Vehicles regularly suffer metal cracks after a collision, or even because of general wear and tear. Such issues can have a major impact on the safety and efficiency of the vehicle, but replacing damaged parts isn’t always necessary. Some metal jointing techniques are better suited to certain tasks than others, and an auto mechanic knows the right time to use each one in their workshop.
Techniques, such as welding, brazing, or soldering, are carried out using tremendous heat so pay attention to the recommended safety precautions with each piece of equipment. When used correctly, metal jointing solves everything from large piping separations to finer electrical wiring issues. So let’s take a closer look at the most common techniques used:
Welding Is Used to Create Strong and Long-Lasting Joints
Welding is the metal jointing technique most commonly associated with auto repairs. It’s often used on bodywork problems, but auto technicians apply it to much more serious engineering complications hidden underneath. Metal objects such as the exhaust or radiator may develop cracks, and welding can be used to restore those components to a working standard. Metal jointing may not always be a long-term solution, however, so assess whether a new part is required instead.
Graduates of a car repair course know about the difference between arc (electric) and gas welding. They are similar in many ways, but arc welding is quicker and creates stronger joints. On the other hand, gas welding is carried out at a lower temperature and is cheaper to install.
Both techniques use a filler rod, which is the same substance as the metals being jointed. This metal is then used to attach the two pieces together when melted at high temperature. The outcome is usually a very strong joint, which helps the vehicle stand up to the strain of everyday driving.
Repairing Electrical Wiring Using Soldering After Auto Technology School
Cracks on an undercarriage are often easy to spot, but problems with the vast amount of metal wiring hidden in a normal vehicle must not be overlooked. Friction between this wiring and tougher nearby objects, such as bolts, will eventually cause significant damage. Snapped wiring could prevent the car speakers from working, or stop the vehicle from starting at all.
Soldering kits are used by auto mechanics to fix such problems. The damaged wiring is first cut off, before plastic coating is removed on both sides to expose fresh wiring to be fused together. Once wrapped together, gas is used to melt the solder and joint the wires together. An insulation tube can then be melted around the exposed wiring to ensure the joint is protected.
Brazing Has Become a More Common Jointing Technique in Recent Years
Brazing is enjoying resurgence in metal jointing, after going out of fashion as a repair technique. Auto mechanic schools therefore pay close attention to its many merits. Brazing is similar to welding in that a filler rod is melted down at high temperatures to joint two metal objects together. The filler rods used in brazing, however, don’t need to be made of the same substance as the base metals. This is because the brazing material merely acts as a capillary to connect the metal components together.
This technique is carried out at lower temperatures compared to welding, and the joints created are usually weaker. It’s commonly used by automotive technology professionals when dealing with tubing cracks, such as those seen in air conditioning components. Brazing technology is constantly developing, though, and its reputation as a high-strength joining technique is growing.
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