Glue copper

Copper can be joined by different methods. More and more, the gluing of copper is becoming more and more prevalent today. What has to be considered when gluing copper and where the special features are to be found, we have compiled for you in the following guide.

Copper has always been processed by humanity

Copper belongs to the metals which are processed by mankind the longest. Thus, the Neolithic period was followed by the copper age named after the soft metal. But the processing of copper had still not reached its peak. The high-quality alloys produced by casting bronzes (alloys with a copper content of at least 60 percent by today's standards, with the exception of brass) resulted in the Bronze Age.

Typical joining techniques for copper

To date, copper and copper alloys are among the most commonly used metals and alloys. Over the years, numerous methods for joining copper have evolved from this:

  • brazing (hard and soft soldering, high temperature brazing HTL)
  • the welding of copper
  • the pressing
  • the pressing and soldering in combination
  • the gluing of copper

The soldering of copper

In soldering, in particular, the disadvantages of the two methods are clearer than ever when soldering copper pipes. Soldering copper pipes requires a lot of experience and knowledge to set the exact temperature required. Otherwise, it will quickly lead to leaks.

Although brazing copper pipes is easier, it can cause scale inside the pipes. This is not always eliminated or completely eliminated. Then it comes quickly to the corrosion of the copper pipes. Even under otherwise optimal conditions, pitting in copper pipes can occur so quickly.

The pressing of copper pipes

The pressing of copper pipes has therefore increasingly replaced soldering in recent years. However, you also have to ask yourself whether soldering or pressing copper pipes makes more sense. Because the required pressfittings require individual pressing tools, especially for parts produced differently by each manufacturer.

Since copper pipe rehabilitation can reach periods of 40 to 60 years, the availability of suitable fittings and associated tools must be ensured over long periods of time. This makes pressing a bit of a risk, especially if fittings and tools are used by unknown, small manufacturers who may have disappeared from the market in just a few years.

Contact corrosion when joining with other metals

In addition, copper also often needs to be connected to other metals (not just copper pipes). Here, however, the effect occurs that electrolysis occurs with two different noble metals: the less noble metal begins to corrode and dissolves.

Adhesives - the new welding

In the automotive industry, too, this problem is posed by the increasing use of light metals such as aluminum and magnesium: both metals can not be soldered together or welded together without causing corrosion. It is therefore thanks in particular to the already innovative automotive industry that there has been massive progress in adhesives in the last 20 years.

Today, adhesives can be produced that are characterized by very high strength (compression and tensile strength alike) and replace more and more the welding in the car industry. So the glue is not only used basically for connecting two different metals. The adhesive acts here in addition to the adhesive effect as a protective layer against contact of the two metals.

Glue copper with copper or other metals

Even firm but elastic connections can be made today. The gluing of copper is therefore to be regarded from a different perspective today. For the gluing of copper with copper or of copper with other metals, two different groups of adhesives are possible for the do-it-yourselfer: silicone glue and 2-component glue.

Adhesives for copper

The former have been developed on the basis of sealants, and therefore also have corresponding sealing properties for moving parts. In contrast, 2-component adhesives (epoxy resin-based) offer high-strength connections. Depending on your individual requirements when gluing copper, you can choose between both bonding methods. The instructions for use of the respective manufacturer must be observed.

Tips & Tricks

In the house journal you will also find numerous useful guides for other editing techniques. For example, to age for copper.

Video Board: How to Solder Copper Pipe without a flame UK