Cast iron is notoriously challenging to work with if you’re into welding. This is due to many factors, including the metal’s hardness, brittleness, and overall composition. Due to these factors, the welding process can make cast iron more likely to crack after the welding process.
If you’re trying to join cast iron to cast iron or stainless steel, you can use brazing rods composed of a mixture of cast iron and tungsten. These rods come with many inherent benefits that can make the welding process easier for both you and the metals you’re working with.
Why Is Cast Iron Hard to Work With?
Cast iron is an excellent addition to any kitchen, but when you’re involved in welding, it can be a tough material to figure out. Its composition contains high amounts of carbon and silicon, making it prone to developing problems after a typical welding process.
These problems can include the aforementioned cracking, metal warping, and a tendency to become brittle, partially because cast iron can harden when exposed to very high temperatures. This is where the brazing process comes in.
Brazing Vs Welding
The main difference between brazing and welding is how much heat is applied to surfaces. While brazing uses a higher temperature heat source than soldering, when compared to traditional welding, which uses electricity, it barely compares.
Welding temperatures can easily reach upwards of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while brazing temperatures average out above 840 degrees (as lower temperatures than this would signify soldering) but are always below the melting temperature of the actual metals being welded together.
Since high temperatures make cast iron so prone to breakage and other problems, brazing is preferable to traditional welding. Cast iron itself has a pretty high melting point. It melts at 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it’s pretty easy to find a filler metal that can join cast iron with other metals.
Filler metals that you can use in your brazing expeditions include copper-zinc, nickel-silver, and copper-silver, to name a few. These are quality options because they will melt at much lower temperatures than cast iron and join the metal with other metals effectively, and that’s precisely what you want to happen during the brazing process.
Braze Welding Cast Iron
When trying to perform any kind of repair job on cast iron, there are a few steps that you need to follow to ensure everything goes smoothly. In other words, you need to figure out a few things about the metal you’re trying to repair.
Firstly, is it white or high-alloy cast iron? If it’s either of these, it isn’t weldable, so be on the lookout for this. Secondly, you’ll want to examine all of the advantages that come with utilizing the process of braze welding your cast iron instead of just brazing it outright. After all, there is a noticeable difference between brazing and braze welding.
Benefits of Braze Welding Cast Iron
As we have highlighted, the problem with working with cast iron is that if you expose it to too much heat or energy, you will end up with a brittle product that is much more likely to warp and crack.
By brazing your cast iron, you minimize the risk of that happening due to the lower temperatures. Braze welding doesn’t fully melt the joint combining your cast iron.
While this might sound like it reduces the strength of the overall bond, the opposite is true. Certain metallic bonds need that high degree of heat to join them properly – cast iron and other metals like it just don’t!
Another benefit of braze welding cast iron is that it requires much less preheating than traditional welding. This further reduces the likelihood of the cast iron suffering damage after the welding process is finished.
Depending on what kind of iron you’re working with and the type of cast iron brazing rods you’ve decided to implement into your braze welding process, you might only need a little preheating.
Sometimes, you don’t need any preheating at all. This is great news if you’re trying to join older cast iron that might be more susceptible to warping effects.
The final benefit of braze welding cast iron together is that it’s much easier than traditional arc welding. If you’re a beginner and don’t want to get involved with all of the complicated drama that comes with arc welding, then braze welding your cast iron is the solution we highly recommend.
Avoid the possibility of cracking and warping your finished product and work with much less equipment in a process that is also less time-consuming and safer overall if you don’t have a lot of experience working with metals.
For This, Cast Iron Brazing Rods Are Better
The brazing process isn’t always comparable to arc welding, but it definitely is when working with cast iron. It takes less time and effort and fewer materials and will deliver you a higher-quality result most of the time.
The braze welding process is the way to go if you’re simply trying to minimize the risk of damaging your cast iron. We hope that this guide highlighting the benefits of cast iron brazing rods was helpful to you – and good luck!