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THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WELDING, BRAZING AND SOLDERING

To effectively join parts together, a welder will solder, braze or weld the two materials—which are all processes that utilize heat. While these three methods have a lot in common, there are distinct differences that are important to know.

Welding, brazing and soldering are each suited for different types of metals and applications and involve different skills, gear and equipment.
Soldering vs. Welding
Soldering is classified by the American Welding Society (AWS) as liquid-solid phase bonding processes. Liquid means that the filler metal is melted, and solid means that the base material or materials are not melted.

Unlike welding, soldering does not involve melting the work pieces. The main difference between soldering and arc welding is the heat source. Soldering is applied via torch, furnace, induction, dipped or resistance as heat sources taking place at a temperature below 840°F (450°C), whereas arc welding uses electricity as a heat source reaching temperatures of roughly 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brazing vs. Welding
Brazing is also classified by the AWS as liquid-solid phase bonding processes. Liquid means that the filler metal is melted, and solid means that the base material or materials are not melted.

Unlike welding, brazing does not involve melting the work pieces. The main difference between brazing and arc welding is the heat source. Brazing is applied via torch, furnace, induction, dipped, or resistance as heat sources occurring at a temperature above 840°F (450°C) whereas arc welding uses electricity as a heat source reaching temperatures of roughly 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brazing vs. Soldering
The only difference between brazing and soldering is the temperature at which each process takes place. Soldering takes place at a temperature below 840°F (450°C), and brazing occurs at a temperature above 840°F (450°C).

Advantages of Brazing and Soldering
Some advantages of brazing and soldering as compared to other methods of joining include the following:

Low temperature
May be permanently or temporarily joined
Dissimilar materials can be joined
Speed of joining
Less chance of damaging parts
Slow rate of heating and cooling
Parts of varying thicknesses can be joined
Easy realignment
Brazing and soldering are processes that have many great advantages, but are often overlooked when a joining process is being selected. The ability to join many different materials with a limited variety of fluxes and filler metals reduces the need for a large inventory of materials, which can result in great cost savings for a small business, home shop or farm.

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