Aluminum Pot Bulkhead solder/brazing

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stamandster

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I found a source for schedule 40 aluminum full couplers for 1/8", 1/4", 1/2" and 1" NPT that I want to use for my all my addons (bulk head for drain, water level, thermometer, heating element, etc). But it'd be nice to NOT have to source a welder to weld them in place (unless someone knows of a home brewer that does it in the Western MA area ;) ).

So my question is, has anyone brazed aluminum to aluminum before? Could I use the Harris solder (Al Solder 500 or Stay-Brite?) and Harris aluminum flux? Any help would be much appreciated.
 
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stamandster

stamandster

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I guess I'll pose the question to the Harris company and see what they say. If I end up doing it I'll post it in the DIY section...
 

Bachhus

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Can you post a link to the source for the Aluminum fittings? or is it a local place?
 

audger

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aluminum soldering/brazing is hard due to the lower thermal density of aluminum, and high thermal transfer rate. you need something hotter than propane so that you can heat it faster before the heat has a chance to wick away from the immediate working area. the low thermal density means that its more difficult than steel to hit the "sweet spot" while not overheating the work area (which is made even more difficult by using a hotter torch).

tl&dr:
yes you can solder aluminum, but its not as easy as steel.
 
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