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What about copper tubing ?

Old 03-15-2004, 06:23 AM
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Default What about copper tubing ?

Hi guys,

I live in a remote area, so hardware is hard to come by and I have to use my imagination a lot with what's available at the local Coop Store. I just finished building a plane and since there was no brass tubing available around here, I used 1/8" copper fuel line. It works for now, but does anyone know of a reason why copper shouldn't be used for this purpose with 15% nitro fuel ? And what about corrosion of the inside of the tubes ? Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Ray
Old 03-15-2004, 09:40 AM
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Default RE: What about copper tubing ?

I know brass will eventually corrode but I don't know about copper.
Old 03-15-2004, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: What about copper tubing ?

I know brass will eventually corrode but I don't know about copper.
Old 03-19-2004, 10:23 PM
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Default RE: What about copper tubing ?

Copper is superior to brass. You avoid the corrosion problem, plus the copper is easier to bend into any shape needed. I usually run it from the tank all the way to the engine, using only 3/4" or so of fuel line to connect to the carb.
Old 03-20-2004, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: What about copper tubing ?

I would think that copper will tarnish and oxidize a thin layer on its surface. It turns greenish when it tarnishes. If you have ever seen a badly oxidized copper, you will see that it could have a lot of build up. What this will do to an engine... I don't know. Maybe one of the chemists here could tell us what reaction it may have to alchohol fuel.
Old 03-20-2004, 11:59 PM
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Default RE: What about copper tubing ?

Well I suppose I could go dig out my old college chemistry text books to confirm my observations, but I ain't gonna

The matter has been addressed in these forums by people with a background in chemistry. I think the problem is a reaction of the zinc in the brass reacting with nitromethane. One thread has photographs of brass clunks that have been eaten away.

jess
Old 03-21-2004, 12:09 AM
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Default RE: What about copper tubing ?

I was thinking about it... Most alchohol stills ( drinking kind), are made of copper. I would guess if it is good for that then our engines should not mind!
Old 03-25-2004, 12:27 AM
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Default RE: What about copper tubing ?

You are correct about the copper in distilling- brass or zinc produces s rather deadly drink.

A further obvious comparison- look at some ols brass cartridge cases that have lain on the ground for some time. They soon turn black, then get brittle and finaly start to disentigrate.

jess

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