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Seamless Aluminum Tubing

Hydro Extrusion is the North American leader in seamless aluminum tubing, structural aluminum tubing, and standard and custom aluminum extrusions. We are capable of producing some of the largest OD sizes and highest precision tolerances in the industry for virtually any type of application, from high pressure and mechanical to architectural and framing.

End shot of multiple extruded aluminum shapes

Extruded tube is brought to final dimensions by the hot extrusion process and can be seamless or non-seamless. Although you cannot visually tell the difference between seamless and structural pipe and tube, they are different, and choosing the right one will depend on your application.

Seamless Tube:

Hydro seamless tubes are produced using two methods. One method pushes a hollow aluminum billet through a Die and Mandrel Press with tremendous force at high temperatures. The other method pushes a solid billet through a Piercer Press and then a mandrel pierces and extrudes the billet in a second forward stroke. Regardless of the method used, the tube will have no weld or seam, making it ideal for anodizing and other finishing procedures.

Advantages of seamless tube and pipe:

  • No weld seams, preferred for pressure vessels
  • More uniform anodizing appearance, especially on heavier wall sections
  • No weld seams that could split in forming operation
  • Increased structural integrity

Structural Tube:

Hydro structural tube is produced with either the porthole or bridge die method. Solid aluminum billet is pushed through the die with tremendous force at high temperatures. The tube separates during the process and is formed back together by an inherent welding process while passing through the extrusion die. There is a slightly visible seam that may be noticeable to the naked eye if the tube is anodized or "finished."

Advantages of structural tube and pipe:

  • Improved control of wall thickness eccentricity
  • More ability to use multi-hole dies for smaller diameter sizes to improve productivity, decreases costs

Seamless Tubing Applications

Seamless pipe and tube is typically used for pressure vessels, hydraulic cylinders, compressed gas cylinders, drive shafts, lighting applications and bus conductors. They are recommended for applications requiring:

  • Critical pressure ratings
  • Demanding forming applications
  • Critical strength requirement
  • Uniform anodizing appearance

Aluminum Tubing Options

As a widely used aluminum profile shape, aluminum tubes are available in square, rectangular and round shapes in a range of sizes based on the outside dimensions. The tube’s strength is a factor of the aluminum alloy used, the thickness of the walls, and the size of the tube. Round tubes are available in the widest variety of sizes, from an outer diameter of 5/8 inch to 16 inches and wall thicknesses of 1/16 inch to 1 inch.

Hydro’s structural and seamless product line includes:

  • Seamless pipe and tube up to 15.375” OD
  • Seamless mechanical tube up to 12” OD
  • Square and rectangular tube up to 11.5” circle size
  • Structural pipe and tube to 8.625” OD
  • Thin wall superior quality and construction tube
  • Structural and seamless custom hollow shapes
  • Mine and irrigation pipe with Victaulic groove option
  • Electrical bus conductor pipe and tube

Next to steel, aluminum is the most commonly used metal. Its high strength, light weight, and resistance to rust and corrosion make it a great choice for everything from spacecraft to heat sinks. Hydro Extrusion experts will be pleased to help you decide whether seamless aluminum tubing or structural tubing will be most suitable for your intended application.