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copper or steel?

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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copper or steel?

Unread postAuthor: elad311 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:35 am

Today I found a store that sells copper pipes, and steel pipes!
I want to know what can hold more pressure, i don't really care
about the price.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:08 pm

For your purposes, the pressure ratings of such pipe is probably irrelevant, as it doesn't become much of an issue below 1000 psi.

Copper retains its strength at lower temperatures, is easier to modify, and generally fails safely (doesn't fragment).
Steel is generally stronger, comes in bigger common diameters, and is easy to assemble.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:19 pm

What is it with you and your constant "I must have as much pressure as possible" - then proposing designs with ball valves in them?

Let's get this entirely straight:
A good valve is far MORE important than high pressure.
If you can have both, that's great - but DO THE VALVE FIRST!

High pressure is completely wasted unless you have a fast opening and decent flow valve. You can do more with low pressure and a good valve than you can with high pressure and a rubbish valve (and ball valves are pretty damn rubbish)

Don't fuss with higher pressures unless you have something at least as good as a piston or hammer valve, anything less and it's wasted.

Also, unless you plan on piping in air straight from a SCUBA tank, the pressure those particular materials are likely to be able to take is fairly irrelevant.
We couldn't comment anyway without knowing more about the pipe - the dimensions and design are of far greater importance than the material in this case.

EDIT: Clarification of a point that could be dangerous if misunderstood.
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Last edited by Ragnarok on Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:02 pm

Well, you could always have a slow valve, high-pressure and a long-assed barrel. I like to call it the Mythbusters approach :D

But I'm going to agree with Rag simply because that solution is not only unwieldy, but will become VERY expensive using metal parts.

Copper is typically more expensive than steel, and generally comes in smaller diameters. But they both have their advantages and disadvanages, so it's really a toss-up. I think ultimately steel will hold more pressure than copper, but you'd probably never even get close to the limits of either of them.
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:26 pm

steel is heavier, and copper looks cooler =)
Gets very expensive in diameters past 3/4in.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:26 pm

I can only agree to rag...What gun do you want...post a picture or maybe an explaination, then we can help(if you want to shoot at targets scattared across an area of 50miles then you would want a light weight gun while if you want to have this massive piece of stuff for you back yard then steel wins hands down...)
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Last edited by john bunsenburner on Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: ramses » Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:11 am

I propose a mix: copper barrel, steel chamber/tees/etc. there are copper threaded adapters, you know. Copper pipe is smoother inside than steel, thus making a better barrel.
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Unread postAuthor: elad311 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:53 pm

ramses wrote:I propose a mix: copper barrel, steel chamber/tees/etc. there are copper threaded adapters, you know. Copper pipe is smoother inside than steel, thus making a better barrel.


I know that copper is smoother inside,
and, Btw, all the pipes i'm using are threaded.
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