In the world of tubing, things can get a bit confusing. With many different types of tubing for different applications, terms and meanings can be a bit ambiguous. With this in mind, we’ve set out to explain the difference between structural tubing and mechanical tubing.
Let’s get started.Definitions
Mechanical Tubing: tubing used for mechanical and light gauge structural applications. Mechanical tube is produced to meet specific end use requirements, specifications, tolerances and chemistries. This allows for more specific property uniformity throughout the tube compared to standard pipe. While Mechanical tube can be produced to standard specifications when requested, it is often produced to “typical” properties that focus mainly on the yield strength for a particular size and wall thickness. In some applications with severe forming, yield strength may not even be specified and the Mechanical tube is produced to be “fit for use”. Mechanical tubing encompasses a wide range of both structural and non-structural applications.
Structural Tubing: tubing used for structural applications. Standard strength requirements of the tube help dictate applications for which certain tubing is most appropriate. Structural tube is often referred to as hollow structural sections or HSS.