To help car owners

A radiator is a device in the cooling system of an automobile engine, in the heating system of a building, in electronic devices for cooling chips and some other radio components (Fig. 1). Any of these devices, sooner or later, can fail for various reasons. Heating and cooling radiators often get cracks and holes that cause the fluid in them to flow. With such a fault, the question arises how to properly solder the radiator. You can contact the help of experts, and you can try to do it yourself.

Car radiator device

Figure 1. The device of the automotive radiator.

Copper radiator soldering

To solder such a device, you need to perform several steps:

  1. First you need to find the place of damage. For this, the radiator is filled with water with the plugs closed, leaving only the stopper open. You can apply air through a filler neck under some pressure. Water will begin to flow, showing the location of the damage.
  2. Water should be drained, carefully cleaned and cleaned the place of the leak with flux. Dry the treated area and remove dust and flux residues.
  3. Apply solder to the crack, heat the radiator body with a building dryer or a gas burner, try to melt the solder with a heated soldering iron. If the solder does not stick to the crack, you need to clean the place of soldering again and repeat the process of soldering.
  4. If the radiator is sealed and does not allow air and water, you can put it in place. When installing, you should strictly observe the tightness of all connections.
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Aluminum Soldering Materials

Cold welding circuit

Cold welding scheme.

Aluminum soldering is a rather complicated affair. Usually this procedure is performed in the workshops. If you try, you can do this work at home. To repair an aluminum radiator you need to prepare:

  • cracked radiator;
  • soldering iron with power from 100 W, and better from 250 W;
  • rosin;
  • common solder;
  • refractory crucible or muffle furnace;
  • iron filings;
  • bismuth;
  • potassium chloride;
  • cryolite;
  • lithium chloride;
  • sodium sulfate;
  • salt;
  • emery cloth;
  • gas burner for heating large surfaces;
  • potassium permanganate (manganese).

Components that are not in the arsenal of the home master, you can find and buy in stores with chemical reagents.

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Aluminum radiator solder

Brass radiator repair process

The process of repairing a brass radiator.

Often, aluminum radiators are installed in the cooling system of cars and the heating system of apartments. Over time, cracks may also appear in them, which are much more difficult to solder than on copper devices. The fact is that a very strong oxide film forms on the surface of aluminum and its alloys, which prevents the solder from fixing in the place of damage. In this case, proceed as follows:

  1. It is necessary to find the place of a leak in the manner described above. It should be cleaned with emery cloth. At this stage you should not try to remove the oxide film, it will not be possible to do. The place of repair must be degreased and dried.
  2. In a suitable container (it is better to use a special heat-resistant crucible), 2 parts of ordinary rosin should be melted and mixed with 1 part of iron filings. They can be obtained with the help of a file with a small notch, which need to grind any iron thing. Stir and cool the mixture of liquid rosin with sawdust. It turns out necessary for the soldering of aluminum flux. The crucible can be reheated on a gas stove or with a gas burner.
  3. Apply the resulting flux to the site prepared for repair and carefully rub it with a hot soldering iron on the aluminum surface at the location of the crack.
  4. At that moment, when the rosin with iron filings spreads over the surface of the crack, standard solder is added with the same sawdust. Iron filings must destroy the oxide protective film, and soldering further proceeds in the usual way.
  5. For soldering cracks of a large size, it is not standard tin-lead solder that is used, but tin-bismuth alloy. To obtain it you will need a ceramic crucible or a muffle furnace. The ratio of bismuth and tin should be 5:95. Solder of this composition can be bought in the form of wire in the store. His brand is POSV-33 and POSV-50.
  6. For a stronger weld, it is recommended that flux be used instead of the flux, which can be obtained independently. To do this, you need to prepare potassium chloride (56%), lithium chloride (23%), cryolite (10%), salt (7%) and sodium sulfate (4%). All ingredients are thoroughly chopped and mixed with each other. Keep this mixture should be in a glass container with a sealed lid away from the rays of the sun.
  7. The finished product is applied to the damaged surface of the radiator and heated by a hot soldering iron. Next is the usual soldering using tin-bismuth solder.

After completing the work, the radiator must be checked. To check it pour water tinted with potassium permanganate. If no water leaks within 2 hours, the work is fully completed. Gloves are recommended when brazing, as some components are poisonous. We also need good ventilation.

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Alternative repair methods

Scheme of argon aluminum welding

Scheme of argon welding of aluminum.

Once the leaking car radiator was repaired with mustard powder, which was poured inside. Mustard successfully replaces the raw chicken egg. Today, in auto parts stores you can buy a special sealant in the form of powder or liquid. This chemical means clogs small cracks from inside the radiator. Mustard can successfully replace a raw chicken egg.

So-called cold welding also helps. A piece of this substance, consisting of 2 components, knead in the hand to a soft state and cover up the crack. After drying and hardening of the substance, you can forget about the leak.

You can use the services of a welder who works with argon arc welding. It will cost a certain amount of money, but will not have to buy a new radiator.

Repair some damage to the radiator in the home - quite a doable task.

A special approach requires only the soldering of aluminum products. In the presence of certain chemicals and soldering skills, this task can also be successfully solved even in the conditions of a city apartment.

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