How to Weld Pipes Such as Copper In a Few Simple Steps
We probably don’t need to tell you the importance of copper when it comes to construction it’s widely used in many projects all over the world and is a key component to plumbing in homes. What makes copper so special is that it can conduct electricity brilliantly with a high resistance to corrosion and general wear and tear.
However, like many things wear and tear does eventually happen and this is where welding comes into play, but welding copper together is no mean feat, it takes accuracy, skill and special techniques in order to do it properly. Copper comes in different sizes, is made up of different alloys and comes in different thicknesses so it’s important to establish all these points before you even begin to attempt a weld.
If you are set and ready, then below we are going to guide you through the ways you can weld copper pipes together.
Remove Any Flammable Materials or Objects
Before any welding commences you need to clean up the work area, and this means taking away anything that is flammable or may cause issues. Paint, oil and hazardous substances that are likely to be affected by heat should be removed from the work area and if possible you should work in a brick enclosure for maximum safety.
Once you work station is clean the next thing to clean is the copper itself, with any welding process it’s an important stage of the process to clean any contaminants from the materials you are welding so that you benefit from a clean and successful join. Wipe down the copper pipe with an emery cloth and take a wire brush to the inside of the pipe (if you can) and make sure that any dirt, grit or obstacles that could hinder the weld process are removed.
Understanding Your Copper Alloys
A lot of beginner welder will forget about this stage of the weld but we have to emphasise just how important it is because some alloys will need not be compatible with each other which could lead to serious problems moving forward.
As an example a copper-tin-zinc based alloy will not successfully join to a copper-nickel alloy, in fact it’s not safe at all to bond these two types of allows together so you will first need to determine the alloy for the pieces you are welding and then find out if the bond will be safe enough.
Once you are happy at this stage you now need a rod filler, and the simple thing to remember here, not just with copper pipe welding but any other type of welding is that you need a metal that is at least as strong as the copper alloy you are welding together.
Beginning the Copper Pipe Weld
By now you should be all set and ready to begin the weld, and are well protected with gloves, head-unit and no skin should be showing.
When welding together copper you need to make an angle of around 70 degrees which simply allows you and the weld to get a better judgement of where you are working. It improves the stability of the unit but it also helps you work much more carefully on perfecting the join.
If you are a beginner then there is a simple method that can help you achieve a better overall finish to the copper pipe, and that is to weld the copper pipe in a down-hand position, a horizontal seam. The reason for this is that the position requires much less skill, and helps get the join 100% perfect.
With copper pipe welding the chances are you probably have more than one join to make as well, and if you do just take our advice here and work the parts into small section and then bring them all together for the final assembly. Doing this is just common sense really and will help you get better finishes on the smaller parts before building the whole project up.
Remember that welding can be dangerous so it’s important not to just jump into it head first, make sure that you spare a couple of minutes to clean down work-stations, work-pieces and to remove any hazardous elements that are in the room. Further to this you should also make sure that you are protecting yourself as well with an appropriate helmet, gloves and protective suit (remember that no skin should be showing when you begin the welding process).
Above all, take your time and be patient as welding copper pipes isn’t the easiest welding process out there, and if you are a beginner then this little bit of advice is just that more important to keep in mind.