Popular Vacuum Brazing Techniques

vacuum brazing
May 9, 2022

What are some things that were never intended to be combined? Packers fans and Bears fans, Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans.

It seems like metals shouldn’t be combined, but combining them gives the best options for certain applications. The key is to combine them in a way that maintains the strength for their role.

Vacuum brazing is one of the cleanest and most consistent ways of combining metals together. It allows for joints and other unique metal designs to maintain their full integrity for heavy-duty applications.

Keep reading to find out the benefits that vacuum brazing could bring to your metal fabrication needs.

What Is Vacuum Brazing?

Brazing is two metals joining together for a specific job. The metals are often different types and join together with a filler metal. This process is accomplished by heating the metals to the point they connect.

Vacuum brazing focuses on creating a finished joint in an oxidation-free environment. This produces a stronger metal without having to add different procedures to keep oxides from forming. 

Oxides can form on brazed metals and weaken the metal itself. This is why combining them in an oxide-free environment is important. 

The brazed parts are clean of residue because of the nature of the process, so cleaning the part after brazing isn’t necessary. Most parts come out with a grey finish ready for service. 

How Does Vacuum Brazing Work

Vacuum brazing creates an environment that maintains a consistent temperature during the process. This keeps the metals from having to reach a full melting point for them to merge. The area is cleaner because there is less need for other metals.

Many types of brazing leave a flux residue due to the nature of the connecting process. Vacuum brazing is a flux-free procedure that keeps flux residue from forming. 

This environment helps to maintain the strength of the metals. Their integrity is not lost in an overheated temperature. So the metals come out clean and stronger for their intended use.

Other types of brazing like torch welding heat the metal to higher temperatures. This can cause the metal to overheat and warp or melt. When this happens the metal integrity can be compromised.

Many companies are using vacuum brazing because of its ability to provide high-quality mass-produced joined metals. The aerospace and military industries are finding many benefits of vacuum brazing for their specific metal parts needs.  

Vacuum Brazing Techniques

The benefits of vacuum brazing methods come in their core techniques used in the process. These techniques open the door to greater applications for specific industries like the aerospace industry that need complicated parts. 

Temperature Regulation Benefits

Vacuum blazing brings the ability to maintain a continuous temperature over a long period for brazing. This helps companies that have a high number of pieces for the brazing process.

The process can be repeated for all of the pieces with consistent temperatures. There is even the option to add different style pieces during a brazing session. The pieces can have their temperature needs programmed into the furnace.

The furnace can then provide the exact temperature specifications for each piece, even if they are different for every single piece. Temperatures can also be maintained for long periods of time for larger pieces needing brazing.

Contaminant Free Environment

The key to successful vacuum brazing services comes down to the heat and the environment. The environment must be clean and contaminant free. Inspections and cleaning should be part of regular maintenance.

Cleaning and checking for the build-up of materials such as magnesium in aluminum brazing help to maintain a better brazing vacuum. Often operators will open up the vacuum and use air and cleaning vacuums to keep it clean.

The inspection process can be something as simple as visually inspecting the vacuum or as complicated as tests of the vacuum’s integrity itself. Leak tests are a regular occurrence in the vacuums.

Inspectors will also run baseline tests of specific metals to see how they compare at different times. This helps them to see if their last cleanup was effective and if cleaning is needed for the current cycle. 

Burnouts are another common cleaning procedure where the vacuum is heated to extremely high heat. This burns out impurities and helps to maintain the integrity of the vacuum. 

Ideal Situations for Vacuum Brazing

Vacuum brazing works well when joining together cross-sections. The parts can be very thin or very thick. The consistent temperature settings make this process much easier than other brazing techniques.

When small components have many different junctions, vacuum brazing helps to make sure they are all sealed correctly. It also works well with parts containing deep joints that are hard to access.

When companies need parts that contain different types of metals, vacuum blazing can accommodate them. It can join metals such as stainless steel and copper into one seamless piece. 

Large vacuums give the ability to apply brazing to large metal pieces. They can also work with pieces that have many joints that need connecting. 

Vacuum Brazing Services

Vacuum brazing has grown in popularity because of its cost-effective consistency. The aerospace industry and the defense industry are finding the benefits of using vacuum brazing for their specialized parts needs.

New Age Metal Fabricators (NAMF) has been a build to print manufacturer for the defense and aerospace industry since 1979. We bring cutting-edge technologies and years of experience to every project. 

Contact us about your metal fabricating needs and see how we can customize a perfect solution for you.