In theory, HVAC brazing seems relatively simple. After all, it’s nothing more than the process of joining copper and copper alloy components together with a melted filler metal. It requires only a high-intensity torch, brazing alloy, and the copper tubes you want to connect.
When done correctly, brazing establishes an incredibly strong bond. In fact, some say that HVAC brazing is the best way to create a joint that is virtually leak-proof.
In theory, it shouldn’t be difficult.
But in reality, there’s a lot that can wrong during the brazing process–especially in an industrial setting. There’s the risk of fumes being released. There are open flames. There are often flammable materials nearby. And the spaces in which HVAC brazing is done can be cramped, requiring your employees to contort their bodies into unnatural positions.
Then there’s the possibility of leaks.
Leaks in your cooling and heating systems can cost your company a pretty penny–in damage to facilitates, equipment repairs and replacement, and fines. It wasn’t that long ago when the wholesale giant Costco got hit with millions in penalties due to refrigerant leaks, according to Contracting Business magazine.
It’s possible to help your employees avoid illness and injury and ensure that your company avoids costly fines and leaks.
While the act of brazing is actually pretty simple, there is a lot of analysis and preparation involved. It requires proper cleaning and deburring of the cut, tube coupling, and filler rod.
Your employees will have to test the fit to ensure that it’s tight. The tube will need to purged with nitrogen to prevent oxidization from occurring. And it requires precise technique–heating the tube rather than the filter metal, proper flame temperature, and the right distance.
The more exposure your employees have to the process, the better prepared they’ll be to determine whether brazing is the best option and how to make sure it’s successful.
It’s been said that practice makes perfect, and that is certainly the case when it comes to HVAC brazing.
Employees who have been taught the basic principles of brazing, understand the different types of metals involved, and are familiar with the tools are more likely to be successful–and help avoid illnesses, injuries, leaks, and fines.
Successful HVAC brazing takes skill, and the best way to develop the skill is to get real world, hands-on experience. Your employees will have to know about everything from how to use nitrogen in an air conditioning or refrigeration system to reduce copper oxidation to how different metals react to heat.
They’ll have to have skill in flaring, swaging, and testing for leaks. It simply takes practice. Ideally, this practice would take place in a setting where a mistake won’t wind up hurting anyone or costing your company a lot of money.
One of the best ways to protect your employees and your business is to make sure they have undergone safety training–and then comply with OSHA standards.
Investing in safety training for employees helps ensure that they will avoid cutting corners, making costly mistakes, and protect themselves and others from the dangers that come with working with HVAC systems in an industrial setting.
It also introduces them to best practices and systems designed to make them more effective, efficient, and safe.
In an industrial setting that likely includes dangerous equipment, spaces, and materials, your employees cannot afford not to be well versed in safe practices. Neither can your bottom line.
Brazing should be simple–at least in theory. In reality, the process can be complicated and dangerous. Mistakes can lead to illness, injury, and costly repairs or fines.
If you are interested in helping ensure that your employees are well-trained and safe, connect with NTT Training today. Ask about the advanced HVAC: Brazing seminar. It can help you and your employees avoid all of the things that can go wrong during the HVAC brazing process.
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