Are you choosing the best type of steel tubing to build a racecar chassis with?
Understanding the differences in the common steel tubes used in tube chassis and roll cages is the key to building not only a fast car but also one that keeps you safe. In today’s chassis, it is common to find Mild Steel ERW tubes; High Strength Steels (HSS) such as DOM and 4130 Chrome Moly; and Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) like Docol Tube R8.
DOM, 4130 and Docol are the most common as many sanctioning bodies do not allow Mild Steel ERW. All of these tubes weigh virtually the same per linear foot when comparing the same size (OD x wall), but the manufacturing processes and mechanical properties set them apart.
DOM refers to steel round tube that is “Drawn Over Mandrel” sometimes referred to as seamless tube, though it is not technically a “seamless tube.” Drawn Over Mandrel is a secondary process with the tube originally starting out as an EW tube is cold drawn to smaller dimension and wall thickness. This gives the tube a smoother surface finish, improved tolerances, high tensile strength and better alignment of the crystal lattice.
4130 Chrome Moly tubing has been A.E.D.’s signature product since opening our doors in 1996. 4130 is a Cold Drawn and Seamless (CDS) High Strength Low Alloy steel. Its informal name, “Chrome Moly” is derived from its two major alloying elements: chromium and molybdenum. 4130 has been commonly used in the high performance industries since the 1940’s when it was predominantly used for aircraft frames. Click here to learn more about A.E.D. stenciled 4130 Round Tube.
Docol Tube R8, our newest major product introduction, is a Dual Phase steel that has a microstructure of one part ferrite and one part martensite. Ferrite gives Docol its unique forming properties and martensite accounting for its strength. Docol is a Quenched and Tempered product going through a special heat treatment in a continuous annealing line to give it its unique properties. Docol provides a stronger, safer and more consistent alternative to 4130 Cold Drawn Seamless tube. Click here to learn more about Docol Tube R8.
Regardless of the material you decide to use it is imperative to purchase it from a reputable source. This source should be able to provide full traceability of the material and provide the material test reports. Click here for the full article.