Comparing ERW steel tubes and CDW

When you need to select tubing for a project, you might struggle to understand all the different acronyms. They all refer to how the tube was made. Differences here can have a massive impact on the performance and cost. What we want to do is spend a little time comparing ERW and CDW. Then, if you decide you need to order ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands, we have the perfect materials for you.

Producing the tube

ERW steel tubes West MidlandsThe major difference with the two types of tubing is how we make them. ERW requires rolling to create the tube from steel sheets or strips and then has rapid welding using high frequency electrical current to generate the heat. It is a fast process and can be automated to make production even easier.

CDW is different. You begin with steel bars or rods instead of the sheeting or strips. What happens is the process pulls the steel through a die to create the tube. As a result, there is no visible weld seam.


A key factor when choosing tubes is how strong they are. ERW tube actually tends to be stronger. This will surprise a lot of people. However, CDW is less susceptible to cracking. This is crucial, and the reason it is generally the better choice for high pressure applications.


Another thing people need to look at is durability. ERW can be quite durable depending on the quality of the steel and the weld. We maximise this when offering the best ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands. But, CDW tube does tend to come out on top because there is no weld seam and the risk of things like corrosion is lower.


ERW redeems itself by being more flexible, both literally and in terms of applications. Its physical flexibility means it is easier to adapt so you can bend and shape it. CDW is harder to work with and there is a higher risk of flaws. This all means you can use ERW in more applications, giving it greater versatility.

Quality control

People always want to see that their tube is safe, reliable, and as accurate as possible. ERW tubing can give you more peace of mind here. Generally the tube requires more testing for quality control to check the weld quality and make sure there are no serious flaws. CDW does not receive the same level of care, typically only getting basic checks.


Finally, it is vital to look at the cost. ERW is the easy winner here, offering the lowest costs by a big margin. This is because it is easier to make and can be produced in longer lengths and larger batches. In a number of cases it is only worth paying the extra for CDW when you have high pressure or structural applications.

The easy way to order ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands

Union Steel Tubes has some of the best ERW tube in the UK. The range here is fantastic, encompassing several sizes and shapes. We also give clients more choice in terms of length thanks to our cutting service. When you need this kind of tubing, we can provide it.

So, speak to us today to learn more.