Welding vs Soldering vs Brazing

Want to start your career on a construction site or as an electrician? Want to know more about metal joining? Then, you are going to find the answer to all queries that you need to know.

Joining metal to metal has been one of the most common works for construction industries as well as for others. People need to join metals for creating new structures, for repairing, or for simple reinforcement.

No matter what the reason is, there is more than one method to join metals. But the most practised ones are welding, soldering, and brazing. If you want to start a career in this direction, then you need to have a firm idea of these 3 techniques.

Do you know the basic difference between welding and soldering and brazing?  Don’t worry, as we are here to assist you in this journey. So, without further due, let’s jump in.

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The ultimate guide to metal joining methods

Welding, soldering, or brazing- all these are different ways of joining two or more metals together. Although the primary goal of these 3 procedures is the same, there is still some difference.

Before we get down to the basic difference, let’s discuss what these 3 techniques are.

Welding

Welding is a process that joins metal parts using heat or pressure. This creates a strong bond that can withstand all types of stress, impact load, and strain. There are various types of welding methods available depending on the project type.

Soldering

Soldering joins two metals by melting another filler metal at the joint. It may or may not have capillary action. The bond due to soldering is also very strong. It may be permanent or temporary.

Brazing

Brazing joins two metals by melting another filler metal which is similar to soldering. But brazing needs a small space at the joint to let the filler metal flow at the joint due to capillary action. The bond is also fairly strong. This bond can be both permanent and temporary.

Difference between welding and soldering and brazing

Now, let’s take a look at the basic differences between welding, soldering, and brazing.

Metal type:

The first and most important difference between these 3 techniques is the metal types they can work on.

For welding, both the workpieces have to be the same metals. But when it comes to soldering or brazing, you can join two or more different metals together.

Temperature:

Welding requires an arc to infuse the metals. So, you will need a high temperature to do any type of welding.

Soldering requires a very low temperature which is less than 450 degrees Celsius. So, you can already guess, the melting point of the filler metal is also low.

Brazing, on the other hand, needs a temperature around 450 degrees Celsius.

Capillary action:

Welding doesn’t have any capillary action going on. Soldering may or may not have any capillary action. But in the case of brazing, capillary action is a must.

Strength:

In the battle of strength, welding is the winner without any doubt. Brazing comes next. It makes a stronger bond than soldering.

Soldering is the weakest in this bunch.

Post-processing treatment:

Welding needs post-processing treatments. But soldering or brazing doesn’t need this.

Distortion and stress:

Welding produces maximum thermal distortion and residual stress compared to the rest of the two. Soldering has the least effect on distortion and stress production. Brazing produces less thermal distortion and residual stress than welding.

Power:

Welding requires the maximum amount of input and processing power. Brazing needs less power than welding. And soldering requires the least among this bunch.

Thickness:

Welding can join thick pieces of metals. On the contrary, soldering and brazing are compatible with thinner metal pieces.

Flux:

Flux is not used in welding. But for soldering and brazing, flux is often used to clean the metal surface for smooth metal flow.

One point to note that flux may be toxic in some cases. So, these are the basic differences you will find in these 3 techniques of metal joining.

What to choose between welding, brazing, or soldering?

Well, the answer depends on the work type. If you need the strongest bond for both the thinner and thicker pieces, then go for welding.  Brazing is also a well-known industrially accepted process.

If you are working with a piece with electrical connections such as PCB, then soldering is the way to go.

What type of meals you are working with also matters. Last but not least what type of bond you are looking for can also determine the process.

Conclusion

Welding, soldering, and brazing- all of these 3 are widely used for metal fusion. You can use these techniques both for personal and industrial projects.

Depending on your requirement, you need to choose any of these. You can’t do more than one on one workpiece.

Each of them has its own merits and disadvantages. In the end, it all comes down to the work type and work metal.

Now that you know the basic differences between welding, soldering, and brazing, hopefully, you will be able to pick the right one for you.

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