The metal joining process that is generally referred to as soldering (or soft soldering) requires temperatures between 183 to 445°C. The joining of metals at temperatures above 445°C (and below the melting point of the metals being joined) is more commonly referred to as brazing (or hard soldering). The actual melting and fusing of the metal items that are being joined together is considered welding. There are, of course overlapping situations that may occur when classifying a process.
The actual joining characteristics that take place are physically different in each of these processes. Soft solders attach to metals by what is referred to as a solvent action that takes place at relatively low temperatures. Hard solders, or brazing alloys contain metals that require higher temperatures to cause the solvent action to take place and fuse the alloy with the metal being joined. Because welding involves actually melting and fusing the surface of the metals that are being joined together, a filler, or fusible material is not always used.
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