Within the steel and metal world, a common process that’s required is the combining of two or more metal pieces. There are several common formats used for this need, including both welding and brazing, and which you choose will depend on a few important factors.
At Wasatch Steel, we provide a wide variety of steel services and products, from steel pipe and bar to steel tube and numerous other options. In today’s blog, we’ll go over both welding and brazing, plus a factor that’s vital within both processes: Melting point. From there, we’ll dig into the general melting points for both steel and several other metal types in case you ever need a basic reference for combining different metals.
As many are aware, the welding process is one that involves joining two sections of a given metal by heating both sections to their melting point. This leads to a liquid melt pool, and the molecules from each metal area able to completely mix – often, a third metal will be added to this pool as well. When the metal has finished cooling down, the result is a fully fused material that’s been bonded together.
Brazing, on the other hand, is a process that utilizes an oxy-acetylene torch to heat a filler metal, most commonly a brass alloy of some kind. The point of using such a filler is that it will have a lower melting point than the two metals actually being combined – as it melts, then, it’s drawn into the joint between the two. When it cools, it provides a combining joint without ever requiring the two metals themselves to be melted completely. This means the joint is not as permanent as welding.
In each of these cases, as you might have guessed, understanding metal melting point is vital. If you’re combining two metals with different melting points, such as common processes to bind copper and steel together, brazing is often a better process. For those combining two identical or similar metals, on the other hand, welding is usually the best choice.
Here are the general melting points of many of the common metals out there (be aware that this will vary somewhat based on precise alloy composition):