Different types of metals are often joined using different types of techniques. Welding soldering and brazing are all techniques which are often used to join different types of metals and in some cases the same type of metals. The three techniques are commonly used in the manufacturing sector with the aim of producing different types of metal products.
Welding is the process of joining two metal parts by melting them without using or by using molten materials. The parts heated often solidify in order to provide a strong joint between the two joined parts. There are a significant number of welding methods such as laser welding, gas welding, plasma arc welding, MIG welding and TIG welding.
There are a number of advantages that are associated with welding as compared to other techniques used in joining two pieces of metal. Welding often provides tight and strong quality seams and joints. Welding can also be used to join large sections and residue removal is not often required in some applications.
The welding technique is also known to have drawbacks which often make it not suitable in joining other types of metals. Despite welding, the joints are considered as weak or brittle which means that in the event of a huge load, the joints may break off due to the amount of weight exerted on it.
Soldering is the process of joining two pieces of metal using a filler which is often known as a solder using low temperatures as compared to welding. Soldering is popularly used in electronic equipment’s which in turn allows the metals to join with each other electronically. Soldering is considered effective for various metals such as copper, iron, silver, gold and brass.
There are two common methods of soldering which are wave soldering and iron soldering. Wave soldering is the most common method used in printed circuit board manufacturing and electronic component. Iron soldering, on the other hand, is one of the simplest and oldest methods of soldering which involves soldering a copper tip with iron.
There are a number of benefits that are associated with the soldering method. The method does not require melting of the base metal, dissimilar metals can be joined together and the process involves much lower temperatures during connection. Soldered joints on the other hand cannot be used in applications which require high temperatures. This is because the pieces of metal will get destroyed in the process of heating thus it will not provide the function it was intended for. The flux that is used in joining the pieces of metals often contains toxic components which are harmful to a persons’ health. Therefore it is important to handle it with caution.
Brazing is the process which entails using both filler and high temperatures to join two pieces of metal. Similarly to welding, brazing too is used to create a mechanical connection between two pieces of metals. Brazing is used for thin pieces of metal such as aluminum and it often involves the application of a flux solution between the filler and the pieces of metal to promote effective connection of the metals.
There are different methods of brazing such as furnace brazing. Furnace brazing often involves preloading the flux and filler metals into a furnace and this method is commonly used in factories.Induction brazing, on the other hand, involves the use of clamps or tongs which hold the piece of metal to inductor coils with the aim of creating an electrical current around a pre-fluxed part which has already been loaded with filler materials.
There are a number of benefits that are associated with brazing compared to other techniques. Brazing allows the joining of non-metals and dissimilar metals together. It also produces a clean seam which does not need further processing.Brazed joints are not considered as strong as compared to welded joints and they can also get damaged when exposed to higher temperatures. This is often influenced by the nature of the metal being used as there are some metals which often get destroyed due to exposure of high temperatures.
The three techniques are ideal for joining the different types of metals and the decision of whether to use brazing, welding or soldering is often influenced by the method of application, the purpose of the joint, the size of the structure being joined and the type of material being used. The materials can often be non-metallic materials or metallic materials depending on the task at hand.
Both techniques require a professional in order to distinguish which technique is best and therefore it is not advisable to join any pieces of metal without the supervision of a professional welder. At the same time the technique involves high temperatures which can be hazardous if not handled with care.