Square or Round Tubing?

Are you planning a new project which requires some kind of metal tubing? As you check into materials you’ll soon discover a wide range of choices. For example, should you choose aluminum rectangle tube, or is round the best selection? Here is a brief primer on the physics of round vs square to give you a better idea.

Why Square or Rectangular Shapes?

If you take a round object and a square object and place a weight on top of each one, what happens? The round object is very likely to roll out from under the weight. On the other hand, the square or rectangular shaped tube will hold the weight in place without any movement. This demonstrates the fact that rectangle or square shapes can hold more weight than round. This is an extremely important consideration when it comes to structural components.

Think about this, how often do you see round support beams in a large structure? In fact, you probably have never seen any. This leads us to another important benefit of materials like aluminum rectangle tube. It is much easier to attach square shaped tubing to framing components. There is much more surface material touching other components. With round tubing, you need some kind of hanger or additional support and this may not be necessary when you use the right kind of rectangular support structures.

Do you plan to weld your tubing for framing or other support systems? If so, it is much easier to weld square or rectangular tubing than round. For one thing, round tubing may not stay in place while you weld it. By the same token, it is easier to cut aluminum rectangle tube than round tubing.

Benefits of Round Tubing

Round tube has some good benefits to consider. For example, are you looking for something very light in weight? Aluminum is a good decision because it is much lighter than steel. However, round aluminum tube is considerably lighter than square or rectangular shape, for the same size. Plus, because less material is required to make round tubing, you can usually buy it cheaper. This is a very important consideration for large projects with tight budgets.

Why Not Choose Steel Tubing?

You can buy steel cheaper than aluminum and it will provide exceptional structural support. However, steel is considerably heavier than aluminum. Plus, if your structure is going to be out in the elements, rust can be a major factor. Even though aluminum rectangle tube is more expensive than steel, its lighter weight and excellent resistance to corrosion make it superior for many applications today.

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