Thursday 5th January, 2017
Today refrigeration engineers at coolrite are undergoing one of their regular brazing training and assessment days. This training is required to comply with the EU Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) which sets out the standards for the design and fabrication of pressure equipment. High quality brazing is fundamentally important to prevent leaks of refrigerants and ensure the efficient operation of refrigeration systems. The quality of brazed joints is now more important than ever due to the following two reasons. Non-CFC refrigerants which are becoming more typical operate at considerably higher pressures than conventional refrigerants. The pressure can in fact be double that of conventional refrigerants. This higher pressure may result in leaking at a joint which may have otherwise not leaked at a lower pressure. Non-CFC refrigerants also tend to be more expensive so the cost of replacing escaped refrigerant is significantly higher.
The training consists of both theoretical and practical sessions which is followed up with written and practical assessments. The assessments cover safe and competent brazing techniques. A broad range of differing copper line sizes, materials and brazing alloys are also covered. All coolrite engineers complete this training on an ongoing basis to ensure that all of their brazing work results in quality leak proof joints.
The basic requirements for quality brazed joints are simple. Incorrect heating is the most common reason for badly brazed joints. The strength of the joint depends upon getting the molten braze alloy fully into the connection which can only be achieved with the correct temperature. If a joint is not brazed correctly, repeated stress might cause a crack to develop potentially resulting in a leak. The pipe must also be clean and free from contaminants such as dirt, oil, or any oxidation on the surface. Any of the aforementioned contaminants could inhibit the molten braze alloy from adhering to the surface. While these basic principles are simple not all contractors follow them. At coolrite as well as undergoing ongoing brazing training our engineers also follow written step by step procedures which ensure that we only deliver quality leak proof joints to our customers.
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