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Product Showdown: A500 vs A513

on June 22, 2016

A common question that comes up when buying tubing is the difference between A500 and A513 material. Customers often assume the specifications are interchangeable but when we delve deeper into the specs, we see there are significant differences.

What is A500 tubing?

A500 tubing comes in many different names – for squares and rectangles, it is referred to as structural tubing, or HSS (or Hollow Structural Sections). Rounds are typically called out as Structural Pipe or pipe size tubes. A500 products are used in applications where loadbearing applications are required. Because of its aesthetic appeal, A500 often is used as a showcase for architectural marvels such the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.  When you order A500 tubing from the mill, you are supplied with an MTR, or Material Test Report that not only shows the chemical composition of the steel coil used to manufacture the tube, but also the Yield, Tensile and Elongation properties. The reporting of physical properties is one of the major differences between A500 and A513 material.

What is A513 tubing?

A513, or mechanical tubing, is used in more consumer based applications that need tighter tolerances but are not concerned with the load-bearing properties of the material itself. A513 applications can include lawn-mower handles or parts used in recreational vehicles.

Key Differences

When you are ordering A500 or A513 material from Atlas tube, here are some of the key differences of both specs:


A500 A513
Looser Dimensional Tolerances (ex: 2×2-.083, Corner Radius max is .249”) Tighter Dimensional Tolerances (ex: 2×2-.083, Corner Radius is 5/64” to .125”)
Physical Requirements (Yield, Tensile, Elongation) No Physical Requirements
Stenciling (required for material with a 5” or larger side) No Stenciling required


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