Soldering vs Welding Everything You’ve Got to Know

The need to join metals and other essential objects have been done for centuries. And right now, the two most used processes in joining metals are soldering vs welding.

In many circles, welding and soldering are sometimes mistaken for each other. But to make sure operators get excellent results from any join operation they choose, quality info is a must.

That’s why you’ve got to keep reading through for complete info on what welding and soldering don’t have in common. You’d also find out what process is ideal for particular applications, and a lot more!

Differences between Soldering and Welding

Here’re the major points where soldering and welding are different;

Changes in Mechanical Properties

Welded workpieces usually undergo several mechanical properties as a result of heating and melting of workpieces. On the flip side, soldering doesn’t cause any change to the workpieces it joins.

Required Skill for Operation

Welders usually need more skill to successfully join metal pieces together. Beginner welders will have to undergo several training procedures to properly operate welding equipment. Soldering requires lesser expertise to be

Heat Treatment

Some welded pieces have to go through special heat processes for a quality join. For example, using a weld rod for cast iron may require a cooling process in a furnace to achieve a quality merge.

Soldered pieces don’t require any special cooling process as most workpieces get dried a few seconds after being exposed by air.

Pre-Heating Treatment

Soldering doesn’t need any form of pre-heat treatment before getting two workpieces joined together. But welding is a process that can’t be completed in most cases without pre-heating.

Melting Work Pieces

Welding requires both metal pieces to get pre-heated before a join. During the pre-heating process, metal pieces tend to soften and easily melt for successful join operation.

Soldering, on the other hand, doesn’t require any form of melting to get both pieces together.

Join Strength

When it comes to join strength, welded workpieces come out stronger. This strength is achieved from the process’ melting of both base metals and joining up with a filler rod or other binder.

Required Join Heat

Soldering requires lesser heat for a successful join than welding. For welders to get a required join of two standard base metals, heats in excess of 6000oF. Soldering requires about 800oF – 1400oF depending on your workpieces and preferred solder.

Joining Electrical Components

Soldering is the preferred method for putting electrical components together. On the flip side, welding is exclusively meant for metallurgical and other special material.

Soldering 101: Types and How-To

Types of Soldering

Silver soldering

Precious metals like gold, brass, silver, copper, etc. get joined with ease using silver soldering. Most silver-based solders are termed hard, medium, or easy based on their melting temperatures.

Easy solders contain just over 50% silver, while hard solders could contain silver in excess of 80%.

Soft soldering

Most soft solders operate using a tin-alloy as its preferred filler metal. Soft soldering requires lesser heat to form a join between two work pieces. In most cases, temperatures between 750 – 800oF are ideal for soft soldering.

Brazing

A brazed solder is made up of brass material as its filler. Brazing is preferred for more challenging joins that require a solid merge.

Brazed surfaces require more heat for quality joins, but not as much heat required for silver soldering.

How to Solder in Simple Steps

  • Heat soldering iron to desired temperature after turning it on
  • Adjustable soldering irons should be set within 300 – 375o Non-adjustable irons should be used after five (5) minutes of heating.
  • Melt solder onto the soldering iron’s tip for starters.

Safety Tips

  • Hold the soldering iron through its handle just like a pen or paint brush, whatever works for you
  • Pick soldering iron by insulated handle (Gripping heated part of iron could cause in burns and scalding)
  • Don’t forget to place soldering iron on its stand when powered and not in use
  • Maintain alertness to avoid accidents

Welding 101: Types and How-To

Types of Welding

Oxy-Fuel Welding

Excellent for welding large tubes and pipes, oxy-fuel or oxyacetylene welding is a type of welding that’s truly exceptional.

This welding process involves the combustion of oxygen and acetylene to create a bright-burning flame. This flame could be in excess of 5000oF.

Oxy-fuel welding is ideal for welding steels with high alloy content but doesn’t fare well with lighter metals.

Flux Core Welding

This welding process operates with a flux present in the filler metal’s core that gets activated when an arc forms. The arc formed from an electric current causes the flux to act in a similar manner to MIG welding’s shielding gas.

Most metals of light to average thickness can get joined using a flux-core welder. In many units such as the hobart 230 MIG welder, multiple weld processes can get done with ease.

Gas Metal Arc Welding

Many welders trust the GMAW process, commonly called MIG. This welding process is ideal for creating neater joins and fewer spatters due to its reliance on a shielding gas.

Just as a magnet for welding is required for a plum join, gas metal arc welding can only operate with high argon or carbon shielding gas.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

This welding process also referred to as TIG, involves the use of a tungsten electrode with a filler and gas mixture.

TIG welding is perfect for joining thin pieces of metal together. In most applications, TIG welds are superior based on its collective high precision and steady arc.

On the flip side, professional welders are more capable of handling TIG welding processes than newbies.

Glass Welding

During glassblowing, it becomes necessary for welders to join workpieces together. Several glass fixtures can get joined using several temperatures ranging from 1600oF – 3000oF.

Blowing and suction during heating creates a solid merge between two glass pieces. In some cases, a filler rod is added to weld seams for robust strength.

Plastic Welding

Thermoplastics and other lighter plastics follow a welding process similar to glass pieces.

An intense amount of heat is required to get two plastic pieces welded together. Some other thermoplastics can get joined neatly with the aid of chemical solvents. ABS and PVC are both ideal for plastic welding, while some other plastics such as Teflon may not join properly.

Submerged Arc Welding

Unlike flux-cored welding, submerged arc welding is possible with an arc covered by a flux layer. With more precision assured from a covered arc, fewer spatter and easy-to-remove slag is possible. Large industries mostly apply submerged arc welding in their processes.

Electric Resistance Welding

Electrical current forms a resistance between two metals generating heat. This process forms pools of melted metal with constant electrical current passing through the metals.

Most electric resistance welding processes are reserved for automotive factories and general industries. Purchasing electrical resistance welding equipment could be considerably high too. This method is considered the best quality due to its high-precision and ease of use.

How to Weld Better: Essential Info

Flow of coating in non-shielded and shielded processes

In a gasless metal arc process such as stick welding, the outer or inner part of an electrode rod is made with flux. This flux forms when you have a proper connection from your welder to the base metals.

Ground clamps and ideal polarity settings have to be confirmed before you can achieve any flow from your electrode.

In gas processes such as TIG and MIG, a shielding gas protects the filler metal from its external environment. Gas shielding processes also help create an electrical arc ideal for boosting quicker joins of two metal pieces.

Fusion process

Welding begins with heating up both work pieces to support a quality join with a filler rod or wire. This process works with a fusion triggered by heat energy merging two metal pieces and a base metal neatly.

Cooling process

Several factors determine how best a newly-joined work piece will cool. Without a correct cooling process, your welds may lose integrity over a short while.

For example, some cast iron processes may require cooling in a furnace for proper join strength. Other metals such as stainless and copper may only need a few minutes of air to form a sturdy join.

Solidified weld pool

Some welding processes such as MIG and stick welding leave slag residue after a join cools. A simple chip can remove this waste material from your welds revealing a strong join. Other processes such as TIG and flux-cored welding leave lesser residue but create more spatters.

Final Word

Now that we know the differences between soldering vs welding, it becomes easier to make the most from each join process with less hassle.

Operators of soldering and welding equipment will surely find several exciting points that’ll help them become much better welders. Make the most from your chosen technique today. It’s certain you’d get a lot better with soldering and welding after this.