Soldering is the joining of two metal surfaces mechanically and electrically, with the use of a metal alloy called solder. It secures the connection, so it won’t break loose from vibration or other mechanical forces and provides electrical continuity in some cases. Soldering is used in many different applications from jewelry making to large metalworking assemblies and everything in between. In this article, we outline some of the different applications and kinds of soldering.
Different Types of Soldering
Soft Soldering (90 °C – 450 °C) [194oF – 842oF]
This process uses the lowest filler metal melting point of all of the soldering types. With a melting point of less than around 400°C (752oF) these filler metals are usually alloys, often containing lead with liquidus temperatures under 350°C (662oF). Although these low melt alloys do not stress the physical components the shear and tensile strength characteristics of these low temperature alloys are typically not used or suitable for mechanical load-bearing applications.
Hard (Silver) Soldering (>450 °C) [>842oF]
Brass or silver, hence the name “silver soldering”, is used for this bonding metal process. This process also requires a blowtorch to achieve the temperatures at which the solder melts.
Brazing (>450 °C) [>842oF]
This type of soldering uses a metal with a much higher melting point than those used in hard and soft soldering. However, similar to hard soldering, the metal being bonded is heated instead of melted. Once both the materials are heated sufficiently, you can then place the soldering metal between them which melts and acts as a bonding agent.
Applications of Soldering
Soldering is used in the plumbing industry anywhere from a rotted fuel tank to a copper pipe. It can be used to seal liquid leaks or repair radiator cores. Soldering a copper water supply line is the most common application in the plumbing industry. Heat is applied to the copper joint where the pipe and fitting meet and the gap between the joint is filled with molten metal.
Soldering is used in the electronics industry primarily on printed circuit boards (PCBs). Solder on a PCB is the connective metal alloy that acts as the electromechanical connection that connects the components to substrate and brings electrical continuity to the circuit board. Without this convenient, low-melting point alloy, modern electronics wouldn’t be able to function or even exist.
Soldering can also be used in metal working and is used to make and repair jewelry and musical instruments. The solder can be used to form a bond between two pieces of metal, making it a useful tool in jewelry making and repairing clasps, clips, or cuffs. Similarly, soldering is used to fix brass or silver instruments. As mentioned above, this can be done using the hard or silver soldering.
When it comes to soldering applications in the electronics marketplace, EPTAC have a class designed for you! As a leading provider of solder training and IPC certification, EPTAC conducts programs that are both skill based (hands-on) and knowledge based (IPC industry standards) so that you learn how to build quality products to electronics industry compliance levels. From online to in-person classes, find the right solder training course for you.
For over 30 years, EPTAC has been a leading provider of solder training and IPC certification. We provide professionals with the tools and training they need to advance their careers and improve their businesses. With 19 locations across North America, our solutions and instructional staff provide easy access to knowledge that will enhance your business model and help you meet and exceed industry demands. For more information call 800.643.7822 or contact us.