Not much consideration is given to proper packaging but it should get as much attention as the product itself. All items that are machined or that have been processed with special finishes should be packaged properly so that shippers will not destroy the product. Here are some considerations:
Any tubular item that is shipped could be subject to fork lift or chain damage. The easiest way to handle a tube is to run the forks of a lift truck into the inside diameter (I.D.) and move it quickly. Another favorite way to ruin tubes is to lift with heavy duty chains and this often ruins the outside diameter (O.D.).
Bar stock doesn’t fare much better. Chains and lift trucks will often chew away at the precision surface and render the part a reject. Rolling the shaft across a cement floor isn’t any better!
Any part that has been machined or processed to a precision surface finish, bar or tube alike probably has a straightness requirement on the drawing. Improper packaging and rough handling could possibly knock this expensive part out of straightness also.
At Steel Supply, we specialize in packaging to prevent damage. All outer surface materials, whether bar or tube, are shipped in a heavy wall cardboard tube. The ends are shrink wrapped and steel strapping has a cushion placed under the clip so it doesn’t chew through the cardboard. Tubes are generally boxed. Welding caps on the end, even tack welding, can ruin the ovality especially on a thin wall tube. Machined shafts are boxed so that safety is exercised when unloading and damage by shippers is reduced to a minimum. Heavy lumber, export grade if required, is used and blocks are machined for the underside to insure straps stay in place. Screws or nail guns are used every few inches to make sure lids and end plates don’t come off with shipping abuse.
We’ll package any way you like or use our best judgment based on over 100 years experience. Either way, please consider packaging when you spec out a part.