Aluminium sheets are the best material for making facades. Their elegant look and ductility mean that they are both functional and easy to work with. When doing, you will need to bond the sheets together, and soldering is a good way to do this. The process involves heating the right sections of the aluminium sheets and joining them with a filler material (solder). With the right tools at hand, soldering is a straightforward technique that you can carry out yourself. The following are the steps you need to follow when soldering your aluminium sheets:
Clean the Metal Sheets
The secret to having structurally sound bonds is ensuring that the solder has optimal contact with materials you are bonding. Any dirt, grime and reside that stands between them will weaken the bond. Therefore, you should start by cleaning the surface of the aluminium sheets using a clean rag. You can apply a grease remover or cleaning solvent to remove oils before you start soldering.
Position the Aluminium Sheets
Wear a set of protective gloves and glasses before you start the actual soldering process. A long-sleeved shirt is also preferable to protect you from the sparks produced when joining the sheets. Thereafter, you can ask a friend to help you position the aluminium sheets by holding them together in readiness for the solder. You can also clamp the sheets together with an appropriate clamp available in a local welding accessory store near you.
Flux the Area You Want to Bond
When the sheets are in position, you need to apply flux before for the best bonding results. Flux refers to a chemical used to treat metal surface to facilitate melting and prevent oxidation when heated. If you do not apply flux, you will use too much heat to melt the aluminium sheets. Additionally, the absence of flux will cause the metal to react with oxygen and form metal oxides, which are not ideal for a soldered bond.
Heat the Aluminium Sheets
Hold the solder or filler material against the two clumped sheets and heat the area with a welder's torch. For a home project, a portable welder's torch will do because will not be soldering materials on a large, commercial scale. You need to be keen on the way you heat the area. The torch should not be held directly against the filler material. Hold them a few inches apart such that the solder material seeps into the joint gradually and solidifies.