What tubing is best for your application?
Featured Product from Eagle Stainless Tube & Fabrication, Inc.
Finding the Optimal Metal Tubing for Medical and Critical Applications
Common stainless steel series with typical grade and applications.
Selecting the best alloy for a tubing application can be a daunting task considering the wide variety of stainless steel and metal alloys available. The chromium in stainless steel forms a coherent passive oxide film and oxygen barrier, which imparts corrosion resistance. All stainless steels contain at least 10.5 percent chromium, although most grades contain at least 12 percent to maintain passivity. Understanding the different alloy series can aid in material selection. Austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, precipitation hardening (PH) and duplex are the main series of stainless steel alloys.
The austenitic 300 series of stainless steel alloys contain nickel additions as well as chromium, which improves ductility and retains an austenitic crystal structure in the alloy even at room temperature. The 304 and 316 grades are the most widely used. 304 stainless steels nominally contain 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. 316 stainless steels contain approximately 16 percent chromium, 10 percent nickel and 2 percent molybdenum. The molybdenum additions make the chromium oxide film denser, which enhances passivity and improves pitting and crevice corrosion resistance in chloride and marine environments.
Ferritic and martensitic 400 series stainless steels do not contain the nickel additions, so an austenitic structure is not retained at room temperature. The absence of nickel reduces material cost. Austenitic and ferritic stainless steels have low carbon levels that are not hardenable by heat treating. Austenitic and ferritic stainless steels can be work hardened through mechanical processing to partial or full hard tempers. Austenitic stainless steels have superior corrosion resistance compared to ferritic and martensitic grades, especially in wet environments. Ferritic stainless steels are easy to form, with sufficient corrosion resistance for dry applications.
Martensitic grades have higher carbon levels (1.2 percent in 410), so these alloys can be quenched and tempered to high hardness, strength and toughness levels. PH steels can provide corrosion resistance similar to austenitic steels but with higher tensile strength. Duplex stainless steel grades contain both ferrite and austenite. They have superior chloride stress corrosion cracking (SCC) and pitting resistance with about twice the strength of austenitic grades.
Mainstream stainless steel alloys may not have the required properties for special applications. Highly alloyed superaustenitic, superferritic and superduplex stainless steels are available with enhanced properties for extremely demanding applications. For medical implants, titanium tubing has superior biocompatibility. In certain high temperature, extreme corrosion and wear applications, cobalt- or nickel-based alloys might be the only viable options. Copper-nickel or Monel® tubing is useful in desalination and marine applications. Aluminum tubing might be the best option where high thermal conductivity or lightweight components are required.
Performance, Properties and Material Relationships
Identifying the environmental, thermal and mechanical performance requirements is the first step in selection, in order to determine what material properties are needed for reliable service throughout the tubing component’s lifetime. From the material property constraints, a group of candidate tubing materials can be formed....more...
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Download or request a hard copy of our updated design and manufacturing guidebook, offering valuable technical information to help you select the proper size and material composition for your unique needs. As a top stainless steel tube manufacturer we offer machining, welding, cutting, assemblies and bending while meeting or exceeding GMP and ASTM standards.
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Custom Tubing Designed for Your Needs
Making a difference in your design… from simple tubing to complex designs.
At Eagle, there’s nothing more important than producing a customized solution which exceeds our clients’ expectations and satisfies the unique specifications of their application. Our expertise with stainless steel custom tubing gives us the ability to help you design the product that will fit your project.
Complex designs need more than just stainless steel custom tubing. Secondary operations such as cutting to precision lengths, CNC and EDM machining, laser welding, bending, and precision grinding can transform a simple tube into just the part you need for your design.
We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise in developing product concepts and helping you solve your engineering problems. With decades of experience in the metals industry, you can count on Eagle as a resource for designing and fabricating your metal products.
Eagle Stainless Tube & Fabrication Inc.
Eagle Stainless Tube & Fabrication Inc.supplies stainless steel tubing to the medical, aerospace and high tech industries. Stainless steel, nickel alloys, aluminum, and titanium.
- Cut to length
- Precision machining
- Laser cutting & welding bending
- Electro-polishing and passivation.
- Re-draw to specialty & millimeter sizes in both round, square and rectangular.
- Grinding to precision tolerances