In the manufacturing sector, there are many methods of joining materials together. One of the most commonly used is brazing, which utilizes molten filler material to join metal or ceramic pieces. Below, we provide an overview of this process, outlining what it entails, the various types available, and the key benefits it offers, while ensuring that S.M. Engineering is your go-to for brazing services
What Is Brazing?
Brazing is a joining process that uses filler material to form a solid joint between metal or ceramic components. The filler material has a high melting point that is lower than the melting point of the workpiece materials, ensuring that it will melt while the workpieces do not. Once the filler material is melted, it spreads into the joint via capillary action. It is then allowed to cool, causing it to solidify and join the workpieces.
Types of Brazing Services
There are many brazing services and methods, each of which employs unique techniques and technologies that make it suitable for different joining applications. Some of the most commonly used brazing methods are:
Vacuum brazing joins parts in a high-temperature vacuum environment (between 600 and 2400° F in temperature and 105 torr or greater in pressure). The vacuum serves as the flux or cleaning agent for the parts, removing oxides and facilitating the formation of the joint.
Partial Pressure Brazing
Partial pressure brazing is highly similar to vacuum brazing. However, it occurs at lower vacuum pressures (103 torr). The process involves introducing a full vacuum on the parts and furnace and then introducing a gas to reduce the pressure within the vacuum.
Hydrogen brazing is performed in a high-temperature, hydrogen-rich environment. It is generally used to join ceramics, oxygen-free copper, stainless steel, and steel. The filler material is typically a combination of copper, nickel, and precious metals (e.g., gold or silver). Since the hydrogen serves as a cleaning agent that removes oxides, the process normally produces bright and shiny joints.
Torch brazing—also referred to as silver soldering—uses localized heating to create joints. The joint areas are first fluxed, and then the filler material (typically containing tin or zinc) is applied.
Similar to silver soldering, induction blazing only heats the portions of the workpieces that will be joined. First, the joint surfaces are heated, and then the filler material is applied.
Benefits of Brazing
There are many benefits to using brazing over other joining methods. For example:
- It allows dissimilar base materials to be joined.
- It produces clean, strong, lightweight, and durable assemblies.
- It accommodates a range of joint designs without needing special fixtures or tooling.
- It eliminates the need for post-processing finishing and heat treatment.
- It carries a lower risk of thermal distortion and residual stresses than welding.
- It requires less power input and heat than welding.
Partner With S.M. Engineering & Heat Treating for Brazing Services
Brazing plays a key role in the assembly of many parts and products. Achieving quality joints in these components necessitates the use of quality equipment. Otherwise, the equipment may experience temperature fluctuations and inconsistencies that can negatively affect joint formation. In the case of vacuum brazing and hydrogen brazing, this refers to brazing ovens and furnaces.
Want brazing services you can count on? S.M. Engineering & Heat Treating has got you covered. We specialize in the design, manufacture, and service of furnaces and ovens for various industrial heat treating needs. Our experts can help you find the equipment solution that works for you. To learn more about our brazing oven capabilities and how they can benefit your operations, contact us today.