Solder question

Say you've got common equipment for soldering copper water pipes. Can ya solder other metals to copper?
Solder, say, steel u-bolts to copper pipe? Same procedure, clean 'em up, flux 'em, heat 'em up and apply solder?
Willie
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On 12/13/2010 10:10 AM, Willie The Wimp wrote:

Your best bet would be to get the correct brazing rod from a supply house. The U bolt may have a zinc coating and it may have to be removed in order to braze the steel to the copper. I have special brazing rods from the supply house to braze steel service valves to copper pipe that I use for refrigeration work. Tell the guys at the supply house what you're trying to do and they can tell you what you need. Of course, you can always experiment.
TDD
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You can. The proper question is "why?"
Solder connections per se aren't very strong.
When you solder copper pipe the solder joint tends to be 1/2" of overlap and the basic copper just isn't a high strength material.
Solder has long been used to help fabricate things made from tin plated steel. Without a long overlap and crimping these connections are quite weak compared to, say, spot welded joints.
"Tin roofs" often use a standing seam which can be soldered.
Going back to your initial "problem," it may well make sense to solder a sheet material (e.g.: copper plated steel) to a copper pipe to make a solid connection without requiring clamping. But a U bolt would have minimum contact area and the solder joint just would not have much strength. Effectively you would be as well off just using clamping force.

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wrote:

You can braze those two together but it's easier to braze steel to steel..
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Willie The Wimp wrote:

You should be able to do it with soft solder and a propane torch if you use "Tinners Fluid" (acid soldering flux, available at many hardware stores.) to get the solder to wet the steel u-bolts.
Jeff
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:06:57 -0500, jeff_wisnia

But you need the steel CLEAN. NO ZINC. Solder can be used on steel, copper, brass and several other metals (including Aluminum, but soldering that stuff is no fun) - and can solder virtually any two solderable materials to each other.
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:55:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Many thanks to numerous respondents.
I'm starting to get an idea of the details ...
Wire wheel on bench grinder is likely to suffice to remove zinc, etc?
I *think* I've got a little bit of silver solder left from AC work. Any good for copper/u-bolts??
Thx, Willie
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wrote:

The question no one has asked is what is the purpose of the joining? I've never soldered steel to anything and question how well it could work and how much strength it would have. If this is something that has no stress and no consequences, then it's one thing. But if failure means water pouring everywhere or 50 lbs falling on your head, then it's another. I've never seen a soldered plumbing connection of steel.
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wrote:

Silver solder + MAPP gas ought to work pretty well and will be much stronger than 50-50.
Joe
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On 12/14/2010 12:06 AM, Willie The Wimp wrote:

Your best bet is to get the brazing rods coated with a special flux. I mentioned in another post that I use it for joining steel service valves to copper pipe. The regular 15% silver solder would not work. Been there done that, already ruined some material. Remember: "Experience is a fools best teacher." Ralph Waldo Emerson :-)
TDD
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2010 15:23:41 -0600, The Daring Dufas

silphos, I believe the stuff is called.Silicon/phosphor bronze. Used extensively in refrigeration. SNAG is also becomming pretty common.
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On 12/14/2010 3:57 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

It's Sil-Fos 15. It doesn't work for that, I tried it for installing the steel fittings to copper pipe. The brazing rods I used had a blue flux coating and I would have to call my buddy at the supply house to find out the name of the darn things. I do a lot of silver solder and brazing for refrigeration and HVAC.
http://www.silfos.com/index.html
TDD
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On Tue, 14 Dec 2010 00:06:17 -0600, Willie The Wimp

Much better to just dip it in muriatic acid. Tinners fluid is muriatic acid cut with zinc (zinc chloride, I believe)and as it has a "full load" of zinc, it will not remove the zinc on the bolt - and sice the tinners fluid is (AFAIR) Zinc chloride, using muriatic acid won't hurt. Rinse well when finished.

With the right flux it is great.

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On 12/14/2010 12:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Add stainless steel to the list.
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wrote:

Tin the two pieces first.
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wrote:

Far better to use U bolts to clamp stuff to copper pipes, easier faster and more secure:)
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wrote:

As the other posters have asked, "What are you trying to accomplish by soldering the copper pipe to the steel U-bolts?"
If you are trying to hang the pipes from something and have water flow through them, then you are barking up the wrong tree... Soldered joints are meant to seal things together but not support any kind of loads or mechanical stresses... Pipes move around (expanding and contracting) with temperature changes and waterflow (water hammer)...
If you explain how the pipe must be run and where it can be hung from, we can perhaps suggest a way of hanging it to you which will be safe and proper...
If this is for some other application where the pipes will not be used to supply water -- then describe what you are trying to use said pipes for and we can advise you better to fit your application...
~~ Evan
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