Flaring aluminum tubing?

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Khirsah17

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Last weekend I assembled my kegerator and hit quite a snag when I was working on the liquid side connections. As per the Great Fridge Project, I decided to go with flare fittings for all my connections. I'm having problems though trying to attach my tubing to the liquid out quick disconnect. What you are supposed to do is flare some metal tubing and secure it onto the disconnect with a flare nut. However, because my beverage tubing is 3/16", my aluminum tubing is very thin and frail. Any time I try to flare it, it's either lopsided or it cracks. I'm also not sure how big the flare really needs to be either. Has anyone else run into this problem? Any advice?
 
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I've never had a problem flaring aluminum tubing. It's usually really soft and easy to do. I have run into the issues you're having with stainless, though. Are you sure of the material with which you're working?

If you need some 3/16" aluminum tubing for use with flare fittings, check www.mcmaster.com, part #9924K122.
 
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Khirsah17

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Yea, I'm sure it's aluminum. I'm sure I can probably get the flare tool more centered to avoid the lopsidedness, but it's pretty tough to get a good flare without some cracking or chipping.

This is my first time dealing with flare connections. Hopefully this question isn't too hard to understand, but does the cone part of the flared aluminum tubing have to completely mate up with the angled part of the quick disconnect?
 
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Khirsah17 said:
This is my first time dealing with flare connections. Hopefully this question isn't too hard to understand, but does the cone part of the flared aluminum tubing have to completely mate up with the angled part of the quick disconnect?
It doesn't need to completely cover the flared portion of the disconnect, but there needs to be enough surface there to "squish" onto it and prevent any leaks.

You could try annealing your tubing - just hit it with a soft torch flame for a few seconds and let it cool slowly. The tubing is so thin, you'll have to be careful not to damage it with the flame.
 

kirk240

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according to the FAA 3/8 and smaller tubeing requires a double flare also what angle is the fitting 45* like on a car or 37* like on an airplane? be shure to Deburr the end of the tube and cut it square with a tubeing cutter (about $5 at the autoparts store) the flare should reach to the edges of the sleve but not be so wide as to prevent the nut frome slideing all the way down. (look up AC 43.13 paragraph 9-30 b on the FAA's website for more help.)
 
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