ASTM A36 is one of the most widely used structural steel alloys. A36 is a type of steel that is available in a wide range of shapes including: plates, bars, angles, beams, channels, and rounds. A36 steel is commonly used when you want to weld or bend the steel. Lately, designers and architects have used A36 steel in non-structural ways. A36 steel looks dark and grainy and when stained, it can look like a modern art painting. If you are in the Los Angeles area and you want to see A36 steel, feel free to stop and by we’ll give you the nickel tour.
Galvanized steel per ASTM A653 is a material where zinc is applied to steel sheets through electroplating. By putting this zinc coating on the sheets, it makes the metal much more resistant to corrosion. Although you can paint the steel to prevent it from rusting, the coating won’t be nearly as thick nor as protective as galvanized steel. There are different thickness of zinc coating that can be applied to the steel but for most commercial applications, G60 or G90 are the two most common. Most people don’t realize that not all galvanized steel look the same. The size of the crystallites in the galvanized coating is called “spangle” and it will greatly alter the appearance of the galvanized sheets. Some galvanized sheets look uniform and this is called minimum spangle, whereas some crystallite can be ¼” – ½” in size. If you are in Los Angeles and wish to see the variations in the galvanized steel, please feel free to come by.
Electric Resistance Welded Tubing is the most common type of tubing out there. It starts with a strip of steel that is formed and then welded. ERW tubing is measured on the OD (unlike pipe which is measured on the ID). Among the different types of steel tubing, ERW tubing is the cheapest, but the weakest.
DOM tubing or drawn over mandrel tubing is also called “seamless” tubing because it is virtually seamless. Like regular welded tubing, it begins with a strip of steel that is formed and welded. It is then drawn over a mandrel (hence the name DOM) which causes the tube to be virtually seamless. It also makes the tube more concentric, have closer tolerances, and stronger, by as much as 20%. It is more expensive than ERW tubing but not as expensive as chromoly tubing.
Chromoly Steel Tubing
As you probably guessed, Chromoly Steel tubing is a type tubing that is made out of Chromoly steel. Chromoly steel is an alloyed steel that has small amounts of chromium and molybendum mixed in it, which makes the tube stiffer and stronger than ERW and DOM tubing. Chromoly steel tubing is usually available in the 4130 grade and it can be heat-treated to make it even stronger. Although Chromoly tubing weighs the same as ERW tubing and DOM tubing, you can usually get away with using a slightly thinner wall versus ERW and DOM tubing.
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