All You Need to Know About Boiler Flux
Boiler flux is the soft white paste that can be easily applied to the joint areas prior to soldering. It is specially designed for effective soldering of copper plumbing systems. This flux can be used with a range of lead-containing and lead-free metals/alloys.
Flux can be defined as to flow or flowing and is used to help the solder ‘flow’ around the fitting as it is sweated to the pipe or tube. The flux is available with high quality and can perform three major functions,
- Clean the metal surface to have a good solder flow
- Have the flow of solder around the joint
- Guarding the surface against recontamination
When it comes to the variety of fluxes, they are differentiated as per the strengths and weaknesses. The varieties are as follows,
Water Soluble (non-ASTM B-813) Flux: It is the regular type of flux that is good for many kinds of metals and solders. They are with the higher content of active ingredients, that makes them very good at cleaning the metal and surface tension control for superior solder flow. The weakness of this is that they can char more easily and also may cause discolouration of the surface. This discolouration does not affect the metal negatively and can be easily removed.
ASTM B-813 Compliant Flux: This one is designed to be less corrosive and water-soluble. It is a standard that particularises the functionality of the flux that is specifically for copper plumbing. To maintain low corrosion potential, the fluxes have a lower level of active ingredients.
Petroleum-based Flux: It is the flux that contains the highest levels of active ingredients available. These kinds of fluxes are more acidic, potentially increases the environmental hazards. It has very good resistance to over-heating and burn-off.
Specialty Flux: They are designed for more exotic metal/solder combinations. These fluxes should be used with a particular material to get the perfect result.
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