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HVAC Brazing: Are Your Employees Ready for Advanced Instruction?

09/09/2019

HVAC Brazing: Are Your Employees Ready for Advanced Instruction?

Brazing is the safest and most preferred method of joining in HVAC due to its ability to produce corrosion-resistant, pressure-tight, and high tolerance precision joints.

The process requires a keen eye, even the smallest oversight could be catastrophic. The skill gap in the labor market is forcing more and more manufacturing firms to train their technical staff rather than hire a new staff member.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hiring a brazing technician can be expensive and skilled brazers could be difficult to locate. Unless necessary, the headaches and disappointments of the hiring process can be avoided by simply training your current employees.

What Is Brazing for HVAC?

Brazing is the process of joining similar or dissimilar metals. Filler metal is drawn by capillary action into space between the two adjacent pieces to be joined.

For this to happen, the filler metal must have a lower melting point than the parent metal components being joined. Alloys used in brazing are commonly made of copper and zinc in varying proportions. In HVAC brazing is used in joining the tube fittings and heat exchangers.

The Basic Principles of Brazing

  • Clearance: Before brazing, you must ensure that the clearance is optimum. If the clearance is too small, there is no room for the molten filler metal to flow through. A larger clearance limits capillary action. Unless you are brazing similar metals such as a copper tube to copper tube, ensure to factor in the coefficient of expansion.
  • Cleaning: Contaminated surfaces hinder capillary action. The common contaminants are dirt, oil and or metallic particles. These can be removed by chemical treatment or using an abrasive material. Brazing without cleaning causes leaky joints. Cleaning is also done after brazing to remove excess flux.
  • Fluxing: Metals chemically combine with oxygen when heated to form oxides. The application of a chemical compound to prevent oxidation is known as fluxing. When brazing copper to copper in HVAC, a phosphorus filler metal is used since it acts as a fluxing agent.
  • Joining/Brazing: The process of brazing can be simplified into the two-step process. You first heat the base metal then apply the filler metal. A gas torch is the most common type of heating used. The torch is set to a soft reducing flame that is large enough to heat both the tube and fitting simultaneously. Sweep the heat back and forth for uniform heating. Other brazing techniques include drip brazing, furnace brazing, and vacuum brazing.

Which Employees are Eligible to Study Brazing?

One benefit of re-training your technical staff is that you already know your workers’ strengths and weaknesses. A manager can choose to train the struggling technical staff to improve their confidence. Such workers can benefit from refresher courses in safety and precautions.

And, for advanced courses, you can enroll your best-performing workers. Fortunately, this particular training is beneficial to both seasoned and apprentice HVAC technicians, building engineers, supervisors and plant maintenance workers.

Industrial Applications of Brazing

  • Pipe fittings such as heat exchangers, axles, tanks, and radiators are joined by brazing
  • Brazing is used in the assembly of components such as bicycle frames, rims, and metal furniture
  • Brazing is used in the creation of artistic objects like chandeliers and brass musical instruments
  • Eyewear frames and hinges are joined by brazing because they are thin and delicate, an example is Aviator sunglasses
  • Brazing is used in automotive manufacturing to join delicate components
  • Measuring instruments such as pressure switches and thermostats are joined by brazing

Benefits of Having a Trained Brazing Technician

Cost-effective: Trained workers eliminate the need to hire new staff members either on a short term or permanently. The hiring process drains resources in the form of advertisement fees, interviews, and higher administrative costs.

Improved Productivity: Having trained brazing technician reduces the mistakes. There are fewer interruptions due to such mistakes and subsequent break downs. It takes less time to repair machines and resume production.

Higher Safety Standards: Just like welding, brazing involves heating at very high temperatures. Trained brazing technicians correctly use the machines, wear protective gears and are always on the lookout for danger. Unlike untrained workers who are a danger to their colleagues and themselves.

They can Help Junior Workers: Trained brazing technicians can guide the junior employees appropriately on various matters. From safety issues to troubleshooting equipment and finished products.

Reduced Employee Turnover: Training employees reduces the need to replace workers who have either resigned or have been dismissed. Training employees shows workers than the company cares about their development and fosters loyalty.

Register Your Workers Today!

Hiring new staff members may seem like a quick simple fix. It might be necessary in some cases but it is not always the answer. If you get it wrong during the hiring process it might be a very costly oversight.

Fortunately for all managers, you don’t have to gamble anymore. NTT Training is the training partner you need. We provide customized training to fit your schedule and desired outcome. Register your workers for the ACCET accredited training in advanced HVAC Brazing. Connect with us today to discuss your company’s training needs.

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