Joining Metals: Your Frequently Asked Questions About Brazing, Answered!
Most of us are familiar with the terms soldering and welding. But, there’s an additional method that’s used to fuse metals together known as brazing.
While this technique isn’t dissimilar to the previous two, not everyone knows that it entails.
So, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about it and what it can be used for.
So, What Is Brazing?
Brazing is a process that involves joining two metals together (known as the parent materials) by melting down a third metal in between them (known as filler the filler material).
Since the filler material must be melted in order to fuse the parent material together, the filler’s melting point must always be lower than the parent material’s. Otherwise, the end result would be a molten heap of different metals.
Once the filler material cools down in between the parent materials, a strong, reliable bond is formed that holds the materials together.
When the brazing process is completed properly, the resulting bond can actually be stronger than the two parent materials.
When Is Brazing Used?
While you may not have been familiar with the term before today, its use is fairly widespread throughout the manufacturing industry.
As long as the temperature at which the filler material melts doesn’t affect the integrity of the parent materials, brazing can be used for a vast amount of applications.
This includes fusing dissimilar metals, critical projects where reliable structural integrity is vital, and mass production of products like cars and other vehicles.
Types of Atmospheres
Depending on the temperature required to complete the brazing process for your application, it’s not uncommon to complete the process in an alternative atmospheric environment.
Instead of brazing in the open air, there are a handful of other atmospheres where the process can take place. These can include:
- Vacuum (most suitable for aerospace projects that require the highest quality joints possible)
- Noble gas
Whichever atmosphere is most conducive to the oxidation of the metals is the one that should be used.
One of the most important characteristics of the filler material is its capability to melt at a low temperature (or very specific temperature). But, as previously mentioned, the material must also be able to withstand the atmospheric conditions of the brazing process.
So, not just any metal can be used as a filler material. Common types include:
- Nickel alloy
The filler material is either placed before heating or applied after the heating process has begun.
Understanding Brazing Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about brazing in mind, you’ll have no trouble using it in the future when the situation calls for it.
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