ASTM A500 Steel Pipe

ASTM A500 steel pipe produces strictly under ASTM A500 standard. It is the standard specification for cold-formed, welded and seamless carbon steel structural tubing in rounds and shapes. IBC Metal Group manufacture whole scope sizes of pipes describe in this specification. Material of steel Grade available in three grades, A through C. It is intended for use in construction of bridges and buildings, and for general structural applications. Applications: frames, roll cages, truck racks, trailers, railings, etc.


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What is ASTM A500 Steel Pipe?

ASTM A500 (also known as A500/A500M) carbon steel tubing is a standard specification for cold-formed welded and seamless carbon steel structural tubing. The shape could in round, square and rectangular shapes. ASTM A500 is the most common specification in North America for Hollow Structural Sections (HSS). This is a standard set by the standards organization ASTM International, a voluntary standards development organization that sets technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services.

What Are the Grades of A500 Pipe?

Used for load-bearing structures that require high-yield strength, A500 steel comes in four grades — A, B, C, and D. A500 cold-formed tubing comes in four grades based on chemical composition, tensile strength, and heat treatment. The yield strength requirements are higher for square and rectangular than for round tubing. The minimum copper content is optional. Grade D must be heat treated.

Chemical Composition of ASTM A500

Chemical Composition of ASTM A500

Mechanical Properties of ASTM A500

Mechanical Properties of ASTM A500

Difference Between ASTM A500 & ASTM A53

Do you know the differences between ASTM A53 and A500? The former is the standard specification for steel, black lacquer coated, welded and seamless steel pipe. It is intended for use in mechanical and pressure applications, as well as for use in ordinary steam, water and air lines.

ASTM A500 is the standard specification for cold-formed, welded and seamless carbon steel structural tubing. Available in three grades, A through C, it is intended for use in construction and structural applications.

Unlike A53 piping, which is only round, A500 is available in more shape options, most commonly round, square and rectangular. In addition to these oft-cited differences in intended use between the two steel products, many additional details are critically important for engineers, especially as they relate directly to matters of cost and quality.

ASTM A53 Round Pipe
ASTM A500 Round Pipe
A500 Square Pipe
A500 Rectangular Pipe

(1) Quality and Yield Strength

Consider yield strength. No matter the grade, A500 material’s yield strength will be greater than A53 piping. Although at one time A53 was the standard specification for round shapes, specifying A53 for columns or braces of a building will result in a thicker, larger section than if you use the stronger A500. Structures designed with A500 require less steel by weight; the cost-saving implications are clear.

In addition, Grade B has been replaced by Grade C (which has a yield strength approximately 10% higher) as the most common grade for A500 HSS with no cost implications. This is good incentive to use the highest quality tube available.

(2) Designation

Engineers frequently wonder why there are so many fewer options for A53 pipe than A500 rounds. A53 pipes are designated using a nominal pipe diameter in inches, plus one of three scheduled wall thickness. They are sized this way because A53 pipes—designed to carry pressurized steam, air or water—must work with standardized fittings and valves.

There is no such need with A500 tubes, which are therefore designated with much more precision and accordingly more efficiency. With A500 rounds, the outside diameter and wall thickness in inches is carried to three decimal places. When using A500 round for a building column, you could specify an HSS8.625×0.322 with an outside diameter (OD) tolerance of +/-0.75% and a wall tolerance of +/-10%. The A53 equivalent, an 8 inch standard pipe, has an OD tolerance of +/-1% and a wall tolerance of -12.5%. Hence, an A500 round has better/tighter OD and wall tolerances. Another word to the wise: A53 pipe is available only in lengths of 21’ and 42’. A500 rounds can be produced in lengths from 20’ to 75’.

(3) Tolerances

As you see, A500 tolerances are tighter than A53 pipe tolerances. When you are selecting section sizes for your structural design, you will have more confidence that you will not only get the cross-sectional dimensions but also the necessary straightness with A500, as A500 producers must also adhere to a straightness tolerance specified in A500. With A53, there is no specification in the standard for how straight the pipe must be.

(4) Inside and Out

Thus far, we’ve focused on these two options’ structural characteristics, but what happens on the outside matters just as much. Because the A53 pipe produced to carry pressurized steam, water or gas, the manufacturer must hydrostatically test their product, ensuring that it can withstand pressure when in use. If you are using A53 piping for structural applications, you can expect to pay for tests your application does not require.

Consider, too, that when you use an A53 pipe, you will pay in part for the sealant that producers use to coat the outside of the pipe. In order to weld to these pipes, a fabricator must remove the sealant you have paid for, an unnecessary cost and extra step in the fabrication process. The bare surface of the A500 tube makes it easier to paint, as well.

Inside and out, the differences between A53 pipes and A500 tubing make clear: these two options are far from synonymous. For a host of structures—from building columns, braces, trusses, space frames and towers—A500 is clearly the appropriate choice.

(5) Advantages & Disadvantages

A500 steel, easy to weld and machine, can be cold worked, and features a pleasing appearance. Specifically, A500 steel is similar to A53 in popularity and use, but it has a higher yield strength, is more corrosion resistant, and has a greater strength-to-weight ratio. As a result, it is more expensive than A53 grade steel.

Chemically and structurally, A500 better resembles A36 steel. The major difference between the two is in their use. Though both are hot rolled steel, A36 has many shapes and types. Including rectangular bar, round bar, round tube, square bar, angle, channel, plate, tread plate, and shafting. A500 on the other hand just used for metal pipes and tubes albeit these can be round, square, or rectangular.

A500’s primary advantage is its relative strength. Consequently, this steel grade works well for structural applications such as pipes, tanks, boilers, and heavy-duty equipment. The metal’s major disadvantage is its relative heat intolerance. It will shatter rather than shape at high temperatures.


IBC Metal Group offers both pipe and tube in grades B and C, including coated & uncoated pipe, welded/galvanized pipe, square structural tube, rectangular structural tube, and round structural tube. This tubing produced in both welded and seamless sizes with a periphery of 88 in. [2235 mm] or less, and a specified wall thickness of 0.875 in. [22 mm] or less. Grade D requires heat treatment. For more information, please contact with us.


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