Copper Tube Detailed Introduction

Copper Tube Overview

The copper tubes required for this project are drawn, seamless tubes made from copper 122000. The dimensions specified for the tubes are, 445.00mm +/-0.250mm long with an outer diameter of 5.750mm +/- 0.013mm and a wall thickness of 0.250mm +/- 0.013mm. The contract to make these tubes has been awarded to Small Tube Products, PO Box 1674, Altoona, PA 16603. The tubes arrived here in Tucson on 28 September 2008.

Copper Tube Measurements

To ensure compliance with specifications and to establish a statistical profile for the Fcal 1 tubes a measuring device was established. Igor Koruga designed the hardware and software for the Super Tube And Rod Gauge (Super TARG).

Copper Tube Quality Control Measurements

Each tube is measured at three points, each end and the middle. The end point measurements are taken at 10mm from the actual ‘end’ of the tube. Each point has two measurements taken orthogonal to each other. There are, therefore, six outer diameter measurements taken for each tube. A 100 tube sample was taken for Set I measurements and an additional 100 tubes were measured for Set II. The results of these measurements are combined in the graph to the right.

The same sample sets, I and II, were measured for the inner diameter at both ends. Two measurements were taken, orthogonal to each other, at each end. The inner diameter measurements were taken with a bore gauge that had been modified for use with a digital readout and computer adaptation to work with Lab View software. The results of these measurements are in the graph at the right.

Copper Tube Visual Inspections

The copper tubes are taken from the shipping boxes and rolled on a precision ground surface to determine straightness. They are also visually inspected at each end to determine possible deformations in production. This is only the first step in the ongoing inspections that will take place to weed out defective tubes.

Copper Tube Transport

The copper tubes that have passed the first visual inspection are then loaded into a plastic tub with a traveler form and covered to await transportation to the “Tube De-burring Station” which is located in the EEPP mechanical lab in room 346.

Copper Tube De-burring Station

Each tube is de-burred at both ends with a de-burring tool in the drill press. Then the tube is brushed with a nylon wire wheel brush, 0.010″ wire diameter, set up in a grinder. After de-burring and brushing the tubes are blown off (inside and outside the tube body) with compressed air and loaded into another tub with the traveler form and sent back to lab 180 for cleaning.

Copper Tube Cleaning Station

The tub of de-burred tubes are taken to lab 180 and placed on a storage shelf to await being loaded into the mineral spirit pre-soak bath. Tubes are loaded into the pre-soak vat one batch (~1000 tubes) at a time. Tubes are carefully loaded into a cleaning matrix from the pre-soak vat (~132 tubes). Nitrile or latex gloves are to be worn while handling the tubes to prevent additional contamination of the tubes with skin oils. The cleaning process is as follows:


Temperature probe and PH meter
Check temperature and PH of cleaning solutions. LPS solution should read PH > 11.9 and Citranox should read PH < 2.8. Temperature of both solutions should be 78 degrees C (range from 74 – 84 is acceptable).


Place loaded matrix into LPS solution using the overhead electric hoist. Turn on timer for 60 minutes. Make sure Ultrasonic power supply is turned on. Check solution level to assure that tubes are completely submerged. If solution level is low add water and solution to maintain 5% solution. Place lid on ultrasonic tank during operation. Make sure ultrasonic agitation is running while tubes are being hoisted out of tank [after cleaning] to prevent re-attachment of removed soils back onto the tube surfaces. The LPS solution is used for 2 batches of tubes only then the tank is emptied, rinsed, and refilled with tap water. Tap water is heated to required temperature before precision clean concentrate is added.


Rinse loaded matrix in first rinse vat by dunking matrix in and out of the vat completely 5 times with hoisting system. The rinse vat is filled with tap water. Tubes in the matrix should be completely submerged each time to assure an ample flow of water through each tube. Rinse vat is emptied after each batch (1 matrix).


Place loaded matrix into Citranox solution and turn on timer for 60 minutes. Make sure the power supply for the Ultrasonic transducer is turned on. Always check to make sure solution level is above top of tubes. If solution level is lower than required add water and appropriate amounts of addtional solution to maintain the 2% ratio. Always recheck PH and temperature readings after adding water or solution to assure that desired levels are achieved before beginning the cleaning process. The Citranox solution is used for 2 batches of tubes only then the tank is emptied, rinsed, and refilled with tap water. Tap water is heated to required temperature before Citranox concentrate is added.


Rinse in second rinse tank (Tank 4) using the same procedure as before. Completely submerge the cleaning matrix and pull it back out of the rinsing vat 3 times. Using the electric hoist to move the matrix in and out of the water requires that you pause in the vat and above it to assure that water has flushed through the inner diameter of the tubes completely. This is the final water rinse for the cleaning process and this tank should be maintained with filtered, de-ionized water of conductivity readings of 1 microsiemen or lower (resistivity of 1 Megaohm or greater). This tank is also emptied after each batch (1 matrix).


Tank 5 is an isopropyl alcohol vat to de-water the tubes. This final rinse is added to quicken the complete drying of the tubes inside and out to prevent oxidation. Below is a photo of two tubes. They were cleaned and dried in the same manner with one exception, the tube on the right was not put into the alcohol de-watering vat. The oxidation formation difference is quite remarkable.

Copper Tube Drying Station

When the cleaning matrix of tubes is removed from tank 5 it is pre-dried with compressed nitrogen gas to remove excess alcohol from the tube and matrix surfaces. Then the entire matrix is transported into the cleanroom where the matrix is placed onto the drying cart. The drying cart is just inside the flaps of the cleanroom between the foyer and the main area of the cleanroom. The flaps are held aside to allow the matrix to be placed onto the cart. The tubes are then left to dry overnight (12 hour minimum, 24 hour maximum) in the cleanroom continuous air flow.

Copper Tube Bagging and Storage

After drying the tubes are prepared for storage by placing them into poly bags (18″ x 24″) one matrix at a time, filling the bag with compressed nitrogen, and heat sealing the bag. We will use a double bagging process with the second bag also being filled with compressed nitrogen gas prior to sealing. These bags will then be placed on the wire shelves in the cleanroom which has been tented and fitted with a low-flow, continuous nitrogen supply. This nitrogen atmosphere will help assure the tubes remain free of oxidation during storage. Each bag will be dated and numbered so that older bags will be used first during the assembly process. Assembly will take place in this same cleanroom and so no additional transportation of the tubes will be undertaken until the fully assembled detector is transported to CERN.

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