You can even use solder to join copper or brass to stainless steel you just need the proper flux. These metals will not bond.
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This process is usually learned early in ones metalworking education as it is necessary for many projects.
Can you solder steel. Soldering steel is easy using flux and a hot soldering iron. When you add the heat from the soldering process you multiply this exponentially. Gradually continue heating until the solder flows.
That is why you have to clean it well before soldering. Use a liquid flux instead of a paste flux. The paste flux tends to leave tacky residue that is difficult to clean off.
Steel when manufactured will have a mill finish which will contain some scale oxidization and oils. If you use acetylene keep the torch well back and heat the parts evenly. Basically all metals can be soldered but we are talking about a low melting point soft solder and a flux common to stained glass.
How to solder stainless steel. Copper tin and brass. Iron stainless steel steel and aluminum.
Although steel is usually welded or brazed together you can also solder it. Stainless steel comes in pipe tube and sheet form. Clean the steel surface with a piece of sandpaper to smooth the metal where you want to solder it.
Use a cloth and degreaser to remove any dirt or grime from the steel as well as dust from the sanding. With the soft solders and a zinc chloride flux most common these metals will bond very easily. First clean the surface with emery cloth and or brushing with undiluted hydrochloric acid.
But if your application does not demand the strength of steel roll up your sleeves and go for it. But there are a couple tips to keep in mind to make it work right the first time. It is usually non magnetic and often has a silver finish.
The sandpaper removes inconsistencies on the metal that prevent solder from bonding to it. As you bring the parts up to temperature touch the hard solder to the part and a small ball of solder will come off of the solder stick and sit on the parts. The connection will only be as strong as the silver solder itself and never as strong as the stainless steel.
Then wet area with zinc chloride flux you can make your own by dissolving some zinc metal into hydrochloric acid until it stops effervescing. These highly polished alloys are much more difficult to solder due to a very strong oxide layer. This cleaning process makes the surface of the steel susceptible to rusting.
Stainless steel alloys with high nickel or chromium contents can be very shiny and have a mirror finish. Notice the smooth finish without grinding or machine work. Mike joins a mild flat steel bar to a piece of square steel tubing using ssf 6 silver solder and a propane torch.
But if properly prepared silver solder will adhere to stainless steel and you can solder copper brass or more stainless steel onto it. Wipe the galvanized steel along the sanded area. Soldering is a metalworking process that involves joining metal together by bonding it with solder which melts when heated and hardens quickly.
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