Steel Pipe Grades – What are they used for?

Mai 2019

Have you ever looked to purchase steel pipe but you didn’t know which grade was best for your project? Below we discuss the differences between A252, A500, A53, and A589 grades of steel pipe and highlight their main uses.


The A252 grade specification governs welded and seamless steel pipe used for piling purposes. In this instance, it acts as a load bearing object or as a shell for concrete piles. A252 pipe can be broken down into three grades: Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3, each of which has a different yield and tensile strength (see below).

Yield and tensile strength measurements indicate how strong the steel is and how much pressure the steel can withstand. This is particularly important for pile driving. The strongest grade (Grade 3) is typically the preferred grade for piling purposes.

A252 Grade Tensile Strength Yield Strength
Grade 1 50,000 (345) 30,000 (205)
Grade 2 60,000 (415) 35,000 (240)
Grade 3 66,000 (456) 45,000 (310)

ASTM A252 Steel Pipe


The A500 grade specification covers cold-formed welded and seamless carbon pipe used for structural purposes. This pipe specification is broken down into multiple grades: Grade A, B, C, and D, each with varying yield and tensile strengths (see below). Grades B & C are the most common for structural purposes.

In most cases, A500 material is used for the welded, riveted, or bolted construction of bridges or buildings, and for general structural purposes.

A500 Grade Tensile Strength Yield Strength
Grade B (Round) 58,000 (400) 42,000 (290)
Grade C (Round) 62,000 (425) 46,000 (315)

ASTM A500 Steel Pipe


Grade A53 pipe is the standard specification for black and hot-dripped galvanized pipe. This material can be either welded or seamless steel pipe. A53 pipe also comes with various yield and tensile strengths (see below). The intended purpose of this material is for mechanical and pressure applications, including for steam, water, air, and gas line purposes. ASTM A53 can be formed and welded. This pipe is all-purpose and can be used in generator plants, refineries, compressor stations, natural gas transmission, and steam conduction (USS Tubular Website).

A53 pipe is subject to tension bend and flattening tests, as well as a hydrostatic test. In addition, the material must also pass a non-destructive electric test. A53 Grade pipe undergoes the galvanization process, which means the pipes are dipped into molten zinc to coat the pipe with a protective layer that will not rust. This process helps prevent aging and rusting of the steel since zinc deteriorates much slower than steel

A53 Grade Tensile Strength Yield Strength

CW 25,000 45,000
Grade A 30,000 48,000
Grade B 35,000 60,000

ASTM Tested A53 Steel Pipe


Grade A589 pipe is seamless or welded pipe used for water wells. This specification of pipe is governed by the American Society for Testing Materials and covers four specific types of plain end or threaded and coupled carbon steel pipe. The four main types are as follows: type one, drive pipe; type two, water well reamed and drifted pipe; type three, driven well pipe; and type four, water well casing pipe.

A589 Grade Tensile Strength Yield Strength
Grade A 30,000 48,000
Grade B 35,000 60,000

A589 steel pipe

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