ASME SA179 – Heat Exchangers and Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe



ASME SA179, also known as ASTM A179, is the standard specification covering minimum-wall-thickness, seamless cold-drawn low-carbon steel tubes for tubular heat exchangers, condensers, and similar heat transfer apparatus. These steel tubes are typically used in applications where compactness and efficiency are the primary considerations.

Key Properties

The steel used in the manufacturing of SA179 Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe is ductile, with low carbon content, which makes it ideal for bending, flanging, and similar forming operations. The low carbon content also provides excellent resistance to corrosion, enhancing the pipe’s longevity.

The tubes under this specification are typically 1/8 inch to 3 inch in outside diameter. They are produced in round, square, and rectangular forms and come in a wide range of lengths.

Heat Exchanger and Condenser Applications

Given their properties, ASME SA179 Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe are extensively used in heat exchangers and condensers. These devices are critical components in many industrial processes, facilitating the efficient transfer of heat.

Heat exchangers, as the name suggests, exchange heat between two or more fluids at different temperatures. Condensers, on the other hand, cool a vapor and convert it into a liquid. In both these applications, the efficiency of heat transfer is critical, and this is where SA179 Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe excel.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of ASME SA179 Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe involves cold-drawing a round billet or tube through a die and over a mandrel. This process reduces the diameter of the tube and thins its wall to the required dimensions. Cold-drawing also improves the tube’s surface finish and enhances its mechanical properties.

Quality Control and Testing

ASME SA179 Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet the required standards. This includes hardness testing, flattening testing, flaring testing, flange testing, and hydrostatic or nondestructive electric testing. These tests ensure the tubes’ mechanical properties, integrity, and reliability.


ASME SA179 seamless cold-drawn low-carbon steel pipes play a critical role in many industries, thanks to their exceptional heat transfer capabilities, high corrosion resistance, and excellent formability. Their wide-ranging applications in heat exchangers and condensers underline their importance in enhancing the efficiency of many industrial processes.

ASTM A179/ASME SA179 is a specification developed by ASTM International and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for seamless cold drawn low carbon steel heat exchanger and condenser tubes.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the key characteristics and specifications:

Heat Treatment

ASTM A179/ASME SA179 Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe shall be heat treated after the final cold drawn pass at a temperature of 1200°F [650°C] or higher.

Chemical Composition

These tubes are made with low-carbon steel containing the following elements:

  • Carbon (C): 0.06-0.18%
  • Manganese (Mn): 0.27-0.63%
  • Phosphorous (P): max 0.035%
  • Sulfur (S): max 0.035%

Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties such as tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation of ASTM A179/ASME SA179 Boiler Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe meet the requirements of the following specifications:

  • Tensile Strength: min, ksi [MPa]: 47 [325]
  • Yield Strength: min, ksi [MPa]: 26 [180]
  • Elongation in 2 in. or 50 mm. (min. %): 35

Tolerances of Wall Thickness

The minimum wall thickness at any point shall not be more than 12% under the nominal wall thickness specified.

Tolerances of Outside Diameter

The tolerances of outside diameter include:

  • 1/8 to 1-1/2 in. [3.2 to 38.1 mm], inclusive: Over 1/8 to 1-1/2 in. [3.2 to 38.1 mm], inclusive +0.4/-0.8 mm
  • Over 1-1/2 to 2 in. [38.1 to 50.8 mm], inclusive +0.4/-1.6 mm
  • Over 2 to 2-1/2 in. [50.8 to 63.5 mm], inclusive +0.4/-1.6 mm
  • Over 2-1/2 to 3 in. [63.5 to 76.2 mm], inclusive +0.8/-1.6 mm


  • Grades: ASTM A179 and ASME SA179
  • OD size range: 1/8″ – 3″ (3.2mm to 76.2mm)
  • Wall thickness: 1.2mm to 12mm
  • Length: Custom lengths up to 85′ (25.9m)

Tolerances of Outside Diameter

Outside Diameter,in. [mm] Permissible Variations, in. [mm]
Over Under
Under 1 [25.4] 0.004 [0.1] 0.004 [0.1]
1 to 1 1 ⁄ 2 [25.4 to 38.1], incl 0.006 [0.15] 0.006 [0.15]
Over 1 1 ⁄ 2 to 2 [38.1 to 50.8], excl 0.008 [0.2] 0.008 [0.2]
2 to 2 1 ⁄ 2 [50.8 to 63.5], excl 0.010 [0.25] 0.010 [0.25]
2 1 ⁄ 2 to 3 [63.5 to 76.2], excl 0.012 [0.3] 0.012 [0.3]
3 to 4 [76.2 to 101.6], incl 0.015 [0.38] 0.015 [0.38]
Over 4 to 7 1 ⁄ 2 [101.6 to 190.5], incl 0.015 [0.38] 0.025 [0.64]
Over 7 1 ⁄ 2 to 9 [190.5 to 228.6], incl 0.015 [0.38] 0.045 [1.14]

Tolerances of Length

Method of
in. [mm]
Cut Length,in. [mm]
Over Under
Seamless, cold-finished Under 2 [50.8] 1 ⁄ 8 [3] 0 [0]
2 [50.8] and over 3 ⁄ 16 [5] 0 [0]
2 [50.8] and over 3 ⁄ 16 [5] 0 [0]




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