Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Soldering as an alternative to welding

I was just thinking about robot stuff to avoid doing my System Dynamics and Control assignment.

I've been doing a bit of soldering for an electronics assignment (which I nailed, by the way), and I realised that I am already quite handy with a soldering iron - so I decided to explore the advantages of using soldering as an alternative to welding.

  • Welding is generally stronger than soldering as a method of joining metals, however a large factor in determining the strength is the quality of the join. This means that a well done soldered joint might be stronger than a poorly done weld.
  • Soldering does not require bulky or expensive equipment - allowing us to quickly perform repairs at events and things.
  • Welding can sometimes warp a part or joint because of the extreme temperatures. This can also lead to stress concentration areas.
  • The solder used in electronics is a very soft and low strength type of solder. Other solders such as plumber's solder, aluminum solder and high tin solder are much stronger. This table contains a few types, and their strengths. A particularly attractive choice was a 90% tin solder with a tensile strength of 8000psi = 55MPa.
Anyway, I thought I'd just throw the idea out there. There is no point in using welding in places where extra strength is not required, so soldering might be a good option for certain parts.

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