Steel Tube - Terminology

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6/3/2016 7:37 PM

I have been researching tubing and seems the terminology used to describe tubing differs with industry.

My question, is HI-ten tubing the same as DOM tubing or is Hi-ten tubing ERW tubing?

Am abit confussed about this, cause it seem in the BIcycle industry steel tubing is called Hi-ten tubing (am not referring to Chromoly)
And in the motorcycle industry its called DOM tubing or ERW tubing inrespect to grades of steel

So my question, is Hi-ten tubing DOM tubing or ERW tubing .....or its something else altogether



6/3/2016 11:11 PM

Those aren't materials, rather processes to manufacture the tube. Bicycle tubing is drawn, whereas ERW and DOM are formed by making a tube shape from a sheet and welding a seam to create the tube. I don't know much about motorbikes, but I'd guess the tubing is thicker, and weight isn't as much of a factor. Whereas bikes need to be strong but also light. Drawn tubes are generally stronger, and need to flex. If the tubing was welded, it would crack pretty easily (due to the thin gauge, and flex)


6/4/2016 1:11 AM

JAZ wrote:

I have been researching tubing and seems the terminology used to describe tubing differs with industry.

My question, is ...more

Thanks for the reply, I understand what you said....but in regards to Hi-ten tubing (those cheap Walmart bikes), are those tubes also drawn?

Am curious to know since am working on a project and need hard facts. In a nutshell are Hi-ten tubing (cheap tubes) made like DOM/ERW tubing. Anyone who can further expand on this subject will be very helpful, really appreciate it.


6/4/2016 10:56 AM

They're drawn too. The only time I've ever seen a tube on a bike that wasn't drawn is bb shell's on extremely cheap bikes.


6/5/2016 4:32 AM

If you need hard facts, you'll have to put in a little more effort than posting a thread to vital.

As previously pointed out, DOM and ERW describe forming processes, while Hi Tensile, 1018, cromoly, 4130 all describe chemical composition and mechanical properties.

But, it gets even more complicated then that. A DOM tube can start as a welded seam ingot, then through the forming and heat treating process, be considered a seamless tube.

ERW is a largely obselete process. I think it's unlikely that you'll find tubing in any current bike that isn't considered seamless.

I don't have the specifications in front of me, but if I think about it when im back at work, I'll look some stuff up for you.