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Resource Center

Our How-To and Resource Center is your one-stop for all the information you need to ensure the success of your soldering project. Simply click on the following links to access the information you need. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to call us directly. We are here to ensure the success of your project.

How-To FAQ's

The following guidelines apply to most soldering operations

There are three general steps:

1. Clean and break the oxide layer on the parts to be joined.

2. Apply heat to the parts, not the solder.

3. Apply the solder evenly across the joint area and remove the heat.

More specifically:

General Soldering Guidelines

1. Pre-clean the parent metal or metals to be joined

2. Use emery cloth, a wire brush, sandblasting, etc.

3. Prepare Aluminum surfaces with a Stainless Steel wire brush.

4. Apply the appropriate Kapp non-corrosive liquid flux to draw the solder into the joint/repair area. The flux also serves to remove oxide layers which prohibit strong bonding. The recommended flux is listed on each soldering alloy information page. You may easily use the rod to spread the flux.

5. Use a soft flame, heat gun or soldering iron to heat the parent metal adjacent to the repair area. A direct flame on the repair area is likely to overheat the solder and flux.

DO NOT DIRECTLY HEAT THE SOLDERING ROD!

6. Hold the torch tip 4 to 6 inches away from the parent metal. If it is necessary to apply the flame directly to the rod or flux, pull the torch tip back even farther from the work surface and keep it moving.

7. The flux will begin to bubble and turn light brown. Besides preparing the parent metal for the solder, these changes indicate the proper working temperature. If the flux turns black, let the area cool, clean it, and start over.

8. When the flux turns brown, it is time to apply the rod. Drag the rod over the area to be soldered, until it begins to flow.

ONCE THE ROD FLOWS, STOP APPLYING THE HEAT!

9. If additional layers are needed, continue to drag the rod over the area.

10. Sometimes it is necessary to heat the tip of the rod with the flame to help the solder flow more easily onto the repair area.

DO NOT HEAT THE ROD TO THE MELTING POINT!

11. Observe the solder deposit. The solder should bond smoothly.

DO NOT OVERHEAT!

12. The rod will melt if overheated, but will not bond properly.

13. If you stopped soldering and want to apply more solder or flow out the deposit more, let it cool a little, add more flux and reheat. The flux will help the bonding process, whether adding more rod or just flowing out the previous deposit.

14. Remove the excess flux with warm water and a wire brush.

Kapp Alumite™ is designed primarily for use on a broad range of Aluminum and diecast alloys – cast Aluminum parts, white metal, and diecast car and marine parts, including propellers. It is an exceptional repair rod with a wide market for many automotive and marine applications. I am concerned, however, that Alumite™ is not the best solder for Aluminum and Aluminum-to-Copper radiator repairs.

Most Aluminum radiators are made of thin extruded and/or sheet Aluminum alloys. These alloys are best joined at lower temperatures by one of two alternative products – KappRad™ 40 or KappAloy15™. The table below compares these solders to Alumite™.

KappRad™ 40 has been specifically designed for Aluminum and Aluminum-Copper radiator repair. It has higher strength and vibration resistance than comparable solders and brazing alloys, and is applied at a lower temperature to avoid damaging thin and delicate parts. It does, however, contain Cadmium - a restricted substance under RoHS guidelines. It has specific application waivers in many countries, but I am unsure of your regulations or markets. Please see the MSDS for KappRad™ 40 for more information.

KappAloy15™ is a standard solder for Copper and Brass tubes to an Aluminum sheet. It is used extensively in Aluminum-to-Copper radiator repair, where the higher strength of KappRad is not necessary, or where there are restrictions on the use of Cadmium.

Both of these solders use Kapp Golden Flux™ to remove the oxide coating in close and inaccessible joints.

In hand soldering, both of these solders give you excellent flexibility. They have wider plastic melting ranges, which allow you to manipulate your parts, before it has solidified completely during cooling. Many customers using hand-soldered prefer these solders.

Aluminum and Diecast General Soldering Guidelines

1. Pre-clean the parent metal or metals to be joined. Prepare aluminum/diecast surfaces with a stainless steel wire brush. Breaking the tough aluminum oxide coating on the aluminum parts is the secret to aluminum/diecast soldering. These barriers reform quickly, so agitate, flux and solder in a rapid sequence.

2. Apply the appropriate Solder Direct non-corrosive liquid flux to break the oxide barrier and draw the solder into the joint/repair area. You may easily use the rod to spread the flux.

3. Use a soft flame, heat gun or soldering iron to heat the parent metal adjacent to the repair area. A direct flame on the repair area is likely to overheat the solder and flux.

DO NOT DIRECTLY HEAT THE SOLDERING ROD!

4. Hold the torch tip 4 to 6 inches away from the parent metal. If it is necessary to apply the flame directly to the rod or flux, pull the torch tip back even farther from the work surface and keep it moving.

5. The flux will begin to bubble and turn light brown. Besides preparing the parent metal for the solder, these changes indicate the proper working temperature. If the flux turns black, let the area cool, clean it & start over.

6. When the flux turns brown, it is time to apply the rod. Drag the rod over the area to be soldered, until it begins to flow.

ONCE THE ROD FLOWS, STOP APPLYING THE HEAT!

If additional layers are needed, continue to drag the rod over the area. With some applications, for example with very thin wires, it may be helpful to tin the aluminum surface with the rod before soldering the parts together. In this case, follow steps 1 through 6 to apply an even coat of solder to the aluminum parts. Let these parts cool, and then follow steps 1 through 6 again, soldering the parts together. This will often result in a more consistent solder joint for small parts.

7. Sometimes it is necessary to heat the tip of the rod with the flame to help the solder flow more easily onto the repair area.

DO NOT HEAT THE ROD TO THE MELTING POINT!

8. Observe the solder deposit. The solder should bond smoothly.

DO NOT OVERHEAT!

The rod will melt if overheated, but will not bond properly.

9. If you stopped soldering and want to apply more solder or flow out the deposit more, let it cool a little, add more flux and reheat. The flux will help the bonding process, whether adding more rod or just flowing out the previous deposit.

10. Remove the excess flux with warm water and a wire brush.

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Email us at info@solderdirect.com and we will make sure that your questions get answered, and maybe add it to the FAQ'a!

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