Key Differences Between Brass And Bronze Welding
Brass and bronze are similar alloys with melting points very near to each other, but the terms “brass welding” and “bronze welding” refer to very different processes.
To the naked eye, brass and bronze have a lot in common. With both being copper alloys that use secondary metals designed to make them workable, although bronze is by far more brittle when compared to brass. They also have fairly close melting points, with brass melting around 900 degrees centigrade and bronze around 950. It’s no surprise, then, that many individuals who are unfamiliar with the finer points of the properties of common metal alloys would easily mistake the two. When it comes to welding, though, the two could not be more different.
Brass welding, also called brazing, is a process that is used in a variety of applications, and it is highly useful because it produces a tight, integrated fusion of metals at the joint that is designed to be stronger than the original materials. Obviously, this is dependent on steady process management and good control over the materials, but nonetheless, brass welding/brazing is a common technique that has become so widespread because it works so well.
The step-by-step action is fairly easy to understand, too. When you heat the base metal, it expands, opening up its surface pores. Once the base metal is thoroughly heated, adding liquid brass is the next step. The result is that the brass integrates with the base metal, being drawn in through those surface pores via capillary action and creating a fully integrated fusion between the two at the joint. After cooling, the result is incredibly strong. It is important to note, though, that depending on the temperatures used, this can damage heat treated metals, so always make sure to investigate your base metal’s properties before going to work on a joint.
Bronze welding, on the other hand, is a very different process. Often called brazing, it is easy to confuse with braze welding/brass welding, but instead of flowing into the joint to create a small, tight right that joins the materials through capillary action, the filler rod is introduced in a way that creates a fillet over the joint, giving the final product a little more flexibility and using a bit more filler material.
Both bronze and brass welding can be used to join either similar or dissimilar metals, but the differences between the two lie in the way that the base metal is heated and the filler is applied. In the case of brass, the result is a tight fit that is not prone to fracture and that holds firmly. In the case of bronze, the result is a solid fit with a little more room to flex.
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Sean has over 30 years of experience in all types of Welding. You can find his thoughts at https://storify.com/weldingtips.
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