Shortcomings of ERW are no longer an issue

Our years supplying the best ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands mean we’ve seen how many improvements there have been in terms of quality. The technology is far better than it was in the 90s and 00s. As a result, the tubing itself is far superior. In turn it means the tube is suitable for more applications.


In the past users pointed to three factors as reasons why they did not use ERW tubes. These were carbon segregation, slag inclusion, and instability in the welds. We want to have a closer look at them here to see why they are no longer a concern.

Carbon segregation

ERW steel tubes West MidlandsIssues can occur with steel due to the segregation of elements. It happens because of a lack of uniformity in the chemical composition of the material when it solidifies. The end result can be a number of flaws, including delamination and cracks. Carbon segregation is one of the most problematic because it has an impact on the strength of the material.

Luckily this is an area that has seen some of the biggest improvements. For example, there is a whole host of new technology to control steel manufacturing, cooling, and tube rolling. In addition, manufacturers are more conscious of the quality of raw steel so they can keep the levels of elements within the right limits. Finally, heat treatments have improved so they can help to address segregation.

Slag inclusion

The inclusion of slag in welds is a major issue. It is something we know well from offering quality ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands. What it means is there are non-metallic elements within the weld. These inclusions are one of the major defects in welding. They can have an impact on performance, particularly strength, because they generate stress. If there are too many, welds can fail prematurely.

Generally slag inclusions happen because of bad welding technique. Things like weld speed, temperature, and even the shape of the edge of the material have an impact. They can also be caused by elements in the steel.

Again there have been some big advances here. Controlling the elements in the steel is vital, particularly the amount of silicon. Manufacturers also know they need to control the weld speed, temperature, and other important factors. There is more care with edge preparation too.

Weld instability

In the past ERW tubes could have a big issue with the stability of welds. Just like slag inclusions, poor technique could result in major problems. For example, a weld could lack strength or be prone to corrosion.

The great thing here is that the things that have improved carbon segregation and slag inclusion have also had an impact on weld quality. As a result, welds can be stable and reliable.

Do you want exceptional ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands?

The great thing today is that high quality ERW tube won’t suffer from any of the three shortcomings. Most importantly, the stability should be very good. The weld seam coefficient can be as high as 100%, meaning it matches the base metal. That is fantastic for the strength and performance.

If you want reliable ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands, you can come to us. Union Steel Tubes is one of the leaders in our field. So, get in touch and learn more about our products.