Soldering, Welding and Brazing are all techniques of joining pieces of metal and filling gaps. When welding two materials they must be similar, for example, copper can’t be welded to steel. Different types of welding include Metal Inert Gas (MIG), Arc, Electron Beam, Laser and Stir Friction.
Methods of Joining Metals
Welding involves high temperatures to melt and then join two parts of metal. Most of the time, welding also involves a third metal which is known as a filler. When done properly, a finished weld is as strong as the surrounding metal. However, if the process is not done properly it can change the metals properties and cause the weld to weaken. A weld can be weak if the welder applies too much heat to the metals.
Brazing is the process where two metals are joined together by heat and melting a filler that bongs them together. The filler (also known as an alloy) must have a melting temperature below the other metals. Something used often in brazing is flux. Flux is a liquid that promotes wetting which helps the filler flow over the other parts being joined. Flux also cleans the parts of oxides so the filler bonds more tightly. Brazing temperatures are much lower than welding temperatures, using less energy during the process.
Soldering is a low-temperature analog to brazing. Soldering takes place with fillers that melt below 450 degrees. Metals that can be soldered:
When a filler solidifies, it’s bonded with the other metals. The bond is not as strong as a brazed joint or a welded one. Flux can also be used in soldering, as well as in brazing. It essentially does the same job, cleaning the metal and making it easier for the solder to flow over the pieces of metal being joined. Soldering can also be used to join electrical components.
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