Copper is a unique metal in that it has the ability to withstand exposure to water without corroding. This property makes copper tubing especially useful for plumbing and industrial applications where moisture is a constant. Joining two or more copper tubes together requires the use of a connection process.
There are many different types of connections available, and knowing the one that best suits your needs will improve the performance of your copper tubing over time.
One of the most common types of connections used to join copper tubes together is soldering. This process involves the use of soldering materials to seal a copper sleeve over the end of two tubes in order to create a permanent seal.
Although soldering has the ability to generate a durable seal that will withstand the test of time, it does require the use of an open flame when melting down the soldering material. This means that soldering (also known as sweating) should only be utilized in applications where flammable gases are no present in the work space.
If you are looking for a quick and easy connection method to join two or more sections of copper tubing, then compression could be the answer. A sleeve constructed from soft copper is affixed over the connecting point between two pieces of copper, then a compression nut is placed over the top of the sleeve.
The compression nut is tightened until a firm seal has been achieved. Compression creates a connection point that is not as permanent as the other connection methods, allowing you to easily remove or replace one section of copper tubing in order to make repairs in the future.
In joining applications where appearance matters, you might want to consider crimping as a connection method. Crimping creates a clean and continuous line that preserves the aesthetic of exposed tubing while allowing multiple sections of copper tubing to be joined together.
During the crimping process, a special fitting whose interior walls are coated with a sealant is slid over the connection point. A tool that produces a significant amount of pressure is then used to clamp down on the fitting, compressing the fitting (and the sealant inside it) down against the exterior surface of your copper tubes.
Crimping produces a watertight seal that will last as long as the copper tubes themselves, making it a great solution for achieving long-term durability without sacrificing aesthetic beauty. For more information, contact companies like Monumental Supply Company.