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Seam Welded Vs Extruded Aerial Masts: Which One Do You Need?

Seam Welded Vs Extruded Aerial Masts:  Which One Do You Need?

Weather conditions can really disrupt your home. Not only that, but harsh conditions can damage your property, such as installed bases of aerials and reception equipment. With global warming showing no signs of slowing down, we are here to help you prepare for the worst, with the highest quality products. 

Here is the breakdown of the two types of masting available in aluminium to you. 

What Should I Look For? 

Overall, the mast diameter and gauge should be your main factors when it comes to 'the correct mast choice'. 

The type of tube and aluminium grade can also have a significant effect on the strength and suitability following the installation as well. However, the manufacturing processes for seam welded and extruded tubing are completely different.

What's the Difference?

  1. Seam welded tubing (SWT) starts its life as an ingot of aluminium (5-tonne minimum). It is then rolled and tempered into strips and coils. These strips are then rolled again, pre-formed and formed into the mast shape. A welding process, using a high inductance coil, forms the secure seam. The tubes are deburred, cut, cleaned and packed.

  2. Extruded tubes also start life as an ingot of aluminium, which is then formed into blanks that are pre-heated and forced (using a ram) into the extrusion process. This process plasticises the aluminium under pressure and forces it through a die to form the required shape. The lengths are then cut and packed.

These mechanical properties also vary:

Alloy type

Tensile strength


Elongation A50

Aluminium Extruded Tube 2" masts

6063 T6

< 215 N/mm²

< 170 N/mm2

< 6%

Aluminium Seam Welded Tube 2"masts

5449 H195

< 290 N/mm²

< 275 N/mm2

< 3%

Comparing both grades, it can be seen that the seam-welded tube is a lot stronger:

  • Tensile strength is about 34% higher.

  • Yield about 60% higher.

What are the Other Factors? 

Seam welded tubes have a tighter metal structure. An extruded tube has +/- 0.25mm tolerance whereas SWT has +/- 0.08mm tolerance. The accuracy may be of importance for the mounting and fitting into castings or clamping.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch today. 

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