Firstly, tubing and piping are two different things. While piping offers only fluid transportation, tubing offers more structural benefits. Although somewhat expensive, one can get more volume for the price by total volume as it is lightweight.


    Aluminium tubing is one of the most used components in commercial industries. Thus, as a manufacturer, it makes sense to procure aluminium tubing from only certified suppliers who can provide licensed products.