What Are The Advantages Of Brazing Over Welding?
A big part of manufacturing auto parts is joining together pieces of metal. For an automotive component to function correctly, it needs joints that are:
- Capable of withstanding high temperatures
There are two basic ways to join pieces of metal together:
Brazing has many advantages over welding. Before we discuss these advantages, let’s talk about each option.
What Is Brazing?
Brazing is the process of using molten filler metal to join together two metal parts. In high volume manufacturing, brazing is done in a furnace. The process involves heating the filler metal until it liquifies and flows into the joint. The filler metal melts at a lower temperature than the base metal pieces. That way, the base metal doesn’t melt at all during the brazing process. After the filler metal fully penetrates the joint, the part is cooled, and the filler solidifies. This process joins together both metal pieces.
There are 2 types of brazing processes:
- Regular brazing
- Controlled atmosphere brazing
What Is Welding?
Welding is the process of melting together two pieces of metal where they meet. Additional metal is added during the welding process. Welding can be automated via robotic welders, but robotic welding is more capital intensive than using a brazing furnace.
The Advantages Brazing Has Over Welding
Both brazing and welding are great solutions. Brazing is ideal for some situations, while welding is ideal for other solutions. Brazing is the best way to manufacture many different auto parts, including:
- Small parts that are complex in design
- Parts that use thin wall tubing
- Parts that need to be mass-produced
- Parts that need to withstand high temperatures (350 degrees or hotter)
- Parts that contain different types of metals
Brazing is an ideal solution for these types of parts because of the advantages brazing offers over welding:
1. Brazing Is Faster And Less Expensive
Brazing is an automated process, but it does not require specialized robotics. That translates to lower costs, and savings are often passed on to the customer. If you want to save money, go with brazing.
2. Brazing Is Ideal For Mid To High Volume Production
Welding takes quite a bit of time. Not only does welding take longer, it’s also more expensive for that reason. Brazing is a streamlined process that’s fully automated. It’s much faster than welding. That’s part of the reason why brazing is cheaper than welding.
3. Brazing Is Much Easier When You Want To Join Together Different Types Of Metals
It can be very difficult to weld together different types of metals. For welding to work well, both pieces of metal being welded have to melt at the same temperature. If you have an auto part that contains more than one type of metal, brazing may be the better solution. Only the filler material melts, and it melts at a lower temperature than either of the other two parts being joined.
4. Brazing Creates Cleaner Joints Than Welding
Welding creates irregular beads that protrude from the part. Brazing creates either a very small bead, or no bead at all. If you’re concerned about the appearance of your parts, brazing is your best bet.
5. Brazing Can Maintain Tight Tolerances Through The Entire Process
Because brazing does not melt they metal components being joined, their shapes are not distorted. Welding must melt the metal components being joined, so it uses higher heat. Due to the higher heat, there is a higher risk of a part distorting during the process.
Finding A Reputable Auto Parts Manufacturer That Brazes Its Parts
Signing with a contract manufacturer is entering a long term relationship. So you want to do this right the first time around. We have plenty of good resources on finding a good contract manufacturer:
- 5 Important Things to Consider Before Contracting a Manufacturer
- 5 Important Factors to Consider When Evaluating Contract Manufacturing Bids
- 5 Key Parts to Cover in Your Next Manufacturing Contract
- Why You Should Know How a Contract Manufacturer Sources Raw Materials Before Signing With Them
As far as finding a contract manufacturer that offers brazing services, here are some tips:
- Find a contract manufacturer with quality up-to-date brazing equipment
- Find a contract manufacturer that does controlled atmosphere brazing (CAB)
- CAB offers many benefits over regular brazing
- This post lists the most important questions to ask a contract manufacturer about their CAB process
Intran is one of the few manufacturers that offers CAB in Mexico. Read more about our state-of-the-art CAB services here.
If You Prefer Welding
Sometimes welding is more ideal than brazing. For example, conventional welding is ideal for larger parts that need a lot of strength, such as steel bumpers. Spot welding works well for joining together thin metal panels. Do you feel that welding is the better solution for your auto part(s)? Intran offers spot welding services. It’s very important to find a reputable spot welding company. Here are 8 questions you need to ask a spot welding company before deciding to contract with them.
Are you unsure whether brazing or welding is ideal for your parts? We can help you with that! Get in touch with us and we’ll help you reach an educated decision.