Brazing is done when a filler material is heated to high temperatures and liquefied around two metals. It is then cooled within the appropriate atmospheric conditions. Once the filler has cooled within the appropriate atmosphere the two metals are fused together now as one. Brazing metal can be done with several types of metal including aluminum, stainless steel, copper and titanium.
How to Braze Steel
There is a process for brazing steel that should be followed in order to successful merge two pieces of metal. That process is as follows:
- All measurements should be double checked and considerations should be made for metals that contract and expand under high heats. You must keep in mind that the filler must reach all points of the new joint in order for there to be a solid connection.
- You must also determine the right brazing alloy with which to join your two metals together. For instance when you braze aluminum to steel you would need to use a brazing rod that is appropriate to both metals, like a vacuum chamber.
- Purify the area that is to be the joint of the original metals with a degreaser. This will ensure that the brazing rod makes a solid connection with both the metals to be joined. After the area is cleaned it is important to use flux to prevent heat from causing oxidation.
- Double check the positions in which you will be joining the metals together. You must double check always.
- Braze the metals together at temperatures of 800°F for a sufficient hold.
The Right Atmosphere and Filler
Having the right atmosphere is critical to the final brazing product. While there are several atmospheres it is only appropriate to base your decision on the types of metals that are to be brazed.
When brazing stainless steel, you perhaps have the most options of fillers to use: Copper, Nickel, Aluminum, and even Gold. However, when stainless steel is brazed with copper the only atmospheres that can be used are Nitrogen and Argon. When Gold and Nickel are used to braze steel they must be done in a vacuum chamber or Hydrogen atmosphere. If Silver is used as a brazing material for steel it can also be done in our typical inhaled air. For those who are brazing steel form personal reasons Silver is the most commonly used filler.
When different metals are used as originals to be brazed together considerations must be made for the appropriate filler for both metals.
Brazing the Same or Different Kinds of Metals
Different kinds of metals maybe brazed to meet specific needs in welding or for the use in other endeavors. Some forms of steel brazing require special conditions in order to create the desired product and certain types of brazing supplies.
In brazing copper to stainless steel the filler material that is used is usually silver. This is to give the assurance that zinc and cadmium are not present which can affect the quality of the product.
Brazing copper to stainless steel will require the heating of both materials to its liquid form and placement within the filler material. The amount of heat needed is more than 840 °F to insure the fusion of both materials. Make sure that safety considerations are in place to prevent any unexpected incidents which can occur while in the process of brazing.
Welding aluminum to steel is not possible but brazing will fuse this two metals. Doing it may sound a little easy in theory but it is going to be very technical once put into practice. Silver brazing stainless steel and brazing steel tubing are done in the same method. The important thing is to clean and fluxed the area well before brazing is done. Do not overheat the stock this will stop the material in overflowing the spot. Boiling the material and brushing thoroughly will remove the flux.
Brazing steel rods and brazing steel wire are both used in different types of brazing. This material is available in different thickness to be able to reach areas that are deep like the edges or along the length or width of the material being brazed. The common application is maintenance and repairing activities like gas tanks that have leakage or even in the aviation and marine transports these can be used for cleaning purposes of petrol and diesel tanks.
Brazing can be done either manually for the creation of individual tools or to simply facilitate the fusion of two metals. For the purpose of mass production like creating masonry tools, developing holding tanks for oil refineries, and more, brazing steel will require the need for the right equipment that will be able to perform the specific tasks that are at hand.
Safety When Brazing Steel
Regardless of the type of materials used to braze steel, the brazing rods, or the atmospheres it is important to practice all safety measures. It is crucial that you only braze with proper eye protection and gloves. Clothes that are worn while brazing steel, or any metals, should be fitted as loose clothing can catch or become exposed to heat.
With brazing that is done in different atmospheres there are other safety conditions that must be met. Taking proper care to protect your respiratory system is important when using all atmospheres.
There are several online resources available to those who are interested in learning more about brazing steel and other metals. The internet gives you access to the best materials to braze with and the right brazing rods for every material. You will also find information on prices of brazing materials and most importantly the safety standards that should be met when brazing.
Brazing steel is perhaps one of the most common forms of brazing used in the industrial community. As steel is commonly associated with durability it is a common metal used in brazing. For those who are interested in brazing any metals together it is important to gain a thorough understanding of all aspects of the trade.