Below is an outline of the different metals available for tube fabrication, as well as the various finishes that we provide for stainless steel tubing. However, our team will happily chat to you and help guide you through the options available for your application — get in touch
Most of our tubing is fabricated from stainless steel because it is versatile, durable and sustainable. It is easy to clean, which makes it a hygienic choice for public buildings and healthcare applications.
Stainless steels are iron alloys with a minimum of 10.5% chromium. Other alloying elements such as nickel, molybdenum and titanium are added to enhance structure, formability and strength, as well as non-metals such as carbon and nitrogen. Stainless steel covers a wide range of steel types and grades for corrosion / oxidation-resistant applications; to qualify for each type or grade, it must meet the corrosion-resistance requirements.
We do not form our tubes from mild steel, or use any mild steel tooling, not only because it lacks the quality of stainless steel, but because it contaminates the stainless steel that we form from. The lack of alloying elements in mild steel means that it is prone to oxidisation (rust) if it’s not properly coated. By contrast, stainless steel boasts impressive anti-corrosive properties. Find out more about why we believe stainless steel is superior to mild steel for the applications that we make tubing for.
Stainless steel 316L / 1.4404
All of our tube products are available in premium quality stainless steel 316L. Also known as 1.4404 stainless steel, this ‘marine-grade’ stainless steel has fantastic qualities with a high resistance to corrosion. Perfect for exterior applications both structural and decorative, it is a strong and versatile material that is ideal for marine applications.
Stainless steel 304L / 1.4301
Any of our tube styles can be made using stainless steel 304. Sometimes referred to as 1.4301 stainless steel, this practical and versatile material provides ample strength while retaining a high degree of manipulability. This quality metal is suitable for structural and decorative purposes and lends itself to interior applications.
Duplex and superduplex
We use duplex and superduplex stainless steel if the tubing is going to be used in subsea conditions because it offers excellent corrosion resistance and high mechanical strength. Duplex stainless steel grades are alloyed with nitrogen. They boast many of the benefits of austenitic and ferritic stainless steel.
Stainless steel finishes
It is important to specify the right finish for your project. Depending upon your application and the tubing fabrication you require, we can shape your tubing from pre-polished round tube or our fabrication team can polish it at our fully equipped polishing studio. We also offer a polishing service for other metal components and plates. Our expert team can guide you through the finishing options available. Find out more about our polishing services.
Our stainless steel tubes are typically supplied with a bright polish finish (600 grit), which is attractive, practical and has a better resistance to corrosion than a roughly polished surface.
Mirror polish I
Tubes with a bright finish are polished once then buffed. This offers greater reflectivity than bright polish, and is sometimes referred to as a commercial mirror finish.
Mirror polish II
Tubes with a bright finish are linished to remove any imperfections, then polished once and buffed.
Super mirror polish
Tubes with a bright finish are linished, polished once then buffed twice. This premium polish boasts an exceptional reflectivity, and is sometimes referred to as super marine mirror polish.
Brushed or satin finish
We can also provide a dull grit finish (240 grit), or a brushed or satin finish (320 grit). These fine grain, non-reflective satin finishes are popular because they effectively disguise blemishes or fingerprints.
If appearance is not important, or if finishing is to take place after further fabrication, we can also provide tubes with a mill finish or descaled finish.
Powder coating or PVD finishes
Upon request, we can even apply a wood-effect powder finish to our stainless steel tubes. Or if you are seeking a brass-effect but you need the tubing to be extremely tough, we can use PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) titanium ion plating on stainless steel to create brass-coloured tubes. PVD is available in a wide variety of colours, and is scratch and corrosion resistant.
Aluminium is an important material due to the fact that it is light, durable and functional. It is one of the lightest metals but it’s also strong and flexible. Its surface is covered in an extremely thin yet strong layer of oxide film, which makes It highly corrosion-resistant. It also resists heat damage and is a great electricity conductor. It doesn’t magnetise, and it forms alloys with most other metals.
Aluminium 5083 is a high-quality premium-grade aluminium that possesses immense strength coupled with excellent formability. This combination makes aluminium 5083 perfect for a wide range of applications. This material has a high value, but the additional attribute of being lighter in weight makes it desirable for specific projects. It is highly resistant against sea water and industrial chemicals. It retains strength after welding.
Aluminium 6063 is a lower-grade material compared to aluminium 5083. Although we have previously formed our tubes from this grade of aluminium, we advise against choosing extruded aluminium 6063 unless the tolerances are not critical. The variation of the wall thickness for this grade of metal does not achieve the symmetry that we demand from our tubing. If you wish to use this grade, please talk to us about using drawn 6063 aluminium.
BRASS CZ108 H/H
Brass is an alloy consisting of copper and zinc, which is stronger than pure copper and provides a lighter, gold-like finish. Brass is the most common of the copper-based alloys. It has a good corrosion resistance. We typically use ‘basis brass’ for tube fabrication as it has excellent cold forming attributes, and can be readily soldered.
Cupronickel 90/10 Cu90Ni10
Also known as copper-nickel, cupronickel is a group of alloys containing copper and nickel. We use cupronickel 90/10, which contains 90% copper and 10% nickel, with small quantities of iron and manganese for strength and corrosion-resistance. Cupronickel 90/10 has a warm colour that is similar to bronze, which makes it an extremely cost-effective alternative to bronze.
Cupronickel has high electrical resistivity.
We can also fabricate tubing from other metals such as titanium, copper and bronze — contact us for more information on using alternative materials. (Please note that we do not use mild steel in our workshop to prevent contamination issues).