How to use copper tubing for compressed air

Written by veronica murillo
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How to use copper tubing for compressed air
There are two types of copper tubing used for compressed air: hard copper and soft copper. (gas tank image by fafoutis from Fotolia.com)

There are two types of copper tubing used for compressed air. One is hard copper tubing and the other is soft copper tubing. Hard copper tubing requires fittings to connect the tubing at 90 or 45 degree angles in order to change the direction of the compressed air. Soft copper tubing bends neatly without fittings to change the direction of the compressed air.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Torch
  • Soft solder
  • Copper fittings, 90 or 45 degrees
  • Cleaning brushes
  • Flux
  • Sand cloth
  • Adjustable key
  • 90- and 45-degree compressor fittings
  • Bend tool

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Clean fittings with cleaning brushes.

  2. 2

    Clean the ends of the pipe with a sand cloth.

  3. 3

    Clean fittings and tubing with a cleaning resin called flux. This solders two objects together by making sure they are clean.

  4. 4

    Connect tubing and fittings.

  5. 5

    Heat tubing and fittings with a torch.

  6. 6

    Place solder around the edge of the fitting, which evaporates with the heat of the torch.

  7. 7

    Wait for the tubing to cool down.

  8. 8

    Attach one end of the tubing to the compressor unit and the other end to the proper type of fitting and tubing recommended by the manufacturer, depending on what the compressed air is needed for. For example, a mechanic who uses compressed air to inflate tires would use a different type of tubing and fitting at the end than a dentist who would use the compressed air for his patients.

  9. 9

    Tighten fittings and tubing at the ends with an adjustable key or any tool recommended by the manufacturer of the compressor unit or the end tubing.

  10. 10

    Test for leaks.

  1. 1

    Attach one end of soft copper tubing to the air compressor unit and the other end to the proper tubing recommended by the manufacturer, depending on what the compressed is used for.

  2. 2

    Bend the soft copper tubing neatly with a bend tool at a 45- or 90-degree angle, as desired, to change the direction of the compressed air.

  3. 3

    Tighten ends with an adjustable key or any tool recommended by the manufacturer of the compressor unit or the end tubing.

  4. 4

    Test for leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • Use compressor fittings to avoid using a torch. Depending on where it will be used, you will need proper fittings.
  • Change the direction of the hard copper tubing using solder fittings or braze the solder fittings.

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