Lead Free Silver Solder allows the joining of 2 joints with or without filler material, but it can be carried out in different ways and with different techniques. What are the main soldering processes?
The techniques basically these. The first can be carried out both with and without filler material while the Heterogenous Welding (also called brazing) is the one that is obtained exclusively through the fusion of the material. So, without fusion of the joint.
In both cases we are talking about an irreversible joining method, as opposed to other ways of joining the pieces such as gluing or bolting. What do you need to know about these issues?
Let’s check out these processes!
Within these 2 macro-categories there are many welding processes that can be used to join metal pieces. The main soldering techniques used are:
They are many and different from each other and not all of them can be used in DIY given the cost of the equipment, the size and the difficulty of use.
Among the main lead-free silver solder processes, electrode welding is the most popular welding technique among enthusiasts, but also among professionals. This happens thanks above all to the affordable price of the materials and accessories and to the extreme portability.
This is done with the help of an electrode, a stick of filler material coated with antioxidant materials that protect the weld from oxidation.
The electrode is attached to a clamp connected to the welding machine and, when the electrode itself approaches the material to be welded, if the amperage is correct, an arc of current arises. It melts the material to be welded, the coating and the core of the electrode.
The lead-free silver solder electrode is one of the most difficult to master techniques. It’s easy to go wrong at first. So, if you don’t get perfect welds the first few times, don’t worry. Over time you will get carried away and your welds will be good.
The MIG/MAG welding technique is also called continuous wire because the filler material consists of a metal wire that runs inside the welding torch.
This technique has several points in favor. For example, compared to electrode welding it is more intuitive and you can learn how to weld quite well right away.
However, the welding machine and various accessories are not very portable because, in addition to the machine, a gas cylinder is required which must be connected to the machine.
And that changes according to the material to be welded. This gas has the same role as the electrode coating in electrode welding and serves to protect the weld from oxidation, a decisive step for a good result.
Last of the most used methods for lead-free silver solder in a private workshop. TIG welding is used when the weld must be left exposed due to its high aesthetic performance.
TIG is an acronym that stands for Tungstengo Inert Gas. Tungsten is a material that does not wear out and is the same that is used in the realization of the internal filament of light bulbs. To do a TIG welding there are essentially 2 ways:
Thanks to this characteristic, it finds countless applications especially in the joining of hydraulic pipes or particular pieces, such as bicycle frames, but not much in DIY because it still requires great manual skill and has a higher cost.
At the beginning this lead-free silver solder technique was developed during the Second World War in the aeronautical industry. The distinguishing feature of TIG welding?
The coin cords. This is in fact the name of the weld bead that is formed because it seems to be made up of many small coins overlapping and side by side.
We often talk about all the precautions we need to take when going to weld such as preparing the material, setting up the machine and much more. But you don’t hear much about how to clean the solder after it is done.
In fact, when we make a seam, especially in electrode lead-free silver solder when we are a beginner, we will create an accumulation of filler material that is not perfectly flush with the surfaces, but a sort of unsightly and not very functional rise.
If we are a beginner, our welds will not be perfect and we could create a lot of slag near the joint and this will force us to clean carefully.
The welding must be discreet. If there are gross errors, cleaning will be useless.
It is as follows!
Once the bead has been made, the weld must be finished. Is the material warm enough? We use the back of the hammer. Proceed by hitting the bead to remove the superficial part without affecting the joint, an error that would cause it to lose strength.
Does the surface still have any slag? We use a brush with steel bristles, rubbing it on the affected part to remove the last drops of metal that have deposited on the surface of the piece and the slag created after hammering.
It is advisable, before the final bead, to block the joint with points. So, we can “hammer” these points delicately and not have major impediments in the next phase. Therefore, we won’t need to insist too much on the cleaning phase.
Do we weld with electrode or with the various variations of continuous wire lead-free silver solder? Once the welds of a frame have been completed (for example) we can finish the joints using a tool that all of us should have in the garage: the hose. When smoothing the weld with the hose the main recommendations are 2: