How to Repair Aluminum Leaks (Podcast)
Have you ever struggled to repair a leak in an all-aluminum coil? Lance Robinson with SolderWeld talks about his product to do just that and makes a convincing case for aluminum repair.
We've been using aluminum for several decades before the shift to copper; unlike copper, aluminum is corrosion-resistant. However, copper is typically better for brazing due to its heat transfer properties and ductility. If we can get to a point where we can use aluminum for the same uses as copper, we will probably see a shift to aluminum due to its durability.
SolderWeld has recently made an aluminum repair product. Alloy-Sol is a solder, meaning that it works below 840 degrees Fahrenheit, and it gives techs plenty of time to work without worrying about melting the aluminum. Alloy-Sol works with a powdered flux, which goes on in a white paste that bonds to the aluminum and cleans it. When the flux turns clear, you can begin applying the solder to join the surfaces. You can melt the rod into your repair so long as you have that bond. You can use Alloy-Sol to perform COMPLETE aluminum repairs, not just temporary repairs.
When applying heat, make sure you apply heat perpendicularly to the repair. Repairing aluminum requires perhaps a bit more focus and finesse than copper brazing, but it is still a relatively easy process. We may not have considered aluminum repairs in the past, but they are worthwhile with the correct solder products.
Bryan and Lance also discuss:
- Aluminum's low melting point
- Torch usage and heat application
- Working with microchannel coils
- Training techs to repair aluminum
- Cleaning aluminum
- Fittings for aluminum piping
- Aluminum repair limitations
- Alloy-Sol in the auto body industry
- SolderWeld's history
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