When fabricating complex geometries, whether it’s by die casting, e-beam welding, or 5- axis machining, there can be distinct advantages when brazing is used as a means of creating the final assembly. Manufacturing of cavity structures utilizing standard brazing principles, for example, is becoming a current trend.
Structures with internal cavities are used in many applications including RF power, fuel cells, heat exchangers, cryogenic systems and chemical processing. These arrangements are fabricated from many types of materials including copper, stainless steel, niobium, Inconel, titanium and alumina.
- Brazing vs. E-beam welding (EBW)
Orbital EBW is often used to bond two hemispheres together in order to produce a cavity; however, due to the limits in the amount of penetration possible with EBW, there are limits on possible wall thicknesses of the cavity (typically 2” in soft vacuum machines and 6” in hard vacuum machines). With brazing, there is virtually no limit on wall thickness.
- Brazing vs. 5-axis machining
Today, 5-axis technology has expanded the range of geometric shapes which can be fabricated by CNC machining. Utilizing brazing in tandem with 5-axis technologies, engineers and designers are only limited by their imagination. Where 5-axis machine-work ends, brazing can push the design envelope further to create internal structures as unique as oval shaped channels. Creating complex assemblies by brazing simple-machined components can save time and money when compared to machining away all the base material from a billet stock.
- Brazing vs. Mold casting
When projects are in the developmental/prototype stage, brazing has a distinct advantage over die casting in terms of cost.
When working from a die, making design changes can be very expensive and time consuming. Almost any feature change would require the fabrication of a new or partial die.
When working with machined components, changes can be made quickly and inexpensively compared to the revision costs of recreating a die. Cavities and other complex geometries can be simplified and brazed together.
Creating complex shapes and assemblies can be made simple and economical by brazing together basic components. Using brazing as a joining method, several complex assemblies can manufactured at the same time by the use of batch furnaces which can also significantly save time and money. When you are faced with the design or cost challenge of manufacturing complex geometries, explore the options of brazing.