What is the Difference Between Soldering Brazing and Welding

Soldering brazing and welding are used to join and fill gaps between metal parts. Each of these joining processes has their own significance. They are different in terms of base material to be joined, joining temperature and filler material. In this article we will discuss the difference between soldering brazing and welding.

To understand the difference between welding vs brazing vs soldering, let’s first understand each of these processes in detail.

Welding is a process to join two or more similar metals by melting base material or using filler material. Sometimes pressure is also applied with heat to weld parts. Various types of welding techniques are used to join metal parts.

Properties of Welding

Base Material 

Welding similar material parts are recommended. For welding different materials, a special welding process is recommended. For example, Welding aluminum with steel is very difficult because melting temperature for aluminum is very less compared to steel. 

Weld Strength 

Strength of the welded joint is equal to the strength of the base material.

Welded Part Finish 

Good surface finish in the welded area can be achieved using post processing finish operations. 

Welding Temperature

Welding is relatively done at higher temperatures (higher than base material melting temperature) compared to brazing and soldering. For example, arc welding is done at 5000 to 6000°C, projection or spot welding is done at 2500 °C.

Brazing

Brazing is a metal joining process where filler road is melted and filled into the joint. It does not involve melting the base material. Advantage of brazing is to join similar or dissimilar metals with considerable strength.

this image shows the example of a brazing joint.
Brazing Process
Properties of Brazing

Base Material

Different base material can be brazed. For example, aluminum can be brazed with steel sheets.

Joint Strength

Brazing joint strength can be stronger than base parts. But they are not as strong as welded joints.

Brazing Temperature

Filler metal rod with melting temperature less than base metal melting temperature is used. Generally brazing is done at around 450°C.

Filler Material 

Brazing requires brazing flux and filler rod to join parts.

Soldering

Soldering process is similar to brazing. But it is done at a relatively lower temperature compared to brazing. It is used to join electronics components and material such as gold, silver, copper and brass can.

this image shows a Soldering Joint on the pcb.
Properties of Soldering

Base Material 

Different base materials can be soldered. For example, copper wires are soldered with aluminum components.

Joint Strength

Soldered joints have lower strength. Therefore it is used to make electrical connections where high strength is not required.

Temperature 

Soldering is done at relatively very low temperature at around 300°C to 370°C

Solder Joint Strength 

Soldering joints are not as strong as brazed or welding joints. Therefore it is only used to join electrical components to achieve electrical connection.

Filler Material 

Soldering flux and filler rod is used to solder parts.

Soldering vs Brazing vs Welding

Here is summery of the difference between soldering, brazing and welding metal joining techniques.

ParameterWeldingBrazingSoldering
Base MaterialSimilar, Special welding technique are used for dissimilar material.Similar or Dissimilar Materials
Process Temperature~ 3400°C~ 450°C~ 300°C to 370°C
Joint StrengthStrongest jointHighLow (Used for electrical connections)
Filler Materialmay or may not requiredRequired

To sum up, Soldering is used to join electronics parts. It is used to make electrical connections. Whereas brazing is used to join dis-similar metals using filler rod. Whereas welding is used to join similar metals at very high temperatures. 

We will keep updating this article on soldering vs brazing vs welding. Please add your comments, suggestions or questions to the difference between soldering brazing and welding. We suggest you also read this article on lean manufacturing.

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