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Old 10-09-2013, 11:00 AM
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anybody here using silicon bronze?

I'm using it in a MIG welder. I'm still new at it but I think it could be great.

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Old 10-09-2013, 05:38 PM
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I use it on cracked and damaged blocks/heads..

Just did a pair of BBC boat heads that had been frozen. Cracked all the way across the top in the valve spring area. These were ported and done by a big name $$$$$$$ shop in the past and customer wanted to try saving them..

Heated in my bake oven, powder flux and
mig with silicon bronze.. Flows out great and repaired all exposed cracks. Pressure checked and one passed. The other required a bit more work and a little sealer.. They are out on the water now. We'll see if there are any problems in the long run.. I have a set of my own heads done same way that are now six years old..
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:03 PM
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I am using it for bodywork. Keeps the heat down and doesn't warp panels, plus, it flows more nicely and doesn't leave pinholes for the moisture to get into the bondo. Last year at SEMA, the guys at the Pro Spot booth told me it was the "secret weapon in body repair".
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:43 PM
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The jury is still out on bronze welding...Bronze isn't as strong as welding with steel so on structural panels there may be a major issue...on non structural...well it's more like a panel bonding than actually melting two pieces of metal together...so for lap joints (if lap welding is welding method of choice) it would be fine, however for butt welding...you need the strength of a regular Mig...I'm not saying it doesn't have it's place,,,just it's a good idea to know when to use it.

Ray
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:05 PM
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It's expensive stuff. I used it on a job fabricating sheet metal dryers for a company in Alabama. It does flow nicely and welds easy. If not mistaken, a 30 lb. roll was a few hundred dollars (at least the kind we were using).
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:12 PM
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So far I have used it to repair rust holes, and to recontour the fender wells of a race car so that I can fit larger tires.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:25 PM
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I use it with my TIG welder for very thin stainless (.015 and less) It flows out nice. You need really thin SB for this but I have some that is about .023. I use short pieces as you have to really get a perfect dab in the puddle.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:21 PM
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Seems to me that TIG welding with silicon bronze would be very similar to brazing.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedanbob View Post
Seems to me that TIG welding with silicon bronze would be very similar to brazing.
And that's why myself and others aren't convinced that it is the do all end all for welding on panels. Brazing had almost died out but I can distinctly remember braised on body panels where filler and paint adhesion became an issue and often the word "Hack" came into the conversation. Unless there is a new and improved process, I'm concerned that brass is brass, be it MIG, TIG or stick and the issues will be the same.

Ray
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:43 PM
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25 years ago, I used some with a carbon arc. An 1/8 inch carbon stick in the electrode holder in one hand, and feed the rod with the other.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:49 PM
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You are pretty much right. the TIG arc is a lot hotter than the torch and more concentrated.

I build custom scale exhaust for rc models and the stainless is very thin. The slicone/ bronze works very well here. It is extremely difficut to get a good fit on the ss as the heat almost instantly distorts it so there is a gap. You could equate this to welding 1/8 material with 3/8 gap.

Using SB you don't need nearly the heat input so there is little warpage.

I also use copper fittings trimmed to reduce weight. These I weld with copper wire. It welds very well. Quite the opposite as far as heat however. Copper transfers heat very quickly, faster than aluminum so the parts get hot very quickly and there is no place for the heat to go so you simply have to stop and let things cool off or simply dunk them in water. It anneals the copper but it gets annealed anyway so there is no loss of structure.

SB also works well on the copper. It's just very expensive filler when copper wire is cheap.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evolvo View Post
IMO TIG welding with any material is like brazing in that you hold the torch in one hand and feed the filler material with the other. It's just an electric torch instead of a gas torch.
The process is the same, but the end result is what I was talking about - the result using silicon bronze is a brazed joint, not a weld. Brazing is good for sealing a joint between steel parts, but is not as strong as welding those parts.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedanbob View Post
The process is the same, but the end result is what I was talking about - the result using silicon bronze is a brazed joint, not a weld. Brazing is good for sealing a joint between steel parts, but is not as strong as welding those parts.
Very true Bob...it is more of a seal in my opinion, a hot glue gun effect versus fusing two like metals together as you get with a MIG or TIG using a similar metal wire or rod as to the metal in a panel. Now, there isn't anything wrong with using today's glues, they work and holding isn't the problem (ie, body panel adhesive) the problem can be ghosting, or a visible line where the 2 pieces of metal have been joined. This area can become visible months after the vehicle has been painted....why...the expansion and contraction rates of the two materials are different.

Even when plastic is repaired, a plastic part (like a plastic or "rubber" bumper that has a rip in it) should be repaired with the same, similar or compatible material to that which the part is made of in order to get a lasting repair...in fact, some plastics have been engineered to be extremely difficult to repair.

Brass does melt at a lower temperature with less chance of warping panels and does stick to steel...however...I (as many other people that have a few years in the trade) have had the challenge of repairing a brass welded repair where filler, primer and paint have had a hard time adhering to the previous brass repair, leaving bubbles in the top coat.

So again, unless there is something new in the "brass welding" world that I'm not aware of, when replacing pieces of metal, metal should be repaired with the same material as the adjacent panel. I'm willing to keep an open mind but Life has taught me to be skeptical when an older technology is reintroduced that, in the past has been problematic.

Several years ago, my daughter told he that I needed to listen to a new band and this band was now her favorite...I agreed...and as I listened to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven", I realized that it was new to my daughter. When I told my daughter that I had seen the band live when I was teenager, she did some research, realized that the band had been around for a long time and was happy that we had the enjoyment of that music in common.

Ray
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:42 AM
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Biggest difference between a oxy/acc weld and a tig weld is the atmosphere around the weld.

With tig it is much cleaner as the inert gas shields the weld puddle.


Back in the day brazing got a bad rep for paint failures. I think it was due to the flux (boric acid) or the brass ( zinc in it ).

Tig or mig welding with SiCu wire does not require any flux so there is no acid introduced into the weld.

Ron Coval states body fillers and paint adhere with no problems to the SiCu welds.

Silicon bronze strength:

Silicon Bronze is a high-strength, highly corrosion resistant material with nonmagnetic properties. It is generally as strong as steel. Because of its composition, it is more difficult to machine. However, it is excellent for use in general marine applications, as well as pumps, heavy equipment, fittings, and boilers.

Silicon Bronze, C655

Minimum Properties

Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 85,000
Yield Strength, psi 55,000
Elongation in 2" 20%
Rockwell Hardness B90
Chemistry

Copper (Cu) 97.0% min
Iron (Fe) 0.8% max
Manganese (Mn) 1.5% max
Nickel (Ni) 0.6% max
Lead (Pb) 0.5% max
Silicon (Si) 2.8 - 3.8%
Zinc (Zn) 1.5% max

Source


I have never used SiCu (silicon bronze) in a mig or with a tig, just a gas torch.

I would think that it would make for great mig plug welds and lap seam edge sealer.

I have no idea how well it would hold up as a butt joint and would avoid that application unless a backer strip is added.

The melting point is some 700 degrees less than steel so it should not cause near the panel warping .

I think a great application would be the building up the edge of a door to correct gap, or stringer beads ran along the exterior side of floor pan repair lap seams (then ground flat to make them "go away") and such.

It is spendy material, but time = money and with some thought it should save more time than its cost.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:35 PM
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For us if we can get the silicon bronze wire in a small spool it may be worth it..I keep several sizes of wire and types on hand for those special projects that require a specific material or technique..

Sam
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