If you factory has recently ordered a load of copper tubes for use in your machine shop, you may be uncertain as to how to store them properly. If so, use the following tips for storing the tubes until you need them for your next project.
Select a Dedicated Spot for the Copper
When deciding on the location for the copper tubes, select a spot that will be dedicated only to them. While it may seem easier to store them next to other raw metal materials, such as aluminum or stainless steel, doing so could affect the copper's integrity.
If you store copper in the same area as other metals, it can become contaminated with them, especially if they strike together and another metal brushes off onto the copper. When this happens, the copper could break while trying to mold or weld it, since the metal is no longer pure.
Keep the Tubes in Their Original Packaging
Once you have picked out a dedicated spot for the copper tubes and have removed all other metals, you can start storing them. However, do not remove the original plastic packaging around the tubes. This packaging not only protects the metal during transport, but it also provides a barrier between the copper and dust and other debris.
The plastic also minimizes the copper's contact with air and moisture, which make it change from a golden brown color to green. While this does not affect the integrity of the metal, it would affect the uniformity of your finished machining project.
Store the Tubes Upright
With the packaging still on, store the tubes upright with the bottom edge on a piece of soft foam to protect the bottom ends. If you lay the tubes horizontally, any moisture or condensation could build up inside the tubes without a way to easily flow out of them.
Although copper is highly resistant to rust or corrosion, water build-up inside the tubes could make them harder to work with. If you try to weld or mold the metal while it is wet, the water may react with the heat and make the metal porous or brittle. The tube could then crack or break, making you have to start over.
Using the tips above to store your machine shop's copper tubes can keep them clean and free from damage until you need to work with them. For more information about storing and using the copper tubes, contact an industrial supplier like Monumental Supply Company for recommendations.Share