Are you tired of searching for skilled labor to weld your steel pipes? I bet you are because why else would you be here anyway? Well, folks, I have a piece of news for you. You can finally put that long-haul search to rest because I have bought you some inspiring alternative ways that will help you say goodbye to welding forever. But that does mean that welding is about to go extinct; it just means that you can use other easier and safer alternatives where possible.
Speaking from personal experience, I have always found welding a very scary task. The wayward electric sparks flying haywire sent goosebumps up and down my spine, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the people doing it, let alone doing it myself. That extreme terror led me to discover other welding-free options to join my own steel pipes. The information was readily available to my utter surprise, and I grabbed on the opportunity to learn as always.
All that research and grueling long hours I spent absorbing information from different platforms paid off, and now here I am, as always, with all my knowledge and expertise to share with you guys. I suggest that you read each and every alternative carefully and use the one that you like best. But whatever you do, I suggest that you do it carefully because every method holds its own risks, and only you are responsible for your safety. So now, without any more of your time, let’s dive into the details.
How To Join Two Steel Pipes Without Welding
1. Using Adhesives
One method that I prefer the most when joining steel pipes is using adhesives. It is the cheapest and safest alternative to welding. For this purpose, you can use Epoxies, Glues, and even Plastic agents. These adhesives contain bonding materials dissolved in a highly evaporative solvent. The mechanics behind this alternative is that when you apply a layer of adhesive to steel pipes, the solvent evaporates, leaving the bonding material to harden.
The hardening adhesive substances create strong bonds with the molecules of the steel pipes; the solvent present in the adhesives quickens this bond formation process. And when the solvent evaporates, the bonds become harder and harder until the two ends of the steel pipes are appropriately joined together. This whole process takes about twenty-four hours to complete. However, this method is not totally reliable because the glue can wear off after a certain time limit.
Moreover, adhesives are less likely to leave any sort of discoloration and corrosion on any kind of metal surface, while welding is not as immune to that. Besides, you won’t even have to clean up the metal surfaces as much as you would have to after you weld the metals. However, there are certain limitations associated with this method, such as it is slow and less reliable than welding.
2. Mechanical fastening
Mechanical fastening is yet another excellent but temporary alternative for joining two steel pipes without welding. In this method, a mechanical fastener with certified holding properties joins the pipes together, keeping them in a fixed position. These mechanical fasteners include bolts, nuts, and screws other than shrink fits, seams, and crimps. Using this method, you can join any material together but will require a certain level of expertise and knowledge with the fasteners.
You will be required to adjust the screws and nuts in the proper place, and for this purpose, you might need professional help. However, if the pipes are already marked with the spots for fasteners, then you will be able to screw the nuts in place. But all things aside, the most significant benefit of mechanical fasteners is that you can save a lot of cost and time that you would otherwise have to spend on welding.
The most significant difference between welding and soldering is that two or more metals are melted and fused together using high heat in welding. In other words, a mechanical connection is formed between the metals in welding, whereas soldering requires less heat, and an electrical connection is formed between the metals. As the name suggests, this method involves an alloy known as solder, which melts when placed on a hot surface.
Solder is an alloy composed of approximately 99 percent tin and one percent of many other metals such as Zinc, Copper, silver, etc. This process is safer than welding on many different levels other than the fact that a lot less temperature is required for bonding the two ends of the steel pipes. However, the bond formed through soldering is much weaker than that created by welding, which is why you can only use soldering for smaller tasks.
Brazing is considered to be the most suitable alternative to welding as it uses a high temperature to melt a filler metal that joins the two steel pipes together. This filler metal may be cobalt, nickel, or silver. These metals have a higher melting point than tin, so naturally, they use higher temperatures than soldering but not so much as required in welding. However, a mechanical bond is formed between the metals just like that formed in welding but a lot less robust. Also, have a look at the difference between brazing and welding.