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Soldering titanium with a torch (or not)

by James Binnion on November 12, 2008

This set of experiments came from a series of postings on the Orchid list about the possibility of silver or gold brazing (soldering) to Titanium with a torch. There are special brazing alloys (aluminum and magnesium based alloys) and fluxes that allow a skilled operator to torch braze titanium to itself but they are not something that would be found in a jewelry studio. It is not clear that theses fluxes and alloys would be compatible with our normal materials either. So I decided to do a set of experiments to explore the difficulties of trying to braze titanium with a torch and typical studio materials. I also wanted to see if a few of the more exotic studio tools might allow such soldering operations. The short answers are no you can’t solder with standard materials to titanium and yes with a pulse arc welder you can set up a procedure that allows soldering to titanium with a torch but it is not without its issues.

Click on the images below for a little more detail on what is happening  in them.

{ 2 comments }

Jim November 28, 2008 at 9:40 am

You are absolutely right. This experiment was to illustrate the problems that one would encounter in trying to use a torch and show possible solutions with the TIG torch and Pulse Arc welder both of which use argon cover gas. There are many industrial types of solution for brazing titanium but none that are options in a typical studio metalsmiths shop. Full inert atmosphere or vacuum brazing systems are quite expensive and require trained skilled technicians to successfully operate them.

Robert November 28, 2008 at 9:11 am

As I understand it the issue here is oxygen.

You need an oxygen free environment, preferably either a vacuum or something like an argon atmosphere. Which obviously presents a whole new set of problems.

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