What an emery cloth for copper pipes

Grinding copper

The general surface finishing of copper

The surface of copper workpieces can be processed very well. Therefore, the grinding does not require too much effort. However, you have to differentiate according to the reason or how intensively the copper workpiece is to be ground. You can differentiate between the following requirements:

  • removing the surface patina or the oxidation layer
  • the grinding or polishing of the copper workpiece in order to grind the metal brightly
  • the intensity of the bare grinding or the compaction of the surface

Mechanical grinding and polishing of copper

Depending on how you want to grind, different grinding tools and aids are available. Traditionally, copper is ground with medium-grain grinding wheels. Appropriate sandpaper or a belt sander can also be used. If the copper surface is ground smooth and bright, the transition to polishing the copper is fluid.

Sand or compact the surface to a high gloss

For fine grinding, i.e. polishing, pastes and liquid polishing and abrasive agents are mainly used for copper, which are applied and polished with different textile discs. The gradations take place here conventionally in prepolishing, polishing and finishing.

Until the finish, i.e. already with the first coarsest sanding step, the copper surface should be worked in a cross or circular manner. In this way you ensure that the later copper surface is really uniformly smooth.

Note the speeds and contact pressure when grinding copper

The speeds must be adapted to the relatively soft metal, and the contact pressure must not be too high. Otherwise the surface can become very hot. If only the oxide layer is to be sanded off, you must take into account that it will form again immediately.

So you either have to process the copper quickly or protect it accordingly. To do this, you can paint the sanded copper. Zapon varnishes are used for this.

Further treatment steps after grinding

If a homogeneous surface is the goal, but an oxidation layer is otherwise desired, you can artificially age the copper after grinding. For example, if you want to solder copper pipes (both hard and soft soldering), the pipe surface is also sanded. To do this, use an abrasive fleece.

You can not only polish or grind the surface of copper mechanically. You can also etch the copper. Electrolytic polishing of copper is also possible. These procedures depend on individual requirements. Under "Polishing copper" you will also find options for chemically treating the copper surface. House remedies for household items made of copper should be mentioned here in particular.