Eurotubi Pressfitting NEWSLETTER
November 2012  
Press fitting per le grandi installazioni


Gas systems: which is better, Copper or Stainless Steel?
From the Marketing Department

In the construction of gas distribution systems, the material that is used the most is undoubtedly copper. In comparison to common welds, the advent of pressfitting technology has simplified and modernized the joining of pipes and fittings.

pressfittings copper vs stainless steel

As traditional braze welding methods are still widely used, in a comparison between welded copper and copper pressfittings, the advantage goes to the latter. In fact, welding copper presents a series of disadvantages:

  • The need for highly specialized labour
  • lengthy assembly times
  • greater risk of leaks in the event of improper welds
  • health risks for the operator due to the pollutants produced by welding as well as the risk of burns.
Compared to a slightly higher cost for the copper pressfitting system:
  • it is easy to assemble and does not require specialized labour
  • it is extremely quick, allowing a two-thirds reduction in installation time
  • it offers greater seal assurance
  • it is clean and safe for the installer.
Both of these systems have one thing in common: the high cost of the raw material. The price of copper has reached an extremely high level, with a 200% increase from 2009 to 2011 (as shown in the following graph) and analysts don't foresee any improvements in the future.

prezzo del rame e acciaio

source: London Metal Exchange

There is an excellent alternative however: stainless steel pressfittings for gas.

Recently, the most important certification organizations have certified various stainless steel pressfitting systems as suitable for conducting gas. These systems are made up of stainless steel pipes and fittings with gaskets in mixed HNBR (the same for copper pressfittings).

With all of the advantages of the copper pressfitting system, the stainless steel gas system adds others:
  • economic convenience
  • material not subject to oxidation and corrosion
  • material with a higher mechanical resistance coefficient, more capable of resisting impacts and deformations.
  • availability of big size fittings (Ø 76,1 mm – 88,9 mm– 108 mm), which are generally not found in copper pressfitting catalogues
  • an elegant and clean appearance, that is better suited to visible installations
As always, changing habits is difficult and some new items require time when introduced on the market. Many installers are still "attached" to copper. In recent years, however, the request for stainless steel for conducting gas is constantly increasing and the trend is sure to grow.

Other news: 1. Eurotubi Pressfitting System in stainless steel for gas distribution systems
2. Guided tours of the Eurotubi Europa production plants
3. Norra Sorgenfri Gymnasium: from an abandoned industrial building to a modern construction school
4. Eurotubi Europa wins the export award "Premio Esportazione 2011"
5. Gas systems: which is better, Copper or Stainless Steel?