Beginning to End: How Copper Seals Are Created
At Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing, we have been a world leader in manufacturing for over 100 years. From NASA and the aerospace industry to NASCAR and the automotive industry (and everything in between), our seals and gaskets are behind the things you know and love.
Our team uses the latest technology and tools our competitors can only dream about. By using the best state-of-the-art machines, we are able to produce seals and gaskets quickly and efficiently. And with our precision calibration and inspection equipment, you can be certain that every part we ship is made to exact standards.
We take pride in what we do, and we enjoy providing the best-quality products you can find. But the process of creating a finished copper seal or gasket isn’t a simple one. So how do our finished products end up in aircrafts, engines, pumps, and electrical components throughout the world? It all starts in the ground.
Mining, Smelting, and Refining
Our copper seals are some of our most unique and amazing products. Copper is a soft metal that can absorb energy and movement, resists corrosion, and carries an electrical current. Because of that, it can be used where other metals simply won’t do.
Copper begins life like many metals and elements, in the ground. Copper can be found underground and on the surface of the earth. Most copper mines are open pit mines. While there are technical ways of describing the mines, they are essentially giant holes in the ground formed by excavation and constant digging around a rich vein of ore. The copper itself is mixed in with other debris and rocks and must be separated after initial collection.
Once large quantities of copper-containing materials have been collected, the load is taken to a mill where it is initially sifted and sorted, then crushed and ground into a powdery substance. The substance is then ready to be smelted.
Smelting involves placing the copper concentrate into a furnace along with silica-based materials. The mixture melts and is collected at the bottom of the furnace. The molten matte is taken from the first furnace and then placed into a secondary furnace known as a converter. A process similar to the initial melt takes place again, further separating the copper from iron slag and other byproducts. The resulting material is called the blister.
The copper blister is now ready to be refined. However, the exact method of doing so varies according to the type of ore itself. Most copper-oxide ores are refined in a leaching process in a solution of sulfuric acid. Electrolysis is then used to collect the raw materials from the refined chemical bath.
Casting, Shipping, and Processing
After the refining process, the copper is melted and cast into ingots, rods, cakes, or other specific shapes depending on the final use of the product itself. Though large, these ingots (or other forms of copper) can easily be transported by land or sea to facilities that will either further shape and form them for their final destination (or use them directly).
At Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing, we use raw materials directly to create your copper seals and other copper products. In fact, we have the largest raw material inventory in the industry (at 1.5-million pounds).
Our Material Department will take the raw materials and process them for specific uses and purposes. If you have every purchased a copper seal directly from us or used one we have made, chances are high that an expert in our Material Department had a hand in ensuring the initial raw material was worthy of being used as a seal or gasket.
Put to Good Use
Once raw materials have been sorted, organized, and checked for quality, they are ready to be put to use. The copper that was once resting peacefully in the ground is ready to be formed and shaped into a seal or gasket that will meet your exact specifications.
As mentioned, we pride ourselves on using only the highest-quality machines and equipment available. Our vast array of state-of-the-art tools allows us to create seals in a huge array of sizes and shapes.
Here are just a few of the tools we use to manufacture our quality parts:
- Brown and Sharpe 1020 Universal Grinder
- 5 Axis Wire EDM-Charmilles
- Drill presses
- Moore Jig Grinder
- High-temperature furnaces
- Myford Universal Grinders
- Okuma CNC Lathe w/8″ Swing
- And many more
We don’t just carry one type of copper; we carry all the important varieties and copper alloys you might need. From annealed copper to phosphorus bronze and even beryllium copper, we have a metal or alloy of copper that will work in any application.
A Variety of Seals
At Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing, the copper ore that once rested in the ground is just one material we use to create our variety of seals. Whether you need a compressor seal or a mechanical oil seal, we have the infrastructure and tools to create the products you need to complete your project.
Contact us to today to get a free quote for your copper seals!