Common Mistakes to Avoid When Brazing Stainless Steel

Whether you enjoy metallurgy as a hobby or plan to start your own heat treating company, one of the measures of your success is likely to be how you perform stainless steel brazing. In most cases, internet sources for stainless steel brazing focus on performing the process as it should be performed. However, it is also helpful to be aware of common mistakes people make during the stainless steel brazing process. Below are four examples of such mistakes.

Leaving Coatings on the Metal

Removing coatings from metal before heating it might seem to slow down the work process, but taking the time to remove coatings is well worth the wait. If coatings are left in place, they form a stable layer of oxide that tarnishes the metal. These oxides inhibit the flow of brazing alloy and must be physically removed after the heat treating process.

Not Using a Pure Atmosphere

Heating treating stainless steel requires a pure furnace atmosphere; otherwise, the chromium in the metal (at least 10.5% chromium by mass) will oxidize and make the surface of the assembly appear drossy. A furnace that maintains a hydrogen atmosphere prevents this from happening.

Using Flux with a Pure Atmosphere

Because a pure atmosphere of hydrogen prevents the development of oxidation, there is no reason to apply flux to prevent oxidation. In fact, applying flux is often a bad move, not just an unnecessary one. The flux can leave a residue on the metal that must be cleaned away.

Storing the Metal with Other Metals

One of the most common but unmentioned reasons why stainless steel shows signs of rust and corrosion is because it are stored in contact with other metals that create discoloration, such as carbon steel. At the production site, stainless steel should be stored separate from other metals.

Contact Us Today

For over 40 years, Franklin Brazing has been a leader in the heat treating industry. Specializing in brazing and annealing for chromium alloys, such as stainless steel, we treat other materials as well, including carbon steel, mild steel, and copper. Regardless of the type of work you need done, we guarantee it will be finished by the expected date. To learn more about our services and how to heat treat stainless steel, contact us today at (800) 450-782, or use our contact form.