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Author Topic: Copper brakes lines used in Australia  (Read 6825 times)

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Terry

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Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« on: January 03, 2012, 04:28:09 AM »
Hi,

A few weeks ago I received an email from someone who had read a comment of mine somewhere on the use of Copper brake lines was illegal in Australia and he gave me a link to look at a copper nickel product which is used on some production cars in the Euro.

Quote
I was reading your article about making brake pipes, and I noticed the comment about copper brake pipes being illegal in Australia. I am originally from the UK, so I am used to using “copper” brake pipes and so found that statement to be a bit strange. In fact further investigation suggests that whilst it is true that it is illegal to use 100% copper tube for brake pipes, the product that we use in the UK, which is a copper/nickel alloy and sold under the name “Kunifer” (sometimes Cunifer) is in fact perfectly legal in Australia.

 Apparently the confusion arises because at some point in the past people tried to use ordinary thin walled copper pipe (sourced from refrigeration suppliers etc.) as brake pipe, which is of course dangerous because of the tendency to work harden and crack. As a result, such tubing was made illegal for use in braking systems. However the thickwalled copper/nickel alloy designed specifically for brake pipes is perfectly OK to use. In fact in Europe several car manufacturers (for example Volvo) use it on production vehicles, so it is probably fitted to their vehicles over here!

See below for an example:

http://www.mako.com.au/ibm_custom/search_html/Cunifer_CNF3__316in_475mm_OD_tubing_x_25_foot_62.htm

I hope this helps somebody, because the Kunifer product is a great product to use – at least I have always found it so!

 Andrew

I have spent a few hours int he cool of the morning to follow up on the points he raised to see if we could use the copper-nickel pipe and from what I can read we can still only use steel seamless pipe for any brake lines we make. I couldn't find anything that says one way or the other whether it used on new cars imported into the country.

The NCOP document which is the national code of practice for vehicle modifications has the follow two mentions of the pipe to be used.

Quote
2.4 COMPONENT STANDARDS
All components and devices in the Brake System must meet or exceed at least one appropriate
recognised international, national or association standard, where such standards exist, or the
relevant parts thereof. (Recognised can be taken as meaning AS, SAA, SAE, BS, JIS, ISO or
DIN standards).
Hydraulic pipes must be made from steel bundy tube complying with SAE J1047 or equivalent. 

and a little further down the page...

Quote
2.7.4 Hydraulic Pipes
Copper tubing must not be used for hydraulic brakes.

Soure:
http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/vehicle_regulation/bulletin/pdf/NCOP5_Section_LG_Brakes_V2_01Jan2011.pdf

Depending on where you look most sites selling the stuff and a UK Copper industry body suggests that the copper-nickel product does meet SAE J1407.

However I still couldn't find a definitive answer though.

If you are pro copper-nickel then you could interpret it that because it meets SAE J1407 that you should be able to use it and that the reference in 2.4.7 refers to copper and not copper-nickel.

If you are anti copper lines then you could argue that 2.4 which says "...must be made from steel..." excludes the use of other alloys.

So still not a conclusive interpretation either way, but at least copper-nickel, if you choose to use it, does sound a lot more practical than pure copper tubing. Thanks to Andrew W. for taking the time suggest there maybe an alternative.

Terry

PS.In my searching I did find a UK born tester in WA who would approve the use the Copper, I assumed copper-nickel, on vehicles according to a MG forum.


« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 04:30:08 AM by Terry »
I'm not questioning your powers of observation; I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.


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spider

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 07:35:36 AM »
That does make some interesting reading, thanks for posting it up and all the research you've done on it.

I am not sure if copper is illegal in Australia, however you link does say it is. I have always used steel as copper to me is just the wrong material, since (as has been pointed out) it work hardens and cracks.

Is there something about steel that is undesirable? I have to say, that if you take a little time making steel line, they can come up looking real nice and the stuff suppied these days has some coating on them so they don't rust, even if scratched.

I find it funny that they use of copper-nickle is used in Europe in the manufacture of new cars as nickle is highly toxic and that region, some years ago now, went through the whole RoHS thing to rid manufactured productes, where possible, of toxic materials to make recycling easier but in particular, to stop these toxins getting in to the enviroment. Having said that, they would likely be really good brake lines! 



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Tim

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 09:18:57 AM »
Hi Terry, I've tried to look into it too, and came to the same conclusion as you, i.e. it depends on how you want to interpret the rules, by definition cunifer is NOT copper, but if it looks like copper you could be in trouble.

Any idea what colour kunifer brake lines are? Cupro nickel alloys can be anything from a bright bronze through to silver in colour, all our coins smaller than $1, including the old 1 and 2c pieces are cupro nickel, just the proportions vary. If it is silver in colour, the inspectors aren't even going to notice it.

Kunifer seems to be very popular in England, where steel lines aren't used because of the issue of corrosion on salted roads. As far as I can tell the big advantage of using it is the ease with which it can be worked to shape it.

Tim
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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 04:27:11 PM »
More than one internet search from me too!

I'd be happy to use copper/nickel brake lines, and doubt any inspector would be able to tell the difference unless the colour is different or they use a magnet. Only problem is I can't find anyone local that sells it! :(

Apart from the link above or finding an overseas supplier, brake shops here don't stock it and big companies like brakequip don't import it - and I have asked and tried to order it.

With straight copper, I vaguely recall there were some rules overseas about securing the pipe at very short intervals to reduce the cracking problem - so maybe that is why they can use it?

On a similar topic, is stainless legal? ???


Cheers, MD.

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Terry

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 04:56:02 PM »
Hi,

and another email from Andrew today who managed to find the test for the current ADRs that I couldn't find this morning.

Quote
Out of interest, I just searched through the ADR’s for current vehicles, and they do not make any mention of material for brake hoses and pipes. They state simply that all brake tube and hose (air, vacuum and hydraulic)

“must conform to SAA, SAE, BS, JIS, DIN, ISO or ECE Standards specified for air brake tubing or hose or vacuum brake tubing or hose or hydraulic power tubing or hose and be so fitted to the vehicle as to prevent chafing, kinking or other mechanical damage under normal motion of the parts to which they are attached”

If Cunifer is approved to SAE standards as claimed by the retailers, then by the above ADR’s it is OK for use in current production vehicles. It would be rather harsh to say it is legal for current production but illegal as a retrofit!

The difference between a new vehicle and modifications to vehicles that we are covered by maybe that on the infrastructure website they have a page or two about aligning ADR's with international standards(some would read that as a Dumbing down of ADR's) which I suspect is to allow easier importation of OS vehicles that may not comply with ADR's.

Currently there is a lot of interesting production vehicles from OS sneaking in on the Register of Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles to avoid the stricter ADR compliance requirements. Makes for interesting reading http://rvcs-prodweb.dot.gov.au/sevs/sevsindex.htm

So perhaps what Andrew has uncovered above is a rule for new vehicles mostly being imported while we have to abide by the older ADR for our modifications.

Terry
I'm not questioning your powers of observation; I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.


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Tim

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2012, 05:18:27 PM »
Here's a link where its almost available in Australia. I say almost because it looks like they hve it, until you try to buy some.

http://www.mako.com.au/ibm_custom/search_html/Cunifer_CNF3__316in_475mm_OD_tubing_x_25_foot_62.htm

It looks to be a goldy bronze colour, rather than a pinky copper colour.

Tim
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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 05:34:55 PM »
I'd be happy to use copper/nickel brake lines,

On a similar topic, is stainless legal? ???

Cheers, MD.

Yeah, I have to say, I'd be happy to use it, if you can get it, but I'm also happy with the steel stuff I've been using. Easy to get, cheap (in 20 M rolls), very easy to work with.

I think most grades of stainless would also not comply for the same reasons as copper - cracking. It would also be a bitch to do the flares (and yes, I have the same Sykes tool you have MD), in fact, I tend to think that the flares would crack just trying to form them.
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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 07:15:29 PM »
Currently there is a lot of interesting production vehicles from OS sneaking in on the Register of Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles to avoid the stricter ADR compliance requirements. Makes for interesting reading http://rvcs-prodweb.dot.gov.au/sevs/sevsindex.htm


Terry

My understanding, after talking to my neighbour 'Gary' (well down the road 5 houses) of the link is that those vehicles
have been imported and complied with the relevant ADR's, he is complying his 1995'ish Aston Martin Virage which
will be the only one in Aust that is compliyed, the other 3 or so in the country are private imports which means the owner has
had to of lived OS for 15 months or so. Once Gary has done his other people can look him up on the list and ask him
to supply a list of whats needed and some vital paperwork which he can sell to them.

Interestingly he has had to change the brake pipes throughout the whole car, as they were copper, I hope they weren't
copper/nickel as they may of been legal.

Getting a bit OT but he has also had to make the seats & belt mounts comply. the front seat back rests have to support
a force of 175kg in 3 stages of reclination (new word for 2012) and the child harness bolts have to withstand a force of
350kg or so, seems like a lot ??? but I guess thats about 10G force for a 35kg combined child and seat.
He hopes to have it all passed and registered in a week or so, taken him 12 months and about $40,000ishfor compliance
1976 Moke 1275cc (Dynky),
1976 Moke(Scarlet) current project,
1974 Moke with Suzuki GTI motor (project), 
1975 Moke rust bucket,
1967 Moke rust bucket

Terry

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 08:12:59 PM »
Moe,

To make sure i wasn't just imagining the reduced ADR requirements I went back and found the page mentioning it.

http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/motor/standards/index.aspx

The SEVS scheme comes under the Low Volume Import Scheme which you can read "allows alternative forms of evidence against some of the ADRs."

So yet another bit of Government legislation leaving things open for interpretation. :)

Terry
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moke

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 10:08:14 PM »
My brake lines are made from Cunifer (imported from the UK) which is a very similar colour as a dollar coin.
I know when I fitted braided front hoses manufactured by Goodridge a few years ago, people were saying these were illegal here as well but , after some research, I found that the rules had changed and my hoses are now acceptable.
Dean
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 10:25:23 PM by moke »
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Tim

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 11:04:47 PM »
That's good to know Dean. I have a set of Goodridge stainless hoses from the UK on mine and I've often wondered about their legality. I needed them when I fitted the metro 4 pot calipers which need two brake lines going to them.

Tim

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Re: Copper brakes lines used in Australia
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 09:01:02 PM »
Hi,

I was searching for some non Moke related items about copper brake lines and this post is item #2 on the Google page so now I found my answer I thought I would update this post.

The copper-nickel brake tube, not pure copper, is legal to use in NSW at least.

http://twofortyz.com/2018/04/are-copper-nickel-brake-lines-legal-in-australia/

Terry
I'm not questioning your powers of observation; I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.


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