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Losing Freon? Brass Vs. Copper Seals, and Why it Matters

Aug 20, 2023

Why good copper gaskets create Zero Leak HVACs.By Jim Scott, Senior Engineer at Seco Seals



There's no excuse to leak Freon into the environment with the simple aerospace technology we have today. Copper tin plated gaskets are the way to do that. Good Copper Tin plated gaskets work 100% of the time, they never fail, and never wear out! EVER!

It's as easy as that.

For decades, we’ve been told, "You don't need a gasket, just tighten the connection tighter, that's how you stop leaks!" But how many times have you had a freon leak? It's frustrating, expensive, time consuming, and dangerous to the environment.

So many people were looking for a solution to leaking Freon, that my team and I decided to try the space tech my father created to help fix the Atlas V Rocket, in the late 1950's and 60's. We found ways to use his Aerospace 100% never fail and never wear out solutions, to solve many day-to-day problems that leaked harmful gases and liquids in the atmosphere.

Now, we can provide for a clean environment and a safety of systems, whether it be a rocket, an airplane, a car, or HVAC, breathing oxygen systems for deep sea diving, oil platforms, simply put… all applications where they need a 100% certainty on sealing.

How long do the gaskets last?

These gaskets are designed for deep space to never fail and never wear out. You put it in, you put it behind the wall and it’ll be there 100 years later. It's designed to expand and contract with the systems. It will withstand vibration, temperature changes, and pull vacuum as well as exceed the pressure ratings on your fittings. Whereas the 45-degree fitting is usually rated at 500 PSI, and the SECO7, 37-degree Conical seal, its cousin, goes up to 10,000 PSI. You turn your weakest link of your system into your strongest link.

The Seco Seal difference

These are not just any gaskets. They’re flared tube fitting, 45 degrees, which is standard all over the world for HVAC systems, dash -3 through -12, three eighths to three quarter inch.

The way we do our gaskets and the way you should be doing them to have 100% leak free systems and not have to log leaking Freon to the customer and the government. Leaks will be be a faded memory in your rear-view mirror.

What is anneal? It's super soft. Heat it for 45 minutes in an oven in a NADCAP approved facility, so it almost melts, and it becomes really soft. Then when you put it in the fitting between the brass which is harder, and copper which is softer, this super soft copper with tin plate fills in the small leak paths. The tin plating gives an extra degree of security to the sealing surfaces of your connections.

To install, first torque the fitting, wait 15 to 20 seconds and retorque to manufacturer's specification. Upon compression, the gasket changes from dead soft annealed to full hard condition it should not leak until you undo the system and put in a brand-new gasket.

This cone shaped gasket made will seal helium, which is the slipperiest thing in the universe to try to seal. Freon is a much larger molecule and is much easier. So if you want to get to 100, 10,000 or 1 million zero leak HVAC with use SECO45CT Gaskets. They’re made to a Society of Automotive Engineers Standards dimensions in J513. SECO Standard designs are posted on our website and they’re available in standard sizes.

SECO SEALS , A World Leader in Aerospace Gaskets Since 1969, soon will be coming out with 45-degree flare gaskets made from Aluminum, Nickel, Stainless Steel in addition to the existing Copper. Available platings are Tin, Silver and Gold, depending on your application. You would use Aluminum gaskets on all Aluminum systems. Nickel gaskets are normally used on hydrocarbon systems. Stainless Steel 305 is usually applied in high corrosive applications.

Image courtesy Seco Seals

Jim Scott is the Senior Engineer at Seco Seals Inc. in Costa Mesa, California. You can find out more about Seco Seals at and contact Jim Scott directly at [email protected].

This article is supported by Seco Seals.

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