Discovering Brazing (Braze Welding)
Brazing is a gas welding process in which you join metals by using heat that surpasses the 800 degree Fahrenheit mark and a nonferrous (iron-free) filler rod with a melting temperature below that of the base materials. The most important point about brazing is that you can use it to join dissimilar metals — cast iron to steel, brass to steel, or copper to steel, just to name a few examples.
Keeping a few brazing rules in mind
A successful brazing job requires that you stick to a few rules, as follows:
✓ The surfaces of the metals must be free of contaminants. Use steel wool to clean off all the metals, and use flux (a material that dissolves or removes oxides and other contaminants from the surface during brazing) for additional cleaning when the surfaces are heated.
✓ The joint to be brazed must have a tight fit. You use two basic joints for brazing: the butt joint (two pieces of material lying together on the same plane) and the lap joint (two pieces of material overlapping each other, usually in a parallel plane). If the joint has sizeable gap, brazing just doesn’t work. But if the joint is too tight, the melted filler rod can’t penetrate the entire joint, and you get a weak, ineffective weld.
✓ The base metals you’re brazing must remain stationary during the
heating and cooling process. If the base metals move while you’re welding or before everything has cooled off after welding, the joint’s integrity will likely be compromised
Giving brazing a try
If you’re trying brazing for the first time, I recommend going with an oxyacetylene torch in the flat position and using the forehand method I discuss in “Making the weld” earlier in the chapter. You can start by creating a brazed corncob, which is a piece created when you join two different metals,
following the steps in this section.
1. Acquiring a section of carbon steel pipe 1 inch in diameter and five inches long, as well as four 1⁄8-inch fluxed brazing filler rods that are 36 inches long.
2. Clean the pipe thoroughly with steel wool to remove any contaminants on the surface.
3. Lay the pipe between two fire bricks, leaving a 3⁄4-inch space between the bricks.
Fire bricks are special bricks that can withstand extremely high temperatures; find them at your welding supply or hardware store.
4. Set up and light the oxyacetylene torch, using the steps I describe in “Working through the Basics of Welding with Gas” earlier in this chapter, and adjust the torch so you have a neutral flame.
5. Preheat the pipe to burn off any grease or varnish that may be left on
6. If you’re right-handed, start on the right end of the pipe and melt off a small portion of the filler rod onto the end of the pipe. If you’re left-handed, start on the left end of the pipe. The molten puddle should be very fluid. Be sure that when you use more of the filler rod, you let only the molten puddle (not the flame from the torch) melt the rod. If you notice white smoke coming from your molten puddle, that means you’re burning the zinc out of your filler rod, which will result in a poor
weld. Avoid that problem by welding at a lower temperature or moving more quickly with the molten puddle. When you’re practicing the brazing process, you can quench the metal between passes with the torch. Use pliers to pick up the section of pipe you’re practicing on and place it in a tank of water to cool it very quickly. Quenching isn’t good for the integrity of the brazed weld, though, so don’t quench unless you’re just practicing.
product that resembles the brazed corncob in Figure 13-3. For some brazing projects, you may need to make even more passes. (For example, projects involving thick pieces of metal definitely require more than three passes.)
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- Submrged Arc Welding
- Flux shielded metal arc welding process principles
- Resistance Projection Welding
- Resistance Spot Welding
- Resistance Seam Welding
- TIG Aluminum Welding Advantages made easy !
- Advanced TIG welding operations