What Shape Is Rectangular Aluminum Tubing?

Generally speaking, a tube is either a cylindrical container (such as a laboratory test tube) or a hollow circular pipe (such as the tubes attached to a catheter to send fluids into your veins). The emphasis being on a tube’s circular attributes.

Can It Be A Round Rectangle?

That sounds like nonsense but, it is perhaps the best way to describe any hollow pipe like length of material. In other words, a length of hollow aluminum extrusion, where both the hole up the middle and the cross section of the outer (solid) part are rectangular, is commonly known as Rectangular Aluminum Tubing. The same logic applies if the cross sectional shape is square and it gets called square tubing. This terminology is so widespread that, when you do want it to be circular, you have to specifically ask for round aluminum tubing.

What Is It Used For?

As a material, aluminum is often selected for use where there is a need for relatively good strength but weight could be a problem. Usually the aluminum has been alloyed with another element to improve selected properties. Aluminium also offers good protection against environmental corrosion. Aircraft frames or lightweight wheeled vehicles can use aluminium as a possible alternative to the much higher priced titanium. When weight saving is even more critical, Rectangular Aluminum Tubing weighs much less that a solid rectangular bar of aluminum.

Another feature of all hollow (tube) form bars is that something can be passed along the inside of the bar to utilize a support piece as a conduit for wiring, etc. There are even specialist applications where one (or more) sizes of rectangular tubes are placed inside the hollow of a larger tube and can be withdrawn to extend total length in a telescopic manner.

Because aluminum is a malleable metal, it is relatively easy to bend Rectangular Aluminum Tubing. A use for this feature could be for the frames of lightweight chairs (with, say, a wicker covering). Aluminum is also weldable which also helps in either fabricating shapes from pieces of tubing or, joining up long lengths such as barriers and hand rails, etc.


Untreated aluminum rapidly forms a thin layer of oxide when exposed to air. This protects the underlying metal from corrosion. However, some people may feel that the raw look of oxidized aluminum does not suit the aesthetics of their application. Most suppliers of aluminum products will offer a choice of surface finishes which includes anodizing, powder coating or plain painting – all in a range of colors.

When looking for Rectangular Aluminum Tubing, the place to go is Eagle Mouldings Specialty Aluminum Trims & Extrusions. Should your requirement not be in their standard stock, they can quickly come up customized dimensions or finishes.

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