Induction heating for brazing is a process in which two or more materials are joined together by a filler metal that has a lower melting point than the base materials using induction heating. Induction heating utilizes the electromagnetic field to provide heat without contact or flame. Induction brazing is more localized, repeatable, and easier to automate compared to traditional torch brazing. It can be used to join a wide variety of metals, including nickel, copper, cobalt, titanium, and steel.
What are some advantages of induction brazing?
- Efficiency: Induction generates heat only in the portion of the part needed for brazing, resulting in lower energy costs and faster heating cycles.
- Repeatability: You can count on a precise, consistent quality braze every time, as induction heating has a predictable heat profile and does not depend on the operator’s skills as much as torch brazing.
- Selectivity: Induction heating allows heat to be applied to those areas being brazed without heating the entire assembly, minimizing metallurgical changes, part distortion, oxidation, scaling, and carbon buildup on the parts.
- Safety: Induction heating does not use an open flame or hot furnaces, reducing the risk of fire hazards and burns.
- Integration: Induction heating equipment is readily adaptable to production line methods, permitting strategic arrangement of the equipment in an assembly line and automation of the brazing process.
How do I choose an induction heating system for brazing?
To choose an induction heating system for brazing, you need to consider these factors:
- Part motion relative to the coil: Some applications rely on part movement with the help of conveyors, turntables, or robots. The coil design and power supply should accommodate the part’s motion and speed.
- Frequency: Higher frequencies are used for applications like brazing, soldering, annealing, or heat treating, where surface heating is desired. The frequency also affects the depth of heating and the coupling efficiency between the coil and the part.
- Power-density requirements: Higher power densities are required for short-cycle heating applications requiring high temperatures. The power density depends on the power supply rating, coil geometry, and part size.
- Joint design and clearance: The joint design should allow for a 0.0015 to 0.005 in. (40 to 125 μm) clearance between the two surfaces at the braze material flow temperature to allow for capillary action and joint wetting. The joint should also be cleaned and fluxed before brazing.
- Coil design: The coil design should match the shape and size of the joint area, provide uniform heating and avoid overheating of adjacent areas. The coil should also be water-cooled to prevent overheating and damage.
What are some applications of induction brazing?
Induction brazing can be used for various applications in different industries. Some examples are:
- Brazing copper heat exchanger tubes in refrigeration units and custom trucks.
- Brazing flat copper wire and squirrel cage rotors used in motor and transformer manufacturing.
- Brazing bus bars.
- Brazing brass screw fittings in a diverse range of piping systems.
- Brazing carbide pins used in road construction.
- Brazing carbide blades for cutting tools.
- Brazing steel fittings and tubes for hydraulic systems.
- Brazing fan blades, blades for casings, and fuel and hydraulic systems for the aeronautics sector.
- Brazing compressor components, heating elements, and faucets for the houseware industry.
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