Stainless Steel Rectangular Tube Standard Size

Stainless steel rectangular tubes play a vital role in various industries due to their standardized dimensions and quality adherence. Understanding the standard size specifications, such as those set by ASTM A554, is essential for ensuring seamless integration into diverse structural applications. The precision and consistency offered by these standard sizes not only streamline project planning and execution but also uphold the integrity and functionality of the structures they support. As we explore the significance of stainless steel rectangular tube standard sizes, it becomes evident why these specifications are pivotal in the field of structural engineering and industrial applications.

Key Takeaways

  • ASTM A554 specifies standard sizes for stainless steel rectangular tubes.
  • Precise dimensions for structural integrity and compatibility.
  • Industry benchmarks for material quality and surface finish.
  • Ensures adherence to quality and compatibility standards.
  • Guarantees industry-standard sizes for various applications.

Introduction of stainless steel rectangular tube

The introduction of stainless steel rectangular tubes encompasses specifications, applications, workability, and mechanical properties.

Understanding the specifications such as material type, finish, and ASTM standards is important for various applications like framework, marine structures, and food processing.

Additionally, the mechanical properties, including Brinell hardness, tensile strength, and yield strength, play a significant role in determining the tube's performance in different environments.

stainless steel rectangualr tube


Stainless steel rectangular tubes, like other stainless steel products, are available in various grades depending on their intended use and properties required for specific applications. Some common stainless steel grades used for rectangular tubes include:

304 Stainless Steel: As mentioned earlier, 304 stainless steel is one of the most common grades used for tubing. It offers good corrosion resistance, weldability, and formability, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including structural, architectural, and decorative purposes.

316 Stainless Steel: Similar to 304 stainless steel but with added molybdenum, 316 stainless steel provides enhanced corrosion resistance, particularly in marine and harsh environments. It's often chosen for applications where corrosion resistance is critical.

409 Stainless Steel: This ferritic stainless steel grade is suitable for applications requiring moderate corrosion resistance and good formability. It's commonly used in automotive exhaust systems and structural applications.

430 Stainless Steel: Another ferritic stainless steel grade, 430 offers good corrosion resistance and formability. It's often used in applications where appearance is less critical, such as automotive trim, kitchen equipment, and architectural components.

Duplex Stainless Steels (e.g., 2205): Duplex stainless steels offer a combination of high strength and excellent corrosion resistance, making them suitable for demanding structural and industrial applications.

Other Specialized Grades: Depending on the specific requirements of an application, other stainless steel grades such as 321, 347, 17-4 PH, and precipitation hardening grades may be used for rectangular tubing

When selecting a grade of stainless steel for rectangular tubes, factors such as corrosion resistance, strength, weldability, formability, and cost should be considered based on the intended application and environmental conditions.


Establishing the standard specifications for stainless steel rectangular tubes is essential for ensuring structural integrity and compatibility within various applications.

ASTM A554 is the standard specification for these tubes, ensuring precise dimensions, material quality, and surface finish requirements.

This standard guarantees that stainless steel rectangular tubes meet industry benchmarks for construction, fabrication, and performance in diverse structural projects.

Surface Finish

Surface finish plays a significant role in determining the aesthetic appeal and corrosion resistance of stainless steel rectangular tubes, ensuring quality and longevity in various structural applications.

The surface finish of stainless steel tubes can vary depending on the manufacturing process and the intended application. Here are some common surface finishes for stainless steel tubes:

Mill Finish: This is the standard finish directly from the mill without any additional treatment. It typically has a slightly rough surface.

Polished Finish: Stainless steel tubes can be polished to achieve a smooth, reflective surface. There are different levels of polishing, including:

  • Mirror Finish: This is the highest level of polish, resulting in a highly reflective surface, similar to a mirror.
  • Brushed Finish: Also known as satin finish, brushed finish involves brushing the surface of the stainless steel to create a dull, matte appearance with fine parallel lines.
mirror finish ss tube

Embossed or Patterned Finish: Stainless steel tubes can also be given textures or patterns for aesthetic purposes or to improve grip.

Pickled Finish: Pickling is a chemical process used to remove surface impurities and contaminants from stainless steel, leaving a clean, matte finish.

Passivated Finish: Passivation is a chemical treatment to enhance the corrosion resistance of stainless steel by forming a protective oxide layer on the surface.

Electro-Polished Finish: This finish involves using an electrochemical process to polish the stainless steel surface, resulting in improved corrosion resistance and a smooth, shiny finish.

Coated Finishes: Stainless steel tubes can be coated with various materials for specific purposes, such as to improve corrosion resistance, enhance aesthetics, or provide additional protection against wear and tear.

Each of these surface finishes has its own advantages and is chosen based on factors such as aesthetics, functionality, and environmental considerations.


Stainless steel rectangular tubes find extensive application across various industries due to their structural versatility and exceptional corrosion resistance properties. Commonly referred to as structural stainless tubes or stainless box tubes, they are utilized in a wide range of applications including framework construction, braces, supports, marine environments, and the food industry.

These tubes are easy to weld and possess moderate cutting, forming, and machining capabilities, making them a versatile choice for various projects. With superior corrosion resistance and durable mill finish, stainless steel rectangular tubes offer a reliable solution for structural needs where longevity and strength are essential.


The workability of stainless steel rectangular tubes is characterized by their ease of welding and moderate cutting, forming, and machining capabilities, making them a versatile choice for various structural projects.

  • Easy to weld
  • Moderate cutting capabilities
  • Moderate forming capabilities
  • Moderate machining capabilities
  • Versatile for structural projects

Mechanical Properties

When evaluating the mechanical properties of stainless steel rectangular tubes, it is essential to take into account key factors such as Brinell hardness, tensile strength, and yield strength.

Stainless steel type 304 rectangular tubes typically exhibit a Brinell hardness of 170, providing good resistance to surface indentation. The tensile strength of these tubes averages around 85,000 pounds per square inch, ensuring robust structural integrity under tension. Additionally, the yield strength of approximately 34,000 pounds per square inch signifies the point at which the material permanently deforms under stress.

These mechanical properties, combined with the nonmagnetic nature of stainless steel, make type 304 rectangular tubes an excellent choice for various applications requiring strength, durability, and corrosion resistance.

Stainless Steel Rectangular Tube Standard Size

In the domain of structural tubing manufacturing and standards, the standard sizes of rectangular tubes typically adhere to specific dimensions outlined by ASTM guidelines. The following table shows the dimensions of stainless steel rectangular tubes.

Stainless Steel Rectangular Tube Standard Size

Engineering Data for Structural Tubing

The engineering data for structural tubing encompasses critical aspects such as tolerances for outside dimensions and wall thickness of stainelss steel tubes, the maximum twist permissible in hollow structural sections, and the lengths with allowable variations in structural steel tubing.

These factors are vital for ensuring the structural integrity and dimensional accuracy of the tubing, thereby impacting the overall performance and suitability for various applications.

Understanding and adhering to these engineering data points is essential in maintaining quality standards and meeting the specific requirements of structural projects.

Tolerances for Outside Dimensions & Wall Thickness of HSS Tube

HSS tubing is crafted from circular tubing using specialized rolls on a reducing mill. Square hollow structural sections typically range from 1/2” to 16” in size, while rectangular HSS tubing spans from 1/2” x 1” to 12” x 20”. ASTM A513 standards govern manufacturing for sizes smaller than 2” square and equivalent rectangles with a wall thickness below 0.120. Sizes 2” and larger, with a wall thickness of 0.120 or greater, adhere to ASTM A500 specifications.

Tolerances for Outside Dimensions & Wall Thickness of HSS Tube

Largest outside dimension across flats, inches2 1/2 & underOver 2 1/2 to 3 ½ incl.Over 3 1/2, 5 1/2 incl.Over 5 1/2
Tolerance for outside dimensions including convexity or concavity0.0200.0250.0301%
Wall thickness tolerance10% of nominal wall thickness exclusive of weld area.

Hollow Structural Sections Maximum Twist

Twist is assessed by securing one end of a square or rectangular structural steel tube on a flat surface plate and observing the variation in height of the opposing corners above the plate. Similarly, for heavier hollow structural sections, this distinction in height can be gauged with an appropriate measuring instrument. The permissible discrepancy in height should not surpass the specified limits, and measurements for twist should be avoided within 2 inches of either end of the product.

Specified dimensions of longest side, inches2 to 2 1/2 incl.Over 2 1/2 to 4 incl.Over 4 to 6 incl.Over 6 to 8 incl.Over 8
Maximum twist per 3 feet of length, inches.

Lengths & Permissible Variation in Structural Steel Tube

Tube lengths22 feet and underOver 22 feet
Length tolerance for specified mill length, inches1/2 over and 1/4 under3/4 over and 1/4 under
Squareness of sidesAdjacent sides may deviate from 90 degrees by a tolerance of +/- 2 degree maximum.
Variations from exact straightnessPermissible variation shall be 1/8” times the number of feet of total length divided by 5.

Maximum Outside Corner Radii

The radius of any outside corner of the hollow structural section shall not exceed three times the nominal wall thickness.

How is stainless steel rectangualr tubing measured?

The measurement of stainless steel rectangular tubing involves evaluating the outside dimensions and wall thickness with precision and accuracy. To provide a clearer understanding, the following table outlines the key parameters used in measuring stainless steel rectangular tubing:

Measurement ParameterDescription
Outside DimensionsLength and width of the tubing
Wall ThicknessThickness of the tubing walls

These two critical measurements guarantee the proper fit and structural integrity of the tubing in various applications. By accurately evaluating these dimensions, manufacturers and engineers can determine the suitability of the stainless steel rectangular tubing for specific projects. Precision in measurement is crucial to ensure the quality and performance of the tubing in structural applications.

stainless steel rectangular tube measurement

Beneifits of Rectangular Structural Tubing

Rectangular structural tubing offers significant benefits in terms of strength and durability due to its shape and design, making it ideal for various applications where structural integrity is essential.

Additionally, its ease of fabrication allows for efficient customization and shaping to suit specific project requirements, contributing to cost-effectiveness in manufacturing processes.

Moreover, the corrosion resistance and stability of stainless steel rectangular tubing make it a reliable choice for applications exposed to harsh environmental conditions, ensuring long-term performance and longevity.

Strength and Durability

Strength and durability are key characteristics that make stainless steel rectangular structural tubing a preferred choice in various applications due to its superior mechanical properties and corrosion resistance.

  • High tensile strength
  • Excellent impact resistance
  • Longevity in harsh environments
  • Minimal maintenance requirements
  • Retains structural integrity over time

Ease of Fabrication

With its exceptional workability and fabrication properties, stainless steel rectangular structural tubing offers significant advantages in various construction and manufacturing applications. The ease of fabrication of this type of tubing stems from its moderate cutting, forming, and machining capabilities. This allows for efficient welding processes, making it a preferred choice for structures requiring precise dimensions and strong joints.

Stainless steel rectangular tubing's malleability and ductility further enhance its ease of manipulation during fabrication, ensuring that complex shapes can be achieved with accuracy. These characteristics contribute to cost-effective production processes and streamlined manufacturing operations, making stainless steel rectangular structural tubing a versatile and practical solution for a wide range of structural and design requirements.

Cost- Effectiveness

The cost-effectiveness of stainless steel rectangular structural tubing is underscored by its efficient fabrication properties and versatility in meeting precise structural and design requirements.

  • Lower overall project costs due to reduced material waste
  • Faster construction timelines with easier assembly
  • Long-term durability and low maintenance requirements
  • Customizable sizes and shapes for specific project needs
  • Resistant to warping, cracking, and other forms of damage

These factors make stainless steel rectangular tubing a financially prudent choice for various construction and design applications, providing both immediate and long-term cost savings while ensuring structural integrity and design flexibility.

Corrosion Resistance

The corrosion resistance of stainless steel rectangular structural tubing enhances its longevity and makes it a preferred choice for applications requiring durability in harsh environments.

Stainless steel, such as T304, is known for its superior corrosion resistance due to the presence of chromium, forming a protective oxide layer that prevents rust and corrosion. This property guarantees the structural integrity of the tubing over an extended period, even in challenging conditions where exposure to moisture, chemicals, or extreme temperatures may occur.


Rectangular structural tubing provides inherent stability through its geometric design and material composition, ensuring reliable structural support in various applications.

  • Enhanced load-bearing capacity compared to other shapes
  • Resists torsional forces effectively
  • Maintains shape integrity under heavy loads
  • Reduces vibration and noise transmission
  • Easy to connect with other structural elements

These benefits make rectangular tubing an excellent choice for applications where stability and structural integrity are paramount, offering a dependable solution for diverse construction projects.


Recyclability is a key advantage of utilizing structural tubing, particularly in rectangular form, due to its sustainable attributes and environmental benefits. Stainless steel rectangular tubes can be recycled repeatedly without losing their inherent properties, making them a preferred choice for eco-conscious projects.

The process of recycling stainless steel involves melting down the material and reforming it into new products, reducing the need for raw materials and energy consumption. By choosing stainless steel rectangular tubing, industries contribute to a circular economy model by promoting resource efficiency and waste reduction.

This sustainable approach aligns with modern environmental standards and regulations, ensuring a responsible and eco-friendly solution for structural applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Stainless Steel Rectangular Tubes Be Customized for Specific Applications?

Customization of stainless steel rectangular tubes for specific applications is a common practice in the industry. Manufacturers offer various options in dimensions, finishes, and properties to meet diverse needs, ensuring precision and suitability for specialized projects.

Are There Special Coatings Available for Stainless Steel Rectangular Tubes?

Special coatings like powder coating, electrophoretic deposition, or plating can be applied to stainless steel rectangular tubes for enhanced protection against corrosion or to achieve specific aesthetic requirements, expanding their versatility in various applications.

What Are the Typical Packaging Options for Shipping Stainless Steel Tubes?

Typical packaging options for shipping stainless steel tubes include wooden crates, cardboard boxes, or steel racks. Each method guarantees secure transport and protection against damage during handling and transit, maintaining the integrity of the tubes.

Is There a Minimum Order Quantity Required When Purchasing Stainless Steel Rectangular Tubes?

When purchasing stainless steel rectangular tubes, the minimum order quantity requirement varies by supplier. It is advisable to check with the specific supplier or manufacturer for their minimum order quantity policies to guarantee compliance with your project needs.

Are There Any Sustainability Benefits Associated With Using Stainless Steel Rectangular Tubes?

Utilizing stainless steel rectangular tubes offers sustainability benefits such as high corrosion resistance, durability, and recyclability. These tubes reduce maintenance needs, enhance longevity in various applications, and contribute to eco-friendly practices in construction and manufacturing industries.


To sum up, stainless steel rectangular tubes offer a standardized and reliable solution for structural needs in various industries.

With precise dimensions, excellent corrosion resistance, and compliance with industry standards like ASTM A554, these tubes provide durability and dependability for a wide range of structural projects.

Their engineering data and benefits make them an essential component in construction, marine environments, and the food industry, ensuring structural integrity and compatibility across applications.

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