Author Topic: would this brazing wire effectively connect copper to stainless steel?  (Read 6233 times)

Offline jonogt

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http://tinyurl.com/cqlmtj

A friend bought some for a project but only needed a tiny bit, so he gave me the rest... i have the wire and the flux, both seem to be just like new (flux isnt dried up or any nonsense like that).

My vision for my boiler for my model steam engine is coming together:  3" dia. copper pipe which will be capped with red brass on each end.  I have an old cheap coleman liquor flask which is apparently stainless steel, and I'd really like to cut off the neck of it and use it with the cap as the place where I fill the boiler with water.  With my current setup in mind, it would be attached on the copper pipe...  Do you guys think that this wire would be effective in joining the copper and stainless if I did a quality job brazing it?


thanks,
-Jon

bogstandard

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Honestly Jon, you are sailing very close to the wind.

It seems you have very little regard for yours and others around you concerning safety.

You just can't go around sticking together materials of maybe dubious quality in the hope that you will end up with a useable boiler.
The way you are doing things is like the old moonshine brewing boys, who used what they could find.


You just can't do that sort of thing nowadays. Well you can, but project or no project, it is one not to get involved with.

John

Offline sbwhart

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Hi Jon

At some time in the future I'm going to put together a boiler for my Loco just to give you some apreciation of whats involed I've set out some of the steps.

1:- The boiler design must follow a set of recognised design criteria in regards to material, thickness, spacing of stays etc, you can get copies of the regulations in this regard, I'm following a published recognised design if I was designing my own boiler I'd have to get the design aproved by a boiler inspector.

2:- The material used must be from a known supply I'd have problems getting a boiler certificate if I used material from the scrap yard.

3:- Manufacture, as some of the joints would be inacessable after assembly I must have these joints examined by a boiler inspector during the build.

4:- The completed boiler then has to be inspected this involes a visual inspection of the joints, followed by a pressure test at twice working pressure, this is then followed by a steaming test that checks that the safety valve blows off at the correct working pressure only after all this will the boiler be issued with a certificate for use in a public place.

5:- The certificate then has to be renewed on a periodic basis

This is just a snap shot of whots involved in the UK, and I may well have missed somthing out, different countries will have different requirements

When you make a pressurised boiler you're effectivly making a bomb so you have to be shure what your dealing with, the best thing is to get in touch with someone close to your area who can advice you on regulation procedures etc.

This is why most people run small model engines on air pressure, the only time they resort to live steam is in a working model such as a locomotives or steam boats as part of a proper organised club activity.

Hope this helps

Take care out their

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
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Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline jonogt

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yaa it sounds like I might have overlooked some important steps in the process... I'll investigate the things you guys mentioned and adjust my plans accordingly.

however, for the sake of knowledge, can anyone comment on whether brazing wire like that is suitable for brass-SS and/or copper-SS joints?

Offline jonogt

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OK I looked at some charts online and figured out the piece of pipe is 3 inch "L" copper tube.  I got it from a scrap yard but there is nothing wrong with it... I knew it was there because the manager at a plumbing contractor store half a block away told me that they had cut off the ends on a few of their 40 foot lengths of large pipe and taken it to this place just 2 days prior. 

as far as safe construction goes, what if I just use standard copper pipe caps?  Like the ones sold in stores that are meant to be under pressure...  given I braze/solder them on correctly, is there any way I can go wrong here (not considering the safety blowoff valve or anything right now... just the structure of the boiler)

bogstandard

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As far as I know, standard plumbing copper tube hasn't the correct wall thickness for boiler making, it is much too thin.

Normally you have to buy specially drawn material to get the thicker wall thicknesses. The end flanges are usually made from the same thickness, or thicker material as used for the boiler shell tube. The end caps are then formed over hardwood or metal forms to give the correct radii to the corners and correct surface areas for the silver solder to bond to, ensuring the joint is at least as strong, if not stronger than the parent metal.

You will also required phos bronze stays to stop the end caps bowing out and deforming, and ALL boiler fittings in the boiler should be of phos bronze. Brass is a nono for correct use in a boiler, the zinc leeches out of the brass over time and it becomes a very weak and porous material.

It also has to be subjected to pressure testing to obtain it's certificate, and I think at the moment that has to be renewed and tested each second year. I am not positive as to the timeline but it does work like that.

Welded steels are subject to even more rigorous regulations.

How do I know all this.

I only gave up making model boilers a few years ago, but some things have been relaxed slightly since then.

Because of all the regulations and insurance requirements needed nowadays, it would be a lot easier for me to go out and buy a commercially produced one.

A lot of people do still make their own boilers, mainly because of cost, or the self satisfaction of making one. But again they have to conform to rigid standards to be acceptable for use.

If a high pressure boiler is to be used in a public place, it must have all the necessary certificates and insurance in place before it can be steamed. A public place is an area where anyone other than yourself is operating the boiler, so that includes your kitchen or anywhere else in your home when family members are about.

People scream and say 'I will do what I want in my own home'. Wrong, the law will just make sure that whoever is hurt, screws you for as much cash as they can get, whether that is your parents, kids, wife or just a visitor.

Making a boiler brings out the worst in people when it is discussed on a forum. The above is only the basics, you will still get people saying that such and such is OK for making a boiler, because I have never had one blow up. Maybe they are right, or just plain lucky. To me, if it doesn't conform to national and local, plus insurance regulations, you shouldn't do it.

BTW, there are different regulations concerning 'toy' boilers, Mamod, Wilesco etc., I don't know what they are, but I am sure someone will soon let us know. Maybe Steve (Cedge) can give us an insight into that, as he deals a lot with a model steam engine company.

Bogs

Offline jonogt

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on the wall thickness thing:

http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=2092.0
someone posted that link in another of my threads as an excellent boiler construction example, and I took note on the piece of tube he's using.  It looks like the wall is 0.05 inches thick... 0.06 at most.  the piece I have is just over 0.09 inches thick, and has a working pressure of150 PSI at 400' F (found on plumbing charts).  I'm not saying his material is too thin, and I'm not saying that you're wrong... I'm just perplexed.  Were you assuming my piece of tubing was thinner?

Thanks for the tip on brass being a no-no.  I'll do something else.

For safety and legality: however I end up building this thing, I'll definately be the only one around (hiding behind a barrier) until it's proven multiple times to hold atleast double the pressure I'll be running.

On the actual pressure:  How high do people usually take these things?  I was planning to have it go to 30 PSI max (test it to 60).  I read somewhere else about somebody pushing their's to 200!


-Jon

Offline sbwhart

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Jon

Can I point you to a good book on the subject of model boilers:- This is the book

http://www.amazon.com/Model-locomotive-boilers-design-construction/dp/B0000EG5PO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238609678&sr=1-2

I got mine from ebay its got the correct formulae for working out thickness etc
A little research doesn't go amiss

For model locomotives the working pressure is 60 to 80 psi thats for a 2 1/2" to 5" gauge loco

Cheers

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

bogstandard

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Quote
I'm just perplexed.  Were you assuming my piece of tubing was thinner?

Yes, the reason being in your next quote.

Quote
plumbing contractor store half a block away told me that they had cut off the ends on a few of their 40 foot lengths

My statement to verify the above.

Quote
As far as I know, standard plumbing copper tube hasn't the correct wall thickness for boiler making, it is much too thin

I was wrong, having assumed you had standard plumbing pipe. If you had mentioned the thickness, that statement wouldn't have appeared.

You will also notice, that Firebird (who I am still in regular contact with) on the HMEM site, was directed by myself, to someone who was more up to date with current regulations than myself. Because, as I stated, I hadn't made a boiler recently, and I wished him to have the most up to date legislation. Unfortunately we have no up to date boiler people on here (as far as I know). So it is up to you to find out all about it for yourself.

With my post, I was trying to get thru to you that building a boiler shouldn't be taken lightly, but a lot of research has to go into it before carrying on with your build. The main reason, when you first started out on this topic, I am sure by what you had written and the questions you posed, you were quite willing to bang a few raggedy bits and pieces together and hope it worked.
It now looks like, now you have had the riot act quoted to you, maybe you will take a bit of advice and do it correctly. Rather than taking the law into your own hands.

If that decision was because of my posting about it, and telling it as it should be, then I stand by every word I said.

Also, if you read the site disclaimer, the onus is on yourself to check things out, nothing you see on here should be taken as gospel. We are only advisors.

The last thing any member on here wants to see is yourself, or the people around you, being injured, for the lack of a little safety information or warning about what you want to achieve.

Bogs

Offline PTsideshow

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As everything that already has been said in this thread and the pressure cooker thread.
Here is the section of the Michigan code. Section 408.757c   Miniature hobby locomotive; annual inspection; report; fee; rules; application and inspection by club; “public display or use” defined.
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(mwfxd1rwxyqu2nal5hfnvu45))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-act-290-of-1965&queryid=39491&highlight=is the link to the code and various sections.
All most all states have a code of some kind now.
againhttp://www.doli.state.mn.us/boilerohio.html this is the link to an antique boiler disaster in Ohio. The forces that were let loose are something to ponder.
I'm sure that your state has something similar. You just have to find it,
glen
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glen

Offline PTsideshow

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Re: would this brazing wire effectively connect copper to stainless steel?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2009, 04:38:33 PM »
http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=420.0
http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=413.0
http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=408.0
And here are posting from Brass goggles the steam punk site, on some of the model engines and boilers. As you can tell there is a longer and more complete tradition of boiler building in England than the US other than for small gauge trains. Which was contained to around the mid 40's when air was decided that it worked as well if not better. With out all the attended hassles.
Here is the link for model engines:
http://www.brassgoggles.co.uk/bg-forum/index.php?topic=5045.0
Here are the link to the sterling engines:
http://www.brassgoggles.co.uk/bg-forum/index.php?topic=5119.0
And here is some full size steam:
http://www.brassgoggles.co.uk/bg-forum/index.php?topic=4907.0

In the US you can get some of the books from these two online sources.
http://www.powells.com/
http://www.nbbooks.com/

You really can't do this kind of hobby with out reading some of the classic builders of your.

I intend to add the rest of my library to the book shelf after the fun of this coming month with the NAMES show and all.
glen
"The internet just a figment, of my imagination!' 
 
 There are only 3 things I can't do!"
Raise the Dead!
        Walk on water!
                 Fix a broken heart!
and I'm working on the first two!
glen

Offline HS93

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Re: would this brazing wire effectively connect copper to stainless steel?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2009, 11:38:25 PM »

This may interest some people ,Welded Boilers, if it had been another source I may have though it a gimmic but they have been involved for a long time and did use Cheddar for boilers at one time then there sussesor,



http://www.maxitrak.co.uk/grabarticle.asp?article=welded%20boilers.pdf&title=Welded%20boilers

Peter
I am usless at metalwork, Oh and cannot spell either . failure

Offline Divided he ad

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Re: would this brazing wire effectively connect copper to stainless steel?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2009, 12:47:19 PM »
Right... Firstly, I know nothing more than I have read on boilders and much of it makes me very, very wary.

This is one of the reasons I have not driven head long into building one...... Watch this to the end and see a small version of the issues worried about by those in the know.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R348vGkjyw





Ralph.
I know what I know and need to know more!!!

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: would this brazing wire effectively connect copper to stainless steel?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2009, 01:04:55 PM »
Thanks Ralph... I was looking for that video to post it up.

Jon, no-one here wants to see you (or anyone else) get hurt.

Eric
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Offline Darren

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Re: would this brazing wire effectively connect copper to stainless steel?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2009, 02:45:36 PM »
BOOM  :zap:

Bet he learned that lesson for life.... :smart:
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 04:04:52 PM by Darren »
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline PTsideshow

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Re: would this brazing wire effectively connect copper to stainless steel?
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2009, 05:44:20 PM »
Glad you found it as I can't remember which site it was on. But Stupid tube and all it's deviants that are out there. And the editing software that is out there you really do have to be careful with what you believe when you see it.

With that one I believe was done on purpose to scare the people he was showing. As there was another video taken in the same room with an engine sort of running and then the end of the boiler comes off.

Using a high heat forced mixing type burner used for soldering to heat the boiler is the first clue, something will go wrong shortly.

The second is the lack of any escaping vapors or the engine blowing vapor or any water droplets.

It is unbelievable what a lack of understand some people have of basic physical science laws.

From the fact that steam is invisible, what you see is water vapor or condensate. Some very hot condensate none the less.

I for the most part no longer take an active part in the discussions on the steam punks forums due to the lack of uncommon sense and the unwillingness of the younger punk's to understand that what is written in the steam punk Sci Fi novels isn't necessarily. The gospel facts in this real world.

From the making of a steam infusing smoking pipe, so the person can inhale flavored steam form a boiler. But wouldn't understand that the high heat condensate that he referred to as steam would scald his breathing apparatus, and do more damage than smoking a regular ciggy's  :bang: :bang: :doh:

With so many things the internet may bring everything and wondrous things closer. It doesn't mean that it is correct, or with out unspoken dangers. You really have to do due diligence in finding out about it.
As with the operating of machinery, and tools of all kinds the hazards are a silent partner.
glen
"The internet just a figment, of my imagination!' 
 
 There are only 3 things I can't do!"
Raise the Dead!
        Walk on water!
                 Fix a broken heart!
and I'm working on the first two!
glen