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A very interesting problem...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by RustBuket, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. RustBuket

    RustBuket 1/2 ton status

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    I'm sorry to post this here, its really here nor there about K5's but you guys always have some good ideas when it comes to fabbing stuff.
    Here's the deal:

    I'm currently in engineering and am now in the process of building a small steam condensor to test the effect of steam velocity on the convective heat transfer coefficient. Anyways the the problem is I already have all the copper(and it was mighty expensive!!!) so I'd like to use what I have already.
    I have 3/8" copper soft line and 2" copper hardline. The condenser calls for the 3/8" copper line to be coiled inside the 2" about 15times.... :confused: I've been staring at the stuff and its not as soft as I was hoping. I'm really worried I'm going to kind the crap out of it and have to buy more stuff.

    I was considering a few ideas:

    1) A small pipe bending tool similar to a brake line too.... Do they have these in a 1" radius?!

    2) Annealing - can I anneal the copper so its softer and easier to work or will this just make it kink more? Any good methods to anneal?

    3) external spring - some kind of tool you slip over the copper to prevent the kinking... anyone have any info on these?

    Anyways, I'm just wondering if this is possible or do I have to go buy 1/4" copper and change all my adaptars etc?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    you might be able to find a tubing bender that will be able to produce a raduis that small with out kinking, i would not try and aneal the copper that will just cause more kinking, one method that might allow you to get a coil is fill the tube with sand and block the ends you can then wrap it around a object the shape that you are looking to produce, this sounds like a pretty intresting project, im currently a engineering student myself
     
  3. RustBuket

    RustBuket 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the quick response! Sand or something like that was another option I considered, I was just worried that I wouldn't be able to get it all out.... any thoughts?
     
  4. Metrodps

    Metrodps Strange but nice guy Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Ok here is how the ole boys do it for stills!

    Fill the copper tube with sand this keeps the tube from kinking in on itself. Heat the tube and slowly bend it this takes some getting used to to do it and DO NOT RUSH! It will take several times of heating and bend to get it right just take your time.
     
  5. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    with a little compressed air im sure that you will be able to get all the sand out, you could also flush it to make sure all of it is out
     
  6. RustBuket

    RustBuket 1/2 ton status

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    Ok thanks guys! sounds like I should be able to do this if I just take my time and think ahead. I'm really liking the sand/heat idea. So do I need to solder caps on the end to keep the sand in or just crush them shut?

    Also, I like your thinking on the still idea! Hahaha, this project might have to become dual purpose... lol
     
  7. ssped

    ssped 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    They make a spring tube pipe bender that works ok. I have one in the garage. It was a couple bucks from the tool shop. dont knoe how it would work on copper but I think I bought it for that kind of material.
     
  8. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I've heard of that "internal spring" tool also....

    Just a long section of spring material that will bend to form the curves, but is too rigid to allow kinking.

    Once you're done with the bending, you simply draw it out one end and you're finished. Clever and simple.

    :usaflag:
     
  9. Metrodps

    Metrodps Strange but nice guy Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    The old timers used to just pinch one end but if you have caps put on on end and solder that and other leave open (cover with tape or wood dowel ). The key is go slow!
     
  10. RustBuket

    RustBuket 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the advice. Now i can sleep at night knowing I didn't waste a whole crapload of money. Ha!
     
  11. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    I've used those spring type benders that you slip on the outside of the tubing before. I've always had success with those, nice and simple too. Works good for the small tubing sizes like 3/8. Don't know if you can do a 1" radius with it though, that might be pushing it.
     
  12. FOR MUD

    FOR MUD 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Still making 101.....I love this site!!!
     
  13. blazin_blazer

    blazin_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    i thought

    it went inside the tube, how can it keep it from collapsing in, if spring is on the outside?
     
  14. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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    We use glass bead from a sand blaster or playground sand with "DC plugs" in the ends. Wood cones.
    Definitely anneal the stuff and go slowly. You should be able to keep it under 8% out of round.
    To flush, run 3 line volumes of system fluid or grade "B" water thru at system pressure. A SAT flush will have no discoloration, oil, sediment, or suspended solids w/a turbidity of <.1% chlorides. (I think.)
     
  15. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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    To collapse the tube needs to expand somewhere.
     
  16. DaPlumber

    DaPlumber 1/2 ton status

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    First you need to anneal it then fill it with sand solder caps on the end. (drill a small hole in the end of the caps) Use a wood bat or a wood dowel to bend it around, with a litttel help from a torch..
     
  17. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    You've never seen the outside ones? They're a lot easier to use. They only need to be about 8" long or so, and you can do as long of a tube as you want, without losing track of where your spring is inside. But yeah, if you look at a kinked tube, it'll be wide at the kink. The outside spring prevents that.
     
  18. blazin_blazer

    blazin_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    when you anneal copper you need a carborizing flame don't you? black smoke out the torch and on the metal then wipe it clean
     
  19. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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    Soot the tube up and then use the carborizing flame to heat the tube up to remove the soot. So, soot it up and then burn it off. That way you get about the right temp.
     
  20. Metrodps

    Metrodps Strange but nice guy Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    After you have the tube coiled you will need to run it thru cool water and out to the jug. Oh wait! Thats for making sour mash! :whistle:
     

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