Welding vs Brazing vs Soldering Differences

When it comes to joining metal parts, regular glues, or any kind of adhesives don’t seem to create proper bonding within tiny particles of metal pieces. Depending on the application, metals need welding, brazing, and soldering that have their own way of joining materials.

Even though these three processes are used for joining metal parts, there are differences among them. There are differences in how these methods work, way of joining, application types, required equipment, and tools.

Depending on the purpose and application type, you need to select one specific method to accomplish your work. This article will help you to determine which one to adopt for what kind of work.

Things That Are Common In Welding, Brazing, And Soldering

Before explaining each of the metal joining methods and their differences, let’s have a look at things that are similar in all of these.

Cleaning

It’s important to clean the piece of metal you are about to deal with before attempting any of the joining methods. If the metal pieces aren’t clean enough, there will be consequences such as gas or liquid leaking from the pipe, breaking of the joint, having structural damage, etc.

Gear To Use

Whether it’s welding, brazing, or soldering, you need to make sure that you are using protective gloves and other essential gear to protect yourself from metal fragments that can burn your skin. The melted metal can cause severe damage to the skin if it falls.

Heat

You will have to heat the metal parts using filler material no matter which one you choose. Heating the material with an ideal temperature can create a strong bond within the metal pieces.

Welding

It’s a metal joining process that creates an extremely strong bond between two metal pieces. Welding produces a higher temperature to heat-up the filler wire and the metals to create the bonding. The metal pieces then can withstand stresses, strains, pressure, and impact.

As far as the temperature is concerned, welding uses a relatively much higher temperature to melt metals to weld together compared to brazing and soldering. The temperature is typically around 3,400 degrees Celsius or more. Welding is also difficult to do compared to other metal bonding methods.You can check our guideline about best 110v mig welders, best 220v mig welders and best welders for sheet metal.

Uses

Welding is a common metal joining method that is found in building trades, industrial processes, shipbuilding, automotive, heavy-duty equipment construction, tanks, railroads, vessels, and many applications. Also, metal or steel bridges require some serious welding works to join the heavy-duty metal pieces together.

Types

Welding can be of different types. MIG, TIG, Flux-core, Electro-beam, Plasma, Gas, Laser-beam, etc. are the most commonly used ones.

Equipment Required For Welding

To be able to weld metal parts, you will need a welding torch, oxygen cylinder, fuel gas cylinder, power-supply source, MIG/TIG/Plasma welding torch, spool of filler wire, etc., depending on the welding type.

Advantages

  • Creates extremely strong and tight metal joints and seams
  • Joins larger pieces of metal
  • Residue removing isn’t required in some cases
  • Cost-effective

Drawbacks

  • Expensive process compared to others
  • Risks include asthma, radiation, blinding light, toxic fumes, skin burning
  • Not suitable for thinner metals
  • Distortion or internal stress on the base of the metal structure

Brazing

This joining process combines both heat, flux, and filler metal to be able to join metals. A mechanical connection between the metal parts is created through this process. Flex solution is applied between the metal pieces and filler metal to heat and join the pieces.

Brazing requires around 450 to 600 degrees Celsius of heat to create metal bonding. Unlike welding, brazing heats the filler metal rather than applying the melting temperature to it.

Uses

Brazing comes very useful for thinner metals like aluminum. Providing a higher temperature can cause damage to such thin metals.

Where soldering isn’t effective for difficult to access joints, brazing deals with such conditions with great results.

Also, brazing joins carbides, cermets, and many ferrous metals together.

Equipment Required For Brazing

Furnace, inductor coil or heated chemical bath, torch, etc. are needed for melting the filler metal.

Filler material or flux solutions such as fluorides, alkalis, borates, chlorides, fluoroborates, etc. are required for brazing.

Safety equipment such as protective gloves and safety glass are needed for protection.

Advantages

  • Doesn’t melt the base metal
  • No need for secondary processing or cleaning for joints or seams
  • Dissimilar as well as non-metals can be joined together
  • Quite inexpensive for multi-part and complex assemblies

Drawbacks

  • Not for joining large metal pieces
  • Joining strength is quite weak compared to welding
  • High temperature can damage the joints and seams
  • The color of the joints and base metal doesn’t match
  • Filler materials and fluxes contain toxic elements

Soldering

When some circuits or metal parts of your smartphone or computer motherboard or any other motherboard requires repairing, soldering is the method of doing that. Soldering is a joining process that uses solder to metal sections or pipe to join two metal pieces or tiny parts.

When it comes to temperature, soldering requires around 400 degrees Celsius to be able to melt the solder and filler metal to get the joining done.

The solder is applied right where the metal or non-metal parts will be joined. Unlike the other two methods, soldering only heats the solder, not the work pieces. Solder comes in solid wire or paste form.

Uses

Soldering is widely practiced in electrical boards. Some plumbing, as well as metal-work, also require low-temperature soldering. The method is also used in making jewelry and dealing with gold, copper, silver, iron, and brass.

Equipment Required For Soldering

For soldering work, you will need a soldering iron, filler metals such as aluminum, lead, copper, zinc, tin, and silver alloys, solder or flux, thick protective gloves, and safety glasses.

Advantages

  • Doesn’t melt the metal base
  • Uses low temperature
  • Joints dissimilar objects as well as thinner-walled parts together

Drawbacks

  • Not good for joining large sections
  • Low strength seams and joints
  • Requires toxic fluxes

Final Words

To conclude, when it’s about joining large metal pieces, you need to use a welding process. For joining dissimilar metals, brazing is needed. And if you try to repair or fix any electrical device or boards that include circuits, use soldering to join work pieces properly.

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