How to Braze Copper to Steel with Handy One®

How to Braze Copper to Steel with Handy One®


Hello, Lucas Milhaupt has been providing manufacturers with brazing products for over 70 years. Our technicians are pleased to share information
on brazing techniques and products. Today we’ll discuss open-air brazing of copper to
metals such as steel with our Handy One Flux-Cored products. This is different than torch brazing
copper-to-copper where no flux is required. Open air brazing of copper to other materials
such as steel requires the use of a flux. The flux allows the brazing alloy to properly
wet the base material. Traditional torch brazing of copper to steel involves the use of a brazing
alloy rod or ring used in conjunction with a paste flux which is applied in a separate
step prior to heating. Manual flux application can be inconsistent, resulting in variations
in the brazing process and can affect braze quality. Variations in flux weight can change
heating requirements. Too much flux can cause excessive voids. Too little flux will limit
alloy flow and penetration into the joint. Handy One products precisely control the alloy
to flux ratio and allow the operator to apply flux to the joint during the heating process.
This eliminates a pre-brazing processing step. There are several alloy options in the Handy
One product line; for this demonstration we will be using Braze 560. Handy One flux cored
wire is a combination of brazing alloy and flux in one form. Braze 560 is the lowest
temperature, cadmium free alloy for the brazing of copper to steel or other base metal combinations.
Braze 505 is a multipurpose alloy with intermediate melting temperature. And Braze 380 is a low
silver alloy with intermediate melting temperature. The advantages of Handy One are: no separate
flux is needed, there’s consistent alloy & flux application resulting in improved joint consistency.
Let’s walk through the process of brazing copper to steel with Handy One Braze 560.
Remember that a joint gap of two thousandths to five thousandths of an inch is preferred
on each side. First, clean both the copper and steel materials to remove any dirt, oil,
or other potential contamination. Mechanically roughen the outer diameter and inner diameter
surfaces. Next, heat the joint area. We are using an oxygen acetylene torch however, air
acetylene with a proper tip, or any fuel gas that can rapidly heat copper would also be
suitable. A reducing flame is recommended. The flame should be soft enough and large
enough to envelop both the components. Heat should be applied starting at the joint line
and working up, down and around both base materials. You should see a color change in
both base materials; take care not to overheat the steel and copper. Apply the Handy One
alloy to your joint surface to test the temperature. If the base material is at a suitable temperature,
the flux and the cored product will flow out from the wire, preparing the metal surface for alloy
flow. Continue heating the base materials and apply the rod to the joint until you observe
melting of the alloy. Focus heat to the outside tube to draw the molten alloy into the interface
of the joint. Experience will dictate the amount of alloy you will apply. Then, allow
the alloy to solidify or cool prior to moving the component. Flux residue is corrosive and
should be removed after brazing. This can be accomplished in numerous ways, but quenching
of the assembly in hot water after the alloy has solidified, or wiping the joint with a
wet rag are common methods. Finally, inspect the joint for any gaps or voids. To summarize,
the steps for brazing are clean the parts and roughen the surfaces. Heat the joint area
and watch for a color change, apply Handy One, continue heating the area, then allow
the part to cool. Remove flux residue and inspect the joint. For more information on
Brazing, please visit our website or contact your Lucas Milhaupt representative. Thank
you! and

13 Comments

  1. …The original machine had a base-plate of prefabulated amulite, surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two spurving bearings were in a direct line with the pentametric fan…

  2. The production value on this video is ridiculously good. Very nicely done. The presenter is fantastic. Extremely clear, and has a wonderful voice.

  3. Hi there. I'm working on a lawn trimmer muffler. I have a copper tube in the muffler to direct the exhaust gases and oils out the back and not all over the muffler shield. Got some ideas how to seal that exhaust pipe with brazing, soldering or welding??

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