Aluminium tubing is a versatile product, suited for anything from craft projects to construction projects. Aluminium has a vast number of benefits, including a very high strength to weight ratio. Choosing the right type of aluminium tube is essential if you want to get the best possible result. You need to consider a range of factors when you purchase aluminium tube to make the right buying decision.
Purpose of the Aluminium Tube
Establishing the purpose of the aluminium tube helps you gauge the quantity, strength, width, and shape of the tube you require. Some aluminium tubing is suitable for craft or hobbyist engineering projects, but is not strong enough for use in construction or scaffolding. Some applications, such as building aluminium scaffolding, require you to purchase specific widths, strengths, and shapes, while home projects, such as building a greenhouse or polytunnel frame, allow you to choose your own strength, size, and shape of tubing.
Size of the Aluminium Tube
Once you establish the purpose of the aluminium tubing, you can determine the size, thickness, width, and length of the tubing you need. Thinner tubes are easier to bend and manipulate, but compromise on strength because of the thinner walls. However, thin aluminium tubing makes great plant frames, chicken coops, and animal runs for the garden, or even bicycle frames. Aluminium tubing with thicker walls of the appropriate diameter is better suited to industrial applications, such as scaffolding or shed framing.
Aluminium Alloy Tubing
If you want aluminium tubing, consider purchasing aluminium alloy instead. Many alloys have higher weight to strength ratio, or tensile strength, than regular aluminium tubes. Additionally, the introduction of a second metal, forming the alloy, makes the aluminium harder and less prone to scratches or bending, increasing the lifespan of the tube.
Aluminium Tube Shape
The shape of the aluminium tube is another important consideration. The most common tube types are circular, square, hexagonal, and rectangular. Circular tubes are stronger because they have no corners, which are weak points. However, some applications and projects may require a tube of a different shape. For example, a cogwheel that you wish to connect to an aluminium tube may have a space for a hexagonal aluminium tube to turn the cog but prevent it slipping on the tube. This means you are unable to force a different sized tube into the receptor.