A500 Steel Tube Grade B | 500 Steel Tube Grade C

A500 steel tube is a cold rolled steel used for load bearing applications. Kloeckner Metals is proud to supply A500 steel tube in grades B and C nationwide across our network of 40+ branches.

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General Info About A500

Kloeckner stocks grades C and B A500 steel tubes, ideal for structural supports and building columns. Used for load-bearing structures that require high-yield strength, A500 steel comes in four grades — A, B, C, and D. Kloeckner Metals offers tube in grades B and C, including uncoated pipe, welded/galvanized pipe, square structural tube, rectangular structural tube, and round structural tube. We routinely stock both grades in standard lengths and can cut to any length in a variety of shapes.

All A500 steel tube must meet certain tensile strength requirements. Round structural tubing must also go through a flattening test. Only grade D requires testing for heat treatment. For round structural tubing, grade A500 steel must meet a minimum 45,000 psi tensile strength, grade B 58,000 psi minimum, grade C 62,000 psi, and grade D 58,000 psi. Grade A’s yield strength should be 33,000 minimum psi, grade B’s 42,000 psi, grade C’s 46,000, and grade D’s 36,000. For shaped structural tubing, the grades must meet the same tensile strength as for round tubing. Minimum yield strength goes up to 39,000 psi for grade A, 46,000 for grade B, 50,000 for grade C, and 36,000 for grade D.

Grade D, the only heat-treated grade of A500 steel, has to be heated to at least 1100 F (590 C) for one hour per inch of thickness.

Round structural tubing requires flattening tests. The tester must flatten at least four inches of welded round structural tubing cold between parallel plates with the weld located 90° from the force’s line of direction. For seamless tubing, the tester uses 2 ⅜ to 2 ½ inches. The test specimens must not crack or break on the inside or outside surfaces.

More Details About A500 Steel Tube Grades B and C

  • Advantages/Disadvantages

    A500 steel is easy to weld and machine, can be cold worked, and features a pleasing appearance. Specifically, A500 steel is similar to A53 in popularity and use, but it has a higher yield strength, is more corrosion resistant, and has a greater strength-to-weight ratio. As a result, it is more expensive than A53 grade steel.

    Chemically and structurally, A500 better resembles A36 steel. The major difference between the two is in their use. Though both are hot rolled steel, A36 has many shapes and types, including rectangular bar, round bar, round tube, square bar, angle, channel, plate, tread plate, and shafting. A500 on the other hand is just used for metal pipes and tubes albeit these can be round, square, or rectangular.

    A500’s primary advantage is its relative strength. Consequently, this steel grade works well for structural applications such as pipes, tanks, boilers, and heavy-duty equipment. The metal’s major disadvantage is its relative heat intolerance. It will shatter rather than shape at high temperatures.

  • Industries

    Of all the grades of steel, A500 is one of the most aesthetically pleasing. Its appearance makes A500 steel a great choice for architectural accent work. Industries that employ steel tubing and piping for structural support may use A500 steel. Construction, agriculture, and transportation are three major industries that use this grade. Nonresidential structural support, tillage and farm equipment, guard rails, and trailer hitches all rely on A500’s excellent torsion resistance, compression qualities, and high strength-to-weight ratio.

  • Applications

    A500 steel pipe and tube can be used for structural supports, communication towers, highway signs, and oil field services. Typically, A500 provides better support when you need a round profile than A53 does.

  • Chemical Composition

    A500 steel’s chemical composition depends on its grade. Grade C’s maximum carbon inclusion tops out at 0.23% while grades A, B, and D can go up to 0.26%. The maximum levels of manganese, phosphorus, and sulfur stay the same across all grades. The minimum copper content of 0.20% is optional. The major difference among the grades is that grade D must be heat treated while the other grades can be cold rolled.

  • Machining

    Easy to machine and fabricate, A500 grade steel can be bent into nearly any shape without crimping. It will maintain its strength without cracking.

  • Welding

    A500 can be cold-formed welded. Welders who are certified D1.3 by the American Welding Society must follow AISI S100 standards to cold-form weld A500 steel.

    This steel grade can also be formed by all standard, conventional welding methods. Generally, pre-heat and post-heat treatment is advisable.

  • Heat Treatment

    Forge at 2350 to 1800 F, do hot work at 900 to 200 F, and temper at 600 to 1100 F. Heating A500 grade steel to 1500 – 1600 F and water quenching will harden the metal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a steel pipe and a steel tube?


    Measured by wall thickness and outside diameter, a tube’s hollow section can be square, round, rectangular, or oval. By contrast, a pipe is a hollow cylinder that meets nominal pipe size.

  • What is the difference between A500 Grade C and A500 Grade B?


    Grade C steel is the most common grade within the A500 family. It has a lower carbon content than grade B. Grade C’s yield strength is 46 ksi for round steel and 50 ksi for shaped. Grade B’s yield strength is 42 ksi for round steel and 46 ksi for shaped.

  • What is the difference between A500 pipe and A500 tube?


    A500 tube is stronger than A500 pipe and is more useful for applications that require durability.

  • What does it mean that A500 steel is available uncoated?


    Uncoated steel does not have a polymer or laminate coating. It is, however, coated with metal such as tin or chromium oxide. Coated steel corrodes less easily, and uncoated steel is easier to keep sharp.

  • What does it mean that A500 is available welded and galvanized?


    Welded steel has melted and solidified through a high-heat operation. Galvanized steel has had zinc applied as a corrosion-resistant coating.

  • What formats is A500 available in?


    Kloeckner sells A500 tubes and pipes in various lengths, sizes, and wall thicknesses.

  • When would you use A500 as pipe and when as tube?


    Generally, pipes work best for larger applications and tubes for smaller ones.

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