When designing or purchasing any metal tubing, the thicker the wall you specify, the more the tube will weigh and the fewer feet you’ll get for each dollar you spend. The economic incentive therefore is to use the lightest tubing possible for your application. For this very reason, Testrite Aluminum stocks an .038” wall telescopic aluminum tubing line, enabling the construction of low cost, lightweight, telescopic aluminum tubing assemblies.
There are situations and applications that call for heavier wall thicknesses. For this reason, Testrite Aluminum also carries a full line of .058” wall telescopic aluminum tubes in 1/8” increments. These tubes are truly a sight to behold, as with 1/8” increments, there is a total of only 0.009” clearance between the inside diameter (ID) of the outer tube and the outside diameter (OD) of the tube inside of it. This means there is very little play between the sections, while .058” wall provides a big upgrade in terms of durability and strength.
Our .058" wall aluminum tubing stands out for its exceptional qualities. This versatile and lightweight solution offers a myriad of benefits that cater to the unique demands of telescopic applications across various industries.
Do keep in mind – always buy a sample to test in your application. Every application is different. Always test in a manner where no one will get hurt if the sample fails, and fully test your assembly in the application and environment where it will be used to make sure it meets your needs.
Key benefits of .058” wall tubing:
- Optimal Strength-to-Weight Ratio: The .058" wall thickness strikes a fantastic balance between strength and weight, making it an ideal choice for many telescopic applications. This strength-to-weight ratio opens up applications that weren’t possible with .038” wall tubing. Keep in mind that the weights and forces in your application are unique, so always test to ensure this lightweight tubing will meet your needs.
- Corrosion Resistance: Aluminum is renowned for its natural resistance to corrosion. This characteristic is further enhanced by the .058" wall thickness, providing telescopic applications with durability and longevity even in harsh environmental conditions. This corrosion-resistant feature is particularly crucial for outdoor and marine applications. While raw aluminum can pit from weather, the white spots that occur are actually harder than the raw aluminum, as opposed to steel which becomes weaker as it rusts. Note, pitting may reduce or stop the ability to telescope our tight tolerance .058” wall tubing, so plan accordingly.
- Enhanced Structural Integrity: The precise engineering of .058" wall aluminum tubing in 1/8” increments, which offers very little play provides enhanced structural integrity, capable of withstanding the rigors of a wider range of telescopic extensions. This structural robustness may mean that our .058” wall tubing could work well for your applications including flagpoles, antennas, and other extendable structures. Again, buy a sample and test thoroughly and safely to ensure that our tubing meets your needs.
- Versatility in Design: The flexibility of aluminum allows for intricate and innovative designs in telescopic applications. Whether it's for architectural projects, camera extensions, or scientific instruments, the .058" wall tubing can be easily manipulated to meet specific design requirements, offering unmatched versatility to engineers and designers.
- Ease of Fabrication: .058" wall aluminum tubing is not only strong but also easy to work with, simplifying the fabrication process for telescopic applications. Its malleability allows for seamless customization and modification, reducing production time and costs.
- Existing Parts Ecosystem: TestriteAluminum offers a range of parts that are compatible with .058” wall tubing, including our B lock and L Lock which are available in sizes from ¾” up to 1-1/2” OD. If you’re not sure if an accessory will work with our .058” wall tubing, just ask!
- Cost-Effective Solution: Aluminum, known for its affordability, provides a cost-effective solution for telescopic applications without compromising on performance. The longevity and low maintenance requirements of aluminum tubing contribute to long-term cost savings, making it an economically viable choice.
- Thermal Conductivity: Aluminum's excellent thermal conductivity is a key advantage in telescopic applications where temperature variations may occur. The .058" wall thickness ensures efficient heat dissipation, preventing issues related to expansion and contraction, and contributing to the overall reliability of the structure.
Tradeoffs when selecting .058” Wall tubing over .038” Wall tubing
- Limited Finishing Options: With our .038” Wall tubing, you have a wide variety of finishing options. Mill finish, anodized finishes, and powder coating are all great options with .038” wall tubing. When it comes to .058” wall tubing, there is so little play between sections that any time of additive finishing (e.g. powder coating) will not work, so you cannot powder coat two .058” tubes and use them in 1/8” increments. We currently stock .058” wall aluminum tubing in mill finish / raw aluminum, and we can quote anodizing upon request for applications that require 250ft+ of material.
- Tubes are not captive: With our .038” wall tubing, TestriteOEM.com is able to manufacture assemblies that are captive, whereby the inner tube will not pull out from the outer, even when fully extended. The .058” Wall tubing in 1/8” increments has so little clearance, that this type of operation is not possible.
- More weight means more money: As we touched on earlier, using the thinnest tubing that works well for your application will yield the lowest cost. For many applications, our .038” wall tubing is ideal. While .058” wall tubing offers significant advantages, the additional metal per ft does come at the expense of higher price per ft.
Available check out our full line of .058” Wall Telescoping Aluminum Tubing from TestriteAluminum!
At Testrite, everything we do we approach with a value orientation. We work hard to design value into everything we do.
So why thin wall tubing? When you’re buying aluminum tubing, you’re paying for metal (priced per pound), conversion, and packing/handling. The thinner the tube, the more feet of tubing you get for every pound you buy. Or said differently, the thinner the wall, the more feet you get per dollar. So if you're comparing .038" wall aluminum tubing with .125" wall tubing, you can get more than double as many feet of 0.038” tubing for the same amount of lbs of aluminum.
So let's talk about what we mean by thin wall aluminum tubing. At Testrite we consider our .038" Wall round tubing to be "thin wall.” Our .038” round tubing when marked as telescoping is drawn over a mandrel for tight tolerances on Outside Diameter, wall thickness, and ovality. We stock .038" wall round aluminum tubing in sizes including 3/8" OD, 1/2" OD, 5/8" OD, 3/4" OD. 7/8" OD, 1" OD, 1-1/8" OD, 1-1/4" OD, 1-3/8" OD, and 1-1/2" OD.
We also offer 0.049" wall tubing in certain sizes, as well as thicker walls. Why? Well, certain applications require a heavier wall thickness. One example is that when an aluminum tube will be bent, the more wall thickness you have, the better. Certain applications also require machining of a tube, and the more wall the tube starts with, the more machining options you have.
Over decades of manufacturing, we have found that the vast majority of applications our customers encounter can be handled with .038" wall tubing. Not sure what wall thickness is right for you? Purchase some samples and try it out! There's no substitute for quickly getting some parts and seeing what works and what doesn't. Remember, always test the tubing and assembly in the environment where it will be used to ensure it's safe for your application. Only you know your application, and safety is your responsibility.