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Brazing & Soldering in “The Big Easy”

Direct Aluminum Soldering

This year’s International Brazing & Soldering Conference (IBSC) in New Orleans, LA (April 15-18, 2018) provided those involved in the research, development and application of brazing and soldering, an exclusive opportunity to network and exchange ideas on the latest trends, products, processes and techniques available in the industry. A friendly synergy exists between the Brazing and Soldering communities, and the calendar of events at this year’s IBSC speaks volumes to the level of cooperation characteristic of both camps.

Enter Superior Flux & Mfg. Co.’s Metal Joining Specialist, Bill Avery, who came to “The Big Easy” at the request of the IBSC to present a process whose time has surely come: Direct Aluminum Soldering.

With a cross section of the brazing and soldering community for his audience (including induction manufacturers and equipment builders) Bill presented a set of guidelines and procedures confirming that aluminum can indeed be soldered to copper, and aluminum can be soldered to aluminum – a concept which seemed unthinkable less than a generation ago.

Primary Applications:

Direct Aluminum Soldering, a low temperature solution compared to brazing, has the potential to improve operations for a number of industries worldwide.

Primary applications for aluminum soldering include heat sinks, heat exchangers, aluminum in printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electronics, transformers, and other electrical devices. Companies around the globe are searching for ways to use aluminum in these applications, very often looking to replace copper or steel. Aluminum is comparable and nearly as conductive (thermally & electrically) as copper. Aluminum is also robust like stainless steel, yet lighter and cheaper than these other alloys.

Practical Solutions:

To wit, Superior Flux has responded with a comprehensive list of products for a number of exciting aluminum solder applications, including Aluminum Soldering Flux, Solder Foil and Preforms, Aluminum Flux Cord Solder Wire, Aluminum Core Flux, Aluminum Solder Paste, and Aluminum Heat Sink Solder. *Note: All products compatible with Superior Aluminum Cleaner.

An unexpected development that’s also come to light recently  is Direct Aluminum Soldering’s practical applications for the auto and marine industries respectively. A major consideration for automotive and marine applications is the ability for soldered aluminum connections to withstand exposure to a salt environment. This is a significant innovation, and it was this particular aspect of Bill’s presentation that certainly had people talking at the IBSC this year.

“A lot of the induction teams who attended my presentation told me that they want to solder aluminum and they want aluminum joints that will survive in a salt environment. They just didn’t think it could be done” said Bill. “Presenting my paper and meeting with them was key, because many of them approached me afterwards and asked ‘When can we use this?’”

No worries. We’ve got you covered. Superior Flux & Mfg. Co.’s new specialty solder, ALUSAC-35 [developed by world-renowned Nihon Superior of Japan specifically for this purpose] withstands the ASTM B117-16 salt fog test (the automotive industry elevated temperature salt environment test).

Offering new solutions and improving processes is what we’re all about at Superior Flux & Mfg. Co. (SFM); it’s where we shine the brightest.

Thanks to everyone who attended Bill’s presentation and who took the time afterward to say hello. Special thanks to the IBSC for the invitation! Until next time, keep on fluxing!

Editor’s Note: Bill Avery’s presentation on Direct Aluminum Soldering was based on a published paper he wrote in collaboration with Dr. Yehuda Baskin (President of Superior Flux & Mfg. Co.). Click here to read the entire presentation.