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Steel Tubing vs. Kwik Tubing

Steel tubing has been the material of choice for manufacturing and material handling solutions for decades. While steel tubing is strong, durable, and long-lasting, it is not modular and needs welding. It also requires painting and protective coatings to prevent corrosion. 

As technology and manufacturing processes have evolved, it became evident that steel was not an optimal material for the everchanging assembly line. In most industrial environments, you will find a variety of modular framing systems made from aluminum that have surpassed the capabilities of traditional steel tubing. 

Some of those systems are t-slot aluminum extrusion and Kwik tubing. Each framing system has its own benefits and uses in many types of applications. Below, we will go over specifically Kwik Tubing and its capabilities for lean manufacturing processes. 

Kwik Tube Framing System

Kwik tubing is made from aluminum and is utilized for light-duty applications. Kwik Tube is essentially tubular framing that either comes with a smooth profile or pre-drilled holes. This tubing comes in multiple colors and has specific joint assemblies and frame to floor hardware that adds structural integrity.

With bolts, nuts, and a wrench, Kwik aluminum tubing is easy to assemble. Joint assemblies come chrome-plated or in the color black. This type of system is not as modular as t-slot, but it is more modular than steel tubing. In commercial settings, this framing is used for light-duty shelving, tables, and racks.

Compared to steel pipe and joint systems, Kwik tubing and its components are compatible with industry-standard 28 mm diameter tubing. Components beyond joint assemblies that can be utilized with Kwik tubing are:

Pipe and joint systems made of steel and aluminum are both cut to a particular length and then joined with metal connectors. The main difference between the two is that steel tubing has to be coated to not rust. Kwik tube has .8 mm to 1 mm thick tubing walls with a 28 mm diameter and does not have to be coated. At Parco, we have stock lengths of 2 M and 4 M available, but we also cut to length.

The advantage that steel pipe and joint systems have over aluminum t-slot and tubing is affordability. However, this system does not have longevity or modularity like aluminum framing systems do. Also, t-slot aluminum extrusion and Kwik tubing have a wide range of hardware and accessories that accompany them. Other advantages of aluminum framing systems are:

  • Compatible with other t-slot aluminum products
  • Meets OSHA and ANSI safety regulations
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little to no machining needed
  • Can configure to create numerous solutions

Kwik Tubing and T-Slot Material Handling Solutions

Material handling in the manufacturing environment has evolved over the decades. This process of controlling, moving, storing and protecting materials, whether inventory or finished goods, utilizes solutions such as:

Using t-slot or Kwik tubing systems in lean material handling helps prevent injury, track material, maximize floor space, and improve efficiency and productivity. 

Considerations When Designing a Material Handling Solution

Each of the above systems is customizable in its own way. T-slot and Kwik tube framing systems can fit various applications, whether industrial or commercial. When designing a modular framing system from Parco, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Know the load capacity of your application
  • Think about the aesthetic and how the end result will look.
  • Your budget and the long-term use of the solution.
  • Consider how the solution will function; will it be part of a lean manufacturing process.
  • Does the solution need to come assembled, ready for install, or will it be assembled onsite? 

When designing and purchasing aluminum framing systems with Parco, you will find our online store easy to navigate. Our products are 100% compatible with other t-slot companies, and we have no minimum order policy. Our free design quoter is easy to download and provides you with a 3D model and bill of materials for your solution, so you know exactly what you need to build your solution.

OSHA stair crossover platform
tslot office enclosure


9100 Front St.
Fort Wayne, IN, 46818

Phone Number

Toll Free: (800) 817-0617
Office: (260) 451-0810


Fax: (260) 451-0843


Floating Review Template1
  • This was the first time I tried Parco-inc. for one of my t-slot projects. It was easy to find what I needed and order on the website. I got the parts quickly and the quality was great, so I will be buying here from now on!
  • Really good quality aluminum i can feel the difference between it and other parts i ordered from china also the measurements was on point
  • I use ALOT of these little anchor faster, every month. My regular vendor was out of stock, and so I found Parco and ordered from them. The fasteners arrived quickly, we're high quality, and they even worked with me on a bulk discounted price. 10/10 in all areas!!
  • I am a small business and needed the t slot in a hurry. They processed my order, cut to size and shipped in less then 36 hours and 2 days before Christmas. Wonderful customer service. Thank you
  • Just awesome. Great customer service and response to questions, all cuts and pieces exactly like I ordered, extrusions seem like quality, fast shipping, and well packed to protect the items. I can't say enough about the quality and service. Will order again.