Wood Tubing vs. Steel Tubing

January 11, 2021

Tubing comes in many different shapes and materials, which means you can easily customize your projects. If you’re deciding between wood and steel tubing in Texas, you’ll need to critically evaluate each type to make sure it does what you need it to do. The strength, durability, weight, ease of manufacturing and shaping and longevity all make a difference depending on the product.

Here is a comparison of each type and how they perform in these categories:

  • Strength: Wood can actually be stronger than steel, depending on how it’s manufactured and reinforced. Wood tubing can be designed to withstand large amounts of stress and fatigue, thanks to its ability to compress under pressure. However, it can split and crack over time. That’s why steel is so often used for buildings, especially skyscrapers—with alloys and other treatments, steel is stronger than wood, and won’t degrade under stress.
  • Durability: Wood tubing in Texas is excellent for absorbing vibrations, but when it comes right down to it, steel is superior. It won’t bend, warp, rot or crack like wood does. It’s also great for resisting impact, fire and water damage. If you need your tubing to last (and if you’re reading this, you probably do), steel is likely the better option.
  • Weight: If your project is weight-sensitive, you will probably want to opt for steel. It’s about 12 times denser than wood, but it can be manufactured to be far lighter, too. If you need something even lighter than steel, aluminum tubing is a good option.
  • Ease of manufacturing: It’s a lot harder to make steel tubing than wood, which means it’s more expensive. In this regard, wood tubing might be a better choice—it’s less expensive, so you won’t blow your whole project budget on tubing alone. However, you might end up needing to replace the wood tubing well before you’d have to replace steel, which counteracts the savings.
  • Ease of shaping: Wood can be shaped to a certain extent, but not as easily or as quickly as metal can be. Depending on the shape you need, steel will almost always end up being the best choice.
  • Longevity: Steel doesn’t age as quickly as wood does, which means you’ll cut down on maintenance time and costs. Wood can succumb to termite damage, rotting and warping as it expands and contracts. Unless you want to regularly replace your tubing, steel is probably a better option for your project, no matter what it is.

There are very few circumstances in which wood tubing is the better option. If you want your project to last, steel tubing is the superior choice. Not only will it last longer, but it can also be manufactured easily and will stand up to more wear and tear.

Deciding between wood and metal tubing in Texas depends on your specific project. If you need help with irrigation supplies and projects, call or stop by B&M Pump Irrigation Sales & Service, Inc. We can help you find exactly what you need.

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