DIY and at home repairs are a great way to save money and perhaps even have some fun along the way. And while there are a great deal of DIY repair hacks to solve a number or problems, some are best left in the hands of a skilled professional. Believe it or not, brazing aluminum correctly isn’t one of them.
Wait ? so can you braze aluminum at home? Pretty much, but a bit of caution and the right brazing machinery is required in order to make this a successful DIY hack. But before that can even happen, it’s important to understand what brazing is and how it works.
So, what is brazing used for and how is it different than soldering and welding? All three methods are used to join two or more pieces of metal and other materials, and they can also be used to fill or repair gaps in metal. However each method does so in similar but different ways.
Welding can only be done when two metals or thermoplastics are similar. For example, you wouldn’t be able to weld copper and steel together. Welds require high temperatures in order to melt metal and join two separate metal parts. In many cases, a filler metal is also used.
A weld can be as strong as the surrounding metal when done properly, however using too much heat can change the molecular structure of the metal and weaken the weld. There are many different welding methods, and some are even used to slice pieces of metal by melting right through them.
So can you braze aluminum at home? Pretty much. Can you weld at home? Nope.
Using a melting filler or alloy as a bond, brazing joins two pieces of metal together. The filler must have a lower melting temperature than the metal pieces being joined, and brazing can be done on dissimilar metals such as aluminum, nickel, and even gold, unlike welding.
Flux, a liquid that encourages wetting, is often used during brazing to help the filler over the metal pieces being joined. Flux also helps the filler create a stronger bond to the metal parts. In addition to brazing, flux also often used in welding to clean metal surfaces.
When brazed correctly, joints can be even stronger than the metal parts joined together, but they still aren’t as strong as welded joints. Brazing has little to no effect on the two metal parts being joined, some may find it safer and easier than welding.
Learning how to braze aluminum is great way to save time and money on common home repairs, such as cracks, leaks, or holes in aluminum. With the right equipment and a bit of skillful know-how, brazing at home can be safe and effective. And compared to welding, brazing equipment is usually less expensive, easier to schlep around, and requires less power or voltage. Aluminum brazing is also pretty easy and fun to learn! So can you braze aluminum at home in a safe, affordable way that still gets the job done? Yes!
Soldering is the low-temperature cousin to brazing. According to the