Brazing and Soldering
Silver facilitates the joining of materials – called brazing when done at temperatures above 600 degrees Celsius and soldering when below – and produces naturally smooth, leak-tight and corrosion-resistant joints. Silver brazing alloys are used widely in applications ranging from air-conditioning and refrigeration to electric power distribution. It is also used in the automobile and aerospace industries.
Silver brazes and solders combine high tensile strength, ductility and thermal conductivity. Silver-tin solders are used for bonding copper pipe in homes, where they not only eliminate the use of harmful lead-based solders, but also provide the piping with silver’s natural antibacterial action. Major faucet manufacturers also use silver-based bonding materials to incorporate these advantages. Refrigerator manufacturers use silver-based bonding materials to provide the ductility required for constant changes in temperature of the cooling tubes.
Because of health concerns, the traditional 63 percent tin/37 percent lead solder used to build electronic equipment is quickly being replaced by a combination of silver, tin and copper solder. The movement was boosted by the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation that applies throughout the European Union (EU). The law bans all products containing more than a trace amount of lead, mercury, cadmium and several other hazardous substances. Although the laws apply only to EU countries, it is being felt worldwide as companies move to a safer solder.
Source: The Silver Institute