Difference Between Soldering and Brazing

A welder’s primary job is to join parts with the help of tools generating intense heat. This might seem a simple concept on the surface, but it is full of different ways and techniques. A welder will braze, weld, or solder the two materials to join parts together.  

All of the above-mentioned processes utilize heat. Soldering, brazing, and welding are each suited for different metals kinds and applications and comprise distinctive equipment, gear, and skills. In this article, the chief aim is on differentiating soldering and brazing. 

Soldering vs Brazing 

The main difference between soldering and brazing is that the soldering process comes into role mostly in the electronic industry to form electronic components connections. Soldering is usually used in pumping works, engine repairs, art & crafts, metal works from flashing to jewelry. On the other hand, brazing joins a range of elements except for magnesium and aluminum. It is playing a vital role in industries of automotive.   

Soldering and Brazing

The process of soldering aids in joining metals by melting a filler metal into a joint for creating strong permanent bonds. It might not have or have capillary attraction. It allows for distinctive metals to be soldered, comprising brass, copper, and gold. To improve and strengthen mechanical properties fluxes are used. 

Brazing uses much more closely fitted parts and higher temperatures in comparison to soldering. With the help of capillary action, the filler metal flows into the gap left between the close-fitting piece. A major advantage is the ability to join the different or same metals with considerable strength. 

Comparison Table Between Soldering and Brazing 

Parameters of ComparisonSolderingBrazing
Process temperatureAround 400° Celsius450° Celsius
Filler metal60:40 tin: lead alloyBrass alloys
JointsWeaker than brazing jointsForms stronger joints
Base metal preheatingNot requiredMost required
Corrosion resistanceDo not resist to some extentDo resist corrosion

What is Soldering? 

The origin of employing evidence of soldering is traced back to 5,000 years ago especially in Mesopotamia. Historically, soldering was used for cooking and cookware tools, jewelry, assembly stained glass, and other uses. Unlike welding, this process does not comprise the work piece’s melting.  

Nearly all soldiers included lead in the past, but health and environmental concerns have increasingly dictated lead-free alloys to use for plumbing and electronics purposes. The substrate’s solderability is a measure with which a soldered joint can be manufactured to that material. 

Some metals like gold, copper, and silver are easier to solder in comparison to others. Mild, nickel, steel, and iron are next in difficulty. Due to their thin stainless steel, some aluminum alloys and strong oxide films are even more difficult to solder.  

Distinctive types of soldering tools are manufactured for particular applications. The needed heat can be caused by electrically heating operated elements or from burning fuel. When it comes to hand soldering, an electric soldering iron is used. 

What is Brazing? 

Brazing generally requires small joint spacing for allowing capillary action to draw the metal of filler. Mainly into the joint usually when the parts reach the proper phase temperature. Flux in brazing helps to remove any formation of oxide as a result of the part’s heating.  

Brazing might entail exposure to fumes of hazardous chemicals. In the United States, the NIOSH recommends that exposure to these fumes is mainly controlled to levels below the exposure limit allowed. For accomplishing brazing operations, there are several heating methods.  

Some of the most common brazing heating methods comprise braze welding, torch brazing, furnace brazing, dip brazing, induction brazing, infrared brazing, resistance brazing, blanket brazing, electronic laser, and beam brazing. These methods are categorized through diffuse and localized heating techniques.

Some phrases come in the trefoil’s form, laminated foils of a carrier clad’s metal along with Braze’s layer at each side. Copper is often the center metal: for the alloy. The chief role is to act as a carrier to absorb mechanical stresses. Several distinct groups are formed by brazing alloys; the alloys present in the same groups possess similar uses and properties. These comprise Ag-Cu, Cu-Zn, pure metals, Ni, Co, and many more.

Main Differences Between Soldering and Brazing 

  1. Soldering is only possible in exact sheet metals and thin metals. On the other hand, brazing is suitable in dissimilar or similar types of metals and thicker metal parts.  
  2. The advantages of soldering are minimum thermal distortion, lower power input, and post-processing heat treatment not required. On the contrary, lower processing temperature, joining dissimilar base material, producing stronger joint, and minimal residual stresses in the joint are some of the brazing’s advantages.  
  3. When it comes to disadvantages, fluxes might contain toxic components and produce joints unsuitable for high-temperature applications. In contrast, the drawback of brazing is failing to join large sections and the production of lower strength joints.  
  4. In terms of fitting strength, soldiering is a softer process for metal joining where the metal’s part is not held tightly. On the flip side, the brazing generates a tight fit among the joined metal parts. 
  5. Mostly in the electronic industry to form electronic components connections, the soldering process comes into role. It is generally used in engine repairs, art, and crafts, plumbing works, metal works from flashing to jewelry. Meanwhile, brazing is usually used in industries of automotive. It also joins a range of elements except for magnesium and aluminum

Conclusion 

It concluded that both soldering and brazing processes are used to join parts together of two materials. The most common type of filler metal is 60:40 tin: lead alloy is used in soldering. On the contrary, brass alloys are the most common filler metal used in brazing. Base metal preheating is usually not required in the process of soldiering, while it is must be needed in brazing.   

The process temperature of soldering occurs at a temperature of around 400° Celsius. In contrast, the process temperature of brazing occurs at a temperature of 450° Celsius. The joints of soldering are weaker in comparison to brazing joints. On the other hand, brazing forms stronger joints. When it comes to corrosion resistance, soldering does not resist to some extent. Meanwhile, bracing does resist corrosion. 

References  

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=cQ6khQScBF4C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=soldering&ots=TGk77JoKze&sig=ixkKpE0bCahiR2I2ly_uXSCGKN4
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XSGaKuYQLjIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR6&dq=brazing&ots=9dnirSWrIP&sig=1d2i808AJIxmtoERU3Atapfcbf4
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