How to bond metallic pieces without welding

There are situations when you need to attach two metallic pieces. One of the easiest ways of bonding two metallic pieces is welding. But what do you do if you don’t have the welding machine? First, you should take note that bonding metallic pieces without welding can be a difficult affair. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s completely impossible.

Welding is a very popular bond. It can be useful for processes that need to withstand a lot of stress. Some of the projects that need a welder to join components include boats and other machinery.

How to join metals without a welder

There are some situations when you may need to weld metals but without a welder. When you are faced with such a situation, here are some of the methods you need to consider.

Gluing

A great method for bonding metals without a welder is the use of glue. When using this method, all you need to do is to apply a particular adhesive on the surface and pressing them well to create a bond. There is a wide range of adhesives that can be used to join metal. These include epoxy, polyurethane, silicone-based, and double-sided tape.

There is a wide range of products that can be used for this purpose. Some adhesives have small nanorods with different types of metallic interiors. The product is used to treat the surface that needs to be joined together and the various metallic cores are fused to clean that robust bond.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Glue is usually cheaper than the heat-based methods
  • Low risk
Cons
  • The use of glue in the joining of metal surfaces can form a weaker bond as compared to the other heating methods

 

Soldering

Many people have the notion that soldering is similar to welding. However, soldering uses electrical connections to bond metals rather than mechanical connections making a strong and structurally- sound bond.

The best soldering irons look like coiled wire and are a soft metal alloy. Typically, it is made up of 99% tin but other metals can be used such as silver, copper, zinc, and bismuth. These usually melt at a lower temperature. Filler metal is, therefore, used as the bond.

Soldering is a good method that can be used in electrical circuits. The separate components of the circuit come with small devices such as resistors, transistors, LEDs, and capacitors, with each of these having its roles. When fully assembled, these devices can create a wide range of electrical products, such as radios, TVs, calculators, and computers. With soldering, a circuit can get a more reliable and effective electrical connection.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Safer as compared to welding
  • Creates a bond at a lower temperature
  • Forms an electrical connection that is key for circuit-based devices
Cons
  • An electrical connection is as strong as the mechanical connection
  • Creates a weaker bond and can, therefore, not be used in different applications.

Brazing

Brazing involves joining melting two metallic pieces together. When welding, the filler metal is usually the adhesive. In brazing, the filler component can consist of various metals depending on the needed application. These metals include silver, magnesium, copper-phosphorous, cobalt, previous alloy, nickel, and cobalt

With these metals having higher melting points as compared to tin, the brazing process requires a higher temperature as compared to soldering. During the brazing process, the metals that you are attaching are affected by the heat and they are bonded together by the filler metal bonds.

During the soldering process, the metal surface doesn’t melt since the temperature is too low. This simply results in the solder sitting between them and joining between joints. This means that brazing is a combination of soldering and welding. With the metal surfaces melting, it can produce a very strong mechanical joint.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Makes a very powerful mechanical bond that is almost as strong as welding
  • Requires a very low temperature as compared to welding
  • A good choice for different applications
Cons
  • The joint is weaker than in welding

Riveting

Riveting requires the use of mechanical fasteners to create a permanent bond between different metallic surfaces. A rivet looks like a nail or a screw but features a cylinder that looks like a shaft and ahead on the other end. To bond two metals, the rivet is usually placed in a predrilled hole before the rivet’s tail is bounded until it flattens and expands.

A thick end holds the rivet in place, making it possible to join two metallic pieces without heat or glue. This is why the method is commonly used for the tension loads, where the joint needs to withstand the opposing forces too.

If you would like to support shear loads that sit perpendicularly to the rivet shaft axis, riveting is a good choice. This is commonly used in construction projects that use some lightweight materials that need some strong joints. It’s also commonly used in the production of car chassis.

In general, riveting is a good method for joining metal alloy sheets as compared to welding. This is because the high heat results in the deformation of the metal, changing the material properties.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • A good choice for supporting shear loads
  • More suitable than welding joints that can be subjected to impact forces and vibrations
  • No heat is needed
  • A good choice for fixing metallic pieces that are lightweight
Cons
  • Joints aren’t leak-proof and may leave gaps

 

Nanomaterials

One of the latest methods of bonding metals without welding is the use of nanomaterials. In this technique, the metal surface is roughened with a particular etching method that involves the use of 3D printing and electro-chemicals.

This often results in a small structure that looks like a hook. The two surfaces are then joined using adhesive, which creates a very strong bond. This technique is a great choice for joining the big and heavy components and in applications like car building. This ensures that there is no need for higher temperatures that can cause damage, particularly those that are painted or treated.

You can do nanoscale sculpting at room temperature safely. Here are the pros and cons of this technique.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The process can be completed at the room temperature
  • Not as risky as the other processes that use heat
  • Create a strong bond between different surfaces
  • Can be used in various applications
Cons
  • This technique is fairly new and not well tested.

Final thoughts

When welding, a very strong joint is formed between two metallic pieces. Even though this comes with many benefits, it can be costly and risky. This means that there are instances that you may not need to use welding. But on the other hand, some jobs can be completed only through welding. You can now choose a suitable technique from the above options.

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