Who is US Wholesale Pipe and Tube and what do we do?
We are a privately owned Wholesale Distributor of high quality steel tubing, pipe, and goods fabricated from tubing and pipe with multiple locations nationally. We focus our energies primarily on galvanized mechanical tubing servicing hundreds of small and medium-sized OEM manufacturers in literally dozens of markets across the nation. Specifically we are the largest distributer of galvanized steel tubing manufactured by Allied Tube and Conduit’s Mechanical Tube Division. We have been in business 40 years dedicated to the service of our customers.
What is the “In-Line Galvanizing” process for steel tubing?
The tubing exterior is coated with hi-quality pure Zinc seconds after the strip is formed and welded. Then additional clear coatings are applied to further seal the exterior from the elements. The interior is coated with a Zinc rich paint as well after welding to insure complete corrosion protection inside and out including the weld seam. This proprietary process is often referred to as Flo-Coat® or Triple coat.
In detail, what is Flo-Coat® and how is it different than batch hot-dip galvanized tubing or pre-galvanized tubing?
Flo-Coat® is a galvanized steel tube that is produced using the in-line galvanizing process. The Flo-Coat method employs technologies to triple coat the steel tube with the purest form of western grade zinc, clear conversion coating formula, and clear organic top coating. Flo-Coat demonstrates synergistic performance of the conversion coating and clear organic top coating in protecting the zinc layer, which is not employed by hot-dip galvanizing.
Because of the substantial retardation of initial white rust formation due to this synergistic performance, Flo-Coat® at a minimum can last for the same period or for a longer period of exposure compared with hot-dip galvanized pipe before they exhibit the same level of corrosion failure. Tubing coated using the hot-dipping process has a high level of lead introduced into the melt to better the adhesion to the steel and encourage flow into the interior. No additional top cats can be applied due to the nature of the lead. Pre-galv typically has oil introduced to the finished tube to inhibit white rust – which leads to other concerns. Also since the coating was on the strip prior to forming and welding, the weld seam will have little or no corrosion resistance.
The complete inside surface of Flo-Coat tubing is always coated with a true zinc-rich coating bearing 87% – 93% zinc dust loading by weight. The resin in these coatings is formulated with an epoxy-silicone compound that is cured at extremely high temperatures to impart an excellent coating tenacity. Typically the coating on the interior of a hot-dipped tube is spotty at best. The interior of the pre-galv is coated or not coated dependent on the selection of strip by the manufacturer.
Lastly, Flo-Coat® demonstrates a smooth, uniform coverage of coatings and is completely suitable for painting and powder coating. The irregular, bumpy surface of hot-dip galvanized tube results in a rough surface unsuitable for painting or powder coating. The oils and pollutants on pre-galv will impede most coatings adhering to the tubing and is not recommended.
|SERVICES||Allied Flo-Coat® Process||Pre-Galvanized||Hot Dip Schedule 40|
|Exterior Corrosion Resistance||Excellent||Fair||Good|
|Interior Corrosion Resistance||Excellent||Poor||Good|
How does the strength of Allied’s Flo-Coat® products compare to competitive products such as pre-galvanized tube and hot-dip galvanized pipe?
Allied’s Flo-Coat products demonstrate excellent strength characteristics, frequently superceding those of competitive products. Most products that are 15 gauge (0.072” nominal) and heavier achieve 50 ksi min. yield and 55 ksi min. tensile. The chart below demonstrates Flo-Coat yield strength on a comparative basis:
(Schedule 40 Pipe)
|Yield Strength||50 ksi||42 ksi||35 ksi||19 – 42%|
What ASTM value does your products meet?
Flo-Coat® meets and exceeds the requirements of both A500 and A513.
Can Flo-Coat® be welded and is it safe for my welders? And how do I touch-up the weld areas?
Absolutely the product can be welded using conventional welding methods and basic ventilation. Of the in-line galvanized tube that USW distributes, over 50% is welded by our customers. The reality is that there are different variations of galvanized technologies, and Flo-Coat is one in which weldability was key in the product development. The Flo-Coat® product employs pure western-grade zinc, and is applied in a controlled process on the mill to result in a smooth, even coating making it much easier to strike and maintain a consistent arc.. Utilizing pure zinc is key, resulting in the lack of hazardous fume emissions during welding.
The heat generated from the welding process vaporizes the protective zinc coating near the weld. Even though the remaining zinc continues to provide some protection to the zinc-free areas, the appearance is poor and the zinc-free area will rust when exposed to the environment. The same applies to the interior (ID) of the tube, except exposure to the environment is minimal. There are several zinc rich paints available which will restore corrosion protection to the weld areas on both the ID and OD, with varied application methods. Contact us for more information specific to your application.
Can Flo-Coat® be fabricated?
Absolutely. Generally we say if the steel can take it, then the coatings can take it. Specifically that means that the coatings have the flex and adherence to the base metal to withstand most fabrication. We have customers that reverse wall to wall flatten the product with no coating destruction. The method by which the tubing is manufactured and the coatings applied, give consistent expectations of the tube. Once your bender is set up, you can expect consistency in behavior time after time, order after order. Clean tooling is a must when fabricating the Flo-Coat® products so as to not tear the coatings. That means a cleaner work area in your fabrication facility as well.
Can you do fabrication for me?
Absolutely. We have a number of pieces of fabrication equipment placed in most of our facilities. We can generally cut to length in bundles or in pieces, swage one or both ends, weld the tubing or weld things to the tubing, bend, punch, flatten, etc., etc. Contact us for information specific to your application.
Is there a minimum or maximum order I can place? Do I have to buy full bundles?
No to all of that. We can take orders from a few cut pieces shipped via mail to multiple truckloads.