If you want to create anything that uses metal, you need to be able to join metals together. From creating a fountain pen to building a submarine, everywhere metal joining processes are being used. However, you can always use only one piece of metal to create something like a knife by changing its shape.
But that’s not the topic of our discussion today. We are going to discuss some famous metal joining processes here. Stay tuned and you will have loads of knowledge about joining metals by the end of this writing.
What is the metal joining process?
When you join two or more metals for any purpose, the process you use to get the job done is called the metal joining process. Various processes are being used in the industry to join metals. We can divide all the processes into two main categories-
- Joining metals with Welding
- Joining metals without welding
How do you join two metals together?
At first, we are going to discuss Welding. It is the most used and common method in the industry. There is a saying, “no welding, no industry.” This proves the importance of the method. In this method, the metals are melted together in the joint by using high heat.
Sometimes the process requires a third material (filler material) to be added to the metal joint. The third material may be stronger than the parent material (base material). But this is not necessary in every case. Depending on the third material, Welding is divided into two kinds-
- Autogenous Welding;
- Heterogeneous Welding.
In Autogenous welding, the parent metals are usually of similar kinds of metals. On the other hand, in heterogeneous welding, the parent metals may be of different kinds and there may be the necessity of filling them with a third metal.
It is recommended not to weld as it involves high risks if you are not an expert in this area`. Always hire a professional welder if you need to weld something.
Though this method is still in development, it already has got a huge reputation for joining metals without the need to weld. It is safer than welding as it doesn’t require so many safety measures. And it also doesn’t need high temperatures to join metals.
In this method, you can join metals using nanomaterials (or nanoscale sculpting). What does it do? It uses electro chemicals and 3D printing to roughen the metal surface with a specific etching method. At a point, this method creates a fine hook-like structure on an extremely small scale. To create a solid bond, two of these surfaces are joined together with adhesive later on.
This method may seem to be a very appealing one to finish off your job, but you should not use this method unless you are an expert as it is still in development.
People often mix soldering with welding. But there are certain differences between these two methods. While welding creates a mechanical connection, soldering creates an electrical connection between metals.
You have to use solder while processing this method. Solder is a soft metal alloy and a mixture of different metals that looks similar to the coiled wire. Although the standard structure of solder is 99 percent tin, it may vary and can also contain other metals, such as copper, silver, zinc, and bismuth.
Usually, soldering is done at a low temperature and instead of melting the metal pieces, the filler material (solder) is melted. Later the melted material is used to create a bond between the metals. This method is only used in electrical circuits as it creates structurally weaker bonds than welding.
Riveting is generally used in construction projects that use lightweight materials. This method is also used while producing chassis for cars. In this method, mechanical fasteners are used to form a permanent bond between two metal surfaces. This technique is very easy to use for joining sheet metals.
The sheet metal is shaped in the same as a screw or a nail at first. Then it is placed through a pre-drilled hole. Later, the head of the sheet metal is pounded so that it gets flattened. Usually, riveting is preferred over welding in the cases of joining sheet metal alloys as high heat can harm the metal and cause trouble afterward.
Generally, gluing is discouraged while joining metals. Because the adhesives available in the market do not create a strong bond for metals. However, there are certain adhesives out there for joining the metals especially, such as silicon-based glue, epoxy, polyurethane, and even double-sided tape can get your job done.
But you have to always keep the fact in your mind that gluing is never the best option out there though certain new products are in development to provide you a solution of joining metals.
As we have mentioned earlier, welding is the best option out there when joining metals is your concern. But it requires more safety measures and more money than any other methods mentioned above. Sometimes you don’t even need welding, and simple soldering can get your job done.
We have tried our best to provide you with the necessary information about welding as well as its available alternatives. I hope you have found what you have wanted to know in the first place. Use the right method at the right place and live a smart life!