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Steel Vs Copper tubes??

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Steel Vs Copper tubes?? Empty Steel Vs Copper tubes??

Post  highpressure Sat 02 Oct 2010, 5:01 pm

Any one know why we seem to use steel tubes in boilers and not copper. Someone has posted a comment on my Youtube video after I said it takes 45 mins to 1 Hr to raise steam saying I ought to use a blower and I then explained its not good practice etc due to expansion and leaks and so on. He has asked why we seem to prefere steel so I was curious. Question Question Question

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Location : West Sussex, 4" DCC Road Loco
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Steel Vs Copper tubes?? Empty Tubes

Post  Steve Traill Sat 02 Oct 2010, 7:32 pm

This is an interesting question, as I see it there are fore's & against for both to which only time will tell. With copper tubes one has the corrosion resistance and good heat transfer although they are softer than steel so could be damaged and one has the problems (possibly) of dissimilar metals. With steel tubes they will probably last around the 10 - 15 years before they rust out, heat transfer is not quite as good however the metal is thinner than the copper so there probably isn't much difference overall. The life of coper tubes could be up to 30 years however I know that some full size engines had copper tubes fitted but it was never very popular. I'm not sure why, some reckon that with the dissimilar metals more corrosion could take place inside the boiler, perhaps a sacrificial anode should be put inside! At the end of the day the tubes will need replacing at some point and with a miniature it's not that big a job, dirty, fiddley yes but do-able.
Steve Traill
Steve Traill

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Location : Illogan Redruth Cornwall
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