Working With Soft Metals

When it comes to working with various metals, they are not all the same. Working with soft metals, such as aluminum, copper, or brass, can be a little more tedious than if you were working with steel. Why is this? What is the actual difference between metal and steel?

Metal vs. Steel

Copper pipe with Brass fittings and nipplesIs there a difference? Yes, there is a difference between metal and steel. Soft metals include those such as brass, titanium, copper, nickel, aluminum, among others. The various metals are actually elements, think of the Periodic Table. Iron, itself is considered a soft metal. You wouldn’t think so, having comic characters like Iron Fist and Iron Man. Or, the Iron Man contests you’ve heard about or seen.  Iron is also an element, but it is the base element in which you get steel. Steel combines Iron with various amounts of the carbon alloy. Technically speaking, it is not actually even a metal. The combination creates the strongest material used as a metal. Because of this, it is commonly used in construction applications, industrial applications, automobile industries, aerospace, hydraulic applications, as well as many other industries. 

Using Soft Metal to Braze or Solder

Often times when working with soft metals, they are used as the base material for soldering or torch brazing. This is because at high temperatures soft metals can liquefy, acting as a “glue” for other metals, or steel. Steel would have to reach temperatures of around 1370 degrees before it would begin to melt, whereas soft metals melt at temperatures less than 100o  degrees. hard steel used for bridge

Soft metals are often used in application such as:

  • Jewelry making
  • Electrical conduit applications
  • Plating, (i.e, gold plated, silver plated, etc.)

For more information about nipples using soft metals or the harder steel tubing, contact us today. We are happy to discuss your needs for whatever application you have at hand. Bulk ordering and nationwide shipping is also available to you. Check out our pipe chart to find the sizes available and get a free quote today! 

Posted In: Nipples, Soft Metals, Steel Tubing

Tags: , , ,