Where can I find some large diameter copper pipe (3" or above)

Discussion in 'Metals' started by Kaleb, Nov 28, 2010.

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  1. Nov 28, 2010 #1

    Kaleb

    Kaleb

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    I have been wanting to get into some larger stuff engine, and boiler wise, so I think I'll need some larger diameter copper pipe, upwards from about 3" or 80mm, and also the thick gauge (about 3mm) stuff apparently required by AMBSC codes for miniature railway locos. (I'm not building one yet, though.) Could anyone point me to a source of this stuff? The plumbing shops sell 100mm copper pipe, but only in 5 metre lengths! I'll also grab any bits I see at the scrapyard that look useable, but I doubt I will find the thick gauge stuff in either of those places.

    So you know, I live in Australia.
     
  2. Nov 28, 2010 #2

    kvom

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    You might consider the Kozo boiler technique of making tube from copper sheet and silver soldering the seam.
     
  3. Nov 28, 2010 #3

    Kaleb

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    Well then, I'd need a source of copper sheet, which seems to be even harder to find than pipe in these sizes.
     
  4. Nov 28, 2010 #4

    Jasonb

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    There is a guy in Aus building a similar traction engien to mine who is rolling his 7" dia boiler from 4mm copper, I'll see if I can find out where he got it from, hop eyou have deep pockets.

    Edit Winters list copper tube at 4" dia and sheet upto 4mm

    http://www.ejwinter.com.au/catalogue/EJW-Materials-04-10.pdf

    Jason
     
  5. Nov 29, 2010 #5

    lee9966

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  6. Nov 29, 2010 #6

    SBWHART

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    Reeves or Blackgate Engineering or Macmodels in the UK will ship at a cost.

    Stew
     
  7. Nov 29, 2010 #7

    PaulG

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  8. Nov 30, 2010 #8

    Andrew_D

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    Yes, I'd check a plumbing supply place...note the words PLUMBING SUPPLY...not your local Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc...They likely won't have any this big and if they do have 3", it won't be thick enough...go find out who supplies the local plumbers, contractors, construction companies, etc.

    That's where to look!

    Andrew
     
  9. Dec 1, 2010 #9

    Kaleb

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    I didn't go to a hardware shop, I checked Reece Plumbing and Tradelink, which are the main plumbing shops I know of around here in Tamworth, I've yet to try Swan plumbing. I have managed to score some large stuff from the scrap merchant however.
     
  10. Dec 2, 2010 #10

    shred

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    Around here even the plumber supply shops have stopped carrying big diameter copper (3"+). There's not enough call for it to be worth the cost (and risk-- not long ago somebody swiped $20K worth of pipe), so it's special-order only. With the increased use of PVC as well, scrap places may be the best bet.

     
  11. Dec 2, 2010 #11

    Maryak

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    Kaleb,

    I tried Reece. Make sure your sitting down when they quote the price. Minimum length was 1 m.

    Best Regards
    Bob
     
  12. Dec 2, 2010 #12

    chillybilly

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    Find a local refrigeration company ,one that is dealing with large pack type plant ,the suction headers they fit will be large dia 3" +++ seamless copper pipe ,they purchase in 3 meter lengths and i am sure they would sort you a good off cut out for a drink ,be steady if you cut it on the bandsaw as it will hurtle through it then snap the blade .You must have loads of fridge companys in OZ
     
  13. Dec 3, 2010 #13

    Jasonb

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    I'd stay clear of plumbing grade copper pipe, quote from CuP Alloys site

    "Avoid the use of plumbing grade copper that can contain lead. Lead is added to improve machinability and is present mainly as discrete insoluble particles throughout the metal structure. The particles are fully molten well before brazing temperatures are reached and this means that that under the inevitable thermal stressing conditions during the brazing cycle, parent material cracking can occur because of general structural weakness. Any lead being dissolved into the silver solder may also result in a brittle joint. "

    Jason
     
  14. Dec 4, 2010 #14

    Kaleb

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    The reason I want to steer clear of steel boilers in these sizes is plain and simple, rust.
    I hear that steel is only worth using in boilers around 6" and above in diameter, where copper becomes too costly. I also hear that steel is slow to conduct heat compared to copper. I also find that copper is easy to work because of it's softness, even when turning it.
     

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