Copper will be fine, you just have to make sure you use either
compression fittings or HARD soldered (brazed) joints. That's how all
the medical gases in your local hospital are piped (working pressure
max 7 bar).
A properly made soft soldered joint should be fine for compressed air up to
You would have no qualms in using soft soldered joints for a rising main,
and the pressure there could easily be more.
I would however avoid soft soldered joints where there might be compressor
Bundy tube (thin wall galvanised steel) is the usual stuff for airlines
under about 1/2" or so. Not only will it take the fittings without needing
to adapt them, but it should be cheaper than copper. Look for any airline
supplier in yellow pages or a trade directory. When copper is used for
airlines, it is normal to use fully annealed copper, but that may be because
copper tends to be used only where there are difficult shapes to make.
I would include a ball valve at this point to allow instant shut-off.
This is very handy if(when) a hose experiences a failure
Copper will require that you be gentle when operating the quick
If you use plastic, ensure that your compressor delivers air at a
reasonable temperature. This is not usually a problem if your
compressor has a standard tank type reservoir and you do not run it
continuously (such as when painting a car) .
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