Nickel Silver Brazing Rod

boaterbillSeptember 24, 2005

Anyone have experience with Nickel Silver Brazing Rod (RBCuZnD)used to join copper and brass items? Does it have good flow around joints that aren't precision tight? Is the brazed color more like copper or bronz?


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Nickel Silver is used a lot for refrigeration lines.

Since it's a brazing rod, it will fill a joint, even a sloppy one.

Color of a brazed joint is usually very oxidized looking. I don't recall ever making an effort to polish up a joint, but I think it would be more toward bronze with a little white coloring from the silver.

Make sure everything is where you want it before you braze, because you won't be able to separate a joint like a regular solder joint to redo it.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 12:02AM
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I used some a decade or so ago to fix a nut on an exhaust system. I used a stainless nut attached to a mild steel tube. The braze looked like dull silver, as I recall, maybe a touch of yellow. It's held just fine since then... and it was my first attempt at brazing. The nut wasn't perfectly flush with the tube, but the joint filled up just fine.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 12:26AM
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I am both a Master Plumber and Refrigeration and AC tech so in the last 30 years or so I guess I have used a couple dozen pounds of silver brazing rod.

If the fittings are properly cleaned, and if they are properly fluxed, an if you have the proper heat range on the torch Silver brazing is not much more difficult than soldering copper.

The rate of flow is determined by the percentage of silver in the rod, the more silver, the easier it flows, however the higher the silver content the softer the rod.

Silver brazing rod is typically made in 15% or 6% silver.

15% is without a doubt the easiest to use, but with just a bit of practice i think you will find 6% easy as well.

Back in the early 80's when the USA went off the Gold Standard and we were allowed to buy gold and silver again the price of precious metals went out of sight for a while. Gold peaked at over $600 oz and silver went to nearly $80/oz. At that time a pound of 15% silver braze rod was selling for $54 so most of us switched to 0% silphoz rod for a while. The zero percent silver rod took a bit of practice to learn to use it, but it worked well and got us through the crunch, but you can be sure when the price of 6% became reasonble again it didnt take much to convince us to switch back to it.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 1:38PM
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I remember those days when that rod was big bucks. I was working on a construction job, and the plumbers were using it for refrigeration lines. When their stick got short, they'd usually toss it instead of fighting with a short piece or splicing it to a new one. I needed a little bit of that rod, for brazing carbide to a tool base, not long before I got to that job. Knowing what the rod cost me, I kept an eye out for scraps that were tossed on the floor in case I needed any for future use.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:45PM
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