Soldering uses a metal alloy with a low melting point to join two base metals. Since this process alters the chemical makeup of the base metals, it's helpful to know which metals work without special consideration.
While silver, bronze, copper, brass and some steels form strong chemical and physical bonds on their own, metals such as high-alloy steels, cast iron, aluminum and titanium often require an alloy with a higher melting point.
Soft vs. Hard Solder
Soft solder uses a low-melting point metal (most often lead or tin) to make it more manageable at the expense of a weaker bond; Hard solder requires flux but forms a much stronger bond because of its higher melting point.
Flux prevents the base metals from oxidizing during the soldering process.
The most common solders are alloys of lead and tin, which are very difficult to use with oxidized metals; others are formulated specifically for use with these metals (i.e. steel and aluminum).
Wiping solders are more fluid, making them easier to manipulate. Cable wiping solder has the highest tin content, providing a stronger bond than easy wiping solders.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Windell Oskay
Sheet Metal Soldering Tools
Separate pieces of sheet metal can be joined together by a process called soldering. In this process, filler metal (solder) is added...
How To Braze Metals
Like soldering or welding, brazing uses heat and another metal to join two pieces of metal together. Anyone can develop the skill,...
How to Solder Copper Jewelry
To solder means to make whole, to unite. Metals can be soldered or united together with the use of the appropriate filler...
How to Solder Aluminum Wire
A solder is fusible metal melted either with a soldering iron or a torch to connect metal joints together. It is typically...
How to Solder Steel Wire
Soldering is a metalworking process that involves joining metal together by bonding it with solder, which melts when heated and hardens quickly....
How to Silver Solder Metal
Silver soldering, also known as hard soldering or silver brazing, uses a silver-based solder to join two or more pieces of dissimilar...
How to Use Silver Solder
Silver solder is used to join brass, copper, tin and other materials by hard soldering, also known as silver soldering. The main...
How to Solder Aluminum Together
Soldering is a method to join two pieces of metal together. Metals that can be soldered include aluminum, copper and tin. Harder...
Soldering Types of Metal
Soldering is the act of merging different pieces of metal together by using heat. The metal of two different pieces are melted...