Whether you’re making small repairs, brazing a new piece of metal, or building something from scratch with a little bit of welding and brazing here and there, you’ll need the right tools for your job. One of the most important items you’ll need is your brazing rod. When it comes to brazing aluminum, it’s not just any old rod that will do. You see, each type of brazing job calls for different kinds of rods. That being said, before you get started on any project involving aluminum, it’s best to know what kind of brazing rods are best for your job. If you’re ready to get started with these tips and tricks on finding the perfect low-temperature aluminum brazing rod for whatever project you may have ahead of you, keep reading!
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Finding the right type of low-temperature aluminum brazing rod
1. Types of Brazing Materials
Aluminum brazing materials fall into three classes: 1) alloys that melt below 1,100°F (593°C); 2) alloys that melt above 1,100°F but below the melting point of aluminum; and 3) non-aluminum alloys.
2. Heat Sources
When brazing, remember that the temperature of the brazing material is not necessarily the same as the temperature of the heat source. Brazing rods are available in both gas and electric furnaces. Gas furnaces are more economical when using large amounts of brazing material, while electric furnaces provide greater control over heat output (important when doing fine work).
Fluxes are used to help clean and prepare surfaces for good brazing joint formation. They also improve wetting action and prevent oxidation on the heated parts during heating (when used with an oxidizing flame). There are three types of fluxes: 1) dry, 2) water-soluble, and 3) acid-activated (self-fluxing). Dry fluxes remove oxides from metal surfaces by chemical action; water-soluble fluxes dissolve oxides by chemical action but also require a small amount of water for wetting action. Self-fluxing fluxes are acidic in nature and dissolve oxides by chemical action.
4 Tips To Help You Find The Right Brazing Rod
1. Get the right diameter.
The diameter of a brazing rod is determined by the size of the joint to be brazed. Most brazing rods come in diameters ranging from 0.010 in (0.25 mm) up to 0.125 in (3.2 mm). Brazing rods with diameters larger than 0.125 in (3.2 mm) are usually used for repair work and are available only in certain “standard” sizes such as 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, and 5/32 in (0.0625, 0.0937, 0.125, and 0.15625 in).
2. Get the right length:
The length of a brazing rod is determined by the distance between the two pieces to be joined; therefore, it must be equal to or longer than this distance so that both pieces will be completely covered by molten metal when the joint is made. Brazing rods are available in a wide range of lengths from 2 in (50 mm) to 12 ft (3.7 m).
3. Get the right filler metal.
The filler metal must be compatible with the base metal and the brazing rod. In general, alloys that melt between 800°F and 1,100°F (427°C and 593°C) are used for joining aluminum to other metals, while alloys that melt below 1,100°F (593°C) are used for joining aluminum to copper or brass. In order to join steel, iron, or other high-carbon alloys to aluminum, use a hardenable filler metal with a composition close to that of the base material being joined.
4. Get the right flux:
The flux must be compatible with both the brazing rod and the filler metal being used; it also must be capable of removing oxides from both the base metal and the filler metal. For joining aluminum to other metals, a rosin-based flux is most commonly used; for joining aluminum to copper or brass, an acid-based flux is recommended. Some types of fluxes must be heated before use. It is also recommended that you apply a protective coating to the parts being joined after the joint has cooled down.
3 Best Low-Temperature Brazing Rods For Aluminum Jobs
1. Micro-Melt 4130 Low-Temperature Aluminum Brazing Rod
This is a self-fluxing, low-temperature aluminum brazing rod designed for use on alloys that melt between 800°F and 900°F (427°C to 482°C). It is commonly used for joining aluminum to stainless steel. The rod is available in a wide range of diameters and lengths and can be used with gas or electric furnaces.
2. Micro-Melt 4140 Low-Temperature Aluminum Brazing RodThis type of low-temperature
aluminum brazing rod is made from an alloy that melts below 1,100°F (593°C). It is used for joining alloys that melt below 1,100°F (593°C) to each other. The rod does not require flux when joining copper or brass, but it does require flux when joining steel or iron. The rod comes in diameters from 0.010 in (0.25 mm) to 0.125 in (3.2 mm).
3. Micro-Melt 4135 Low-Temperature Aluminum Brazing Rod
This type of low-temperature aluminum brazing rod is made from an alloy that melts below 1,100°F (593°C). It is used for joining alloys that melt below 1,100°F (593°C) to each other. The rod does not require flux when joining copper or brass, but it does require flux when joining steel or iron. The rod comes in diameters from 0.010 in (0.25 mm) to 0.125 in (3.2 mm).
1. Reduces Oxidation
The first advantage most people think of when it comes to using a temperature brazing rod for aluminum is that it prevents oxidation. When you’re working with aluminum, it’s important to be careful because it oxidizes extremely quickly. If you’re not careful, oxidation will cause your project to look and feel worn out, even though it might only have been there for a short period of time.
2. Less Heat Required
When you use a temperature brazing rod, you don’t need as much heat as you would with other kinds of rods. That being said, when you use a temperature brazing rod, the time that is required to complete the project decreases significantly. This means that if your project requires a lot of work and time investment when you use this kind of brazing rod, the work will go by much faster than if you were using another kind of rod.
3. Less Heat Damage to Surrounding Materials
When you use a temperature brazing rod, it doesn’t burn the surrounding materials. This is a big advantage because when you’re working with materials such as aluminum and other metals, they can easily be damaged if too much heat is applied. When you use a temperature brazing rod, it will help prevent the damage that can be caused by excess heat. The reason for this is that it doesn’t require as much heat to melt the metal in order to create a bond between two pieces of metal. Without having to use so much heat, there is less of a chance of accidentally damaging any surrounding material or parts of your project.
4. Can Be Used With Many Different Metals
A temperature brazing rod can be used with many different kinds of metals because it doesn’t require that much heat in order to melt the metal. If you’re working on a project that requires the use of a lot of different kinds of metals, like aluminum and steel for example, then this is definitely the kind of brazing rod you want to use for your project. Not only will it help keep oxidation from occurring, but it will also help you complete your project faster than if you were using another kind of brazing rod.
There are a lot of different things to consider when buying a brazing rod for your low-temperature aluminum project. Not all rods are the same, and not all of them are created equally. It’s important to do your research, make sure you’re buying a high-quality material that is going to last, and do the job right.