Hey Blade if ya got a minute, can you sweat Copper on to Aluminum??????
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Thread: Hey Blade if ya got a minute, can you sweat Copper on to Aluminum??????

  1. #1
    ol' man is offline workin fingas to the bone
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    Hey Blade if ya got a minute, can you sweat Copper on to Aluminum??????

    I got silver bearing solder and it can fuse with a lighter but it will absolutely not stick to aluminum. I know there are some ways to accomplish this since alpha does it and many radiator manufacturers.

    Do you know how?

    I got parts to build a H2O cooling block which are

    1.) 2.5" x 2.5" x 0.25" Copper plate

    2.) same X same x 3/4" Aluminum spacer where the channels will be cut

    3.) same X same X 0.25" aluminum top to cover the block channels.

    The top will be bolted to the copper plate through the aluminum soacer with channels but I know that if I put sealant like I have done with other blocks between the copper plate and the aluminum spacer I won't get as good of cooling as alot of heat will not be allowed to transfer to the aluminum as well. I was wondering at least if these could be attatched. I can't find any copper here thicker than this so this will have to do on my budget other wise I would have went with a milled 1" plate and a aluminum top bolted in.

  2. #2
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    Machine it as flat as you can. Drill holes around the outside. Tap into the alluminum. Add a very thin coating of sealant. Add screws to hold everything together. Should work pretty good. You could try brazing it together, but I hate brazing. I think you can TIG or MIG weld alluminum, but I don't know how it will handle two metals. You could also epoxy them together. There are some mighty epoxies out there.

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  3. #3
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    My name is not blade but thought I would answer anyway.

    No way, you can't even solder aluminum to aluminum. When you see what looks like a solder joint it is probably a Mig or Tig weld. In the aircraft industry you arn't even allowed to weld 2024T3 alloy because it has a trace of copper (it's primary alloy) thus will later fail from inner granular corrosion.

    Someone may have a home brew concoction (like your heat sink goop) that works, but it certainly is not an industry standard.

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  4. #4
    ol' man is offline workin fingas to the bone
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    Well If I can't sweat them together then I am going to use a sealant that works quite well. It is a water proof contact adhesive + sealant. It is harder than rubber cement but dries about as fast. Good SHI# I really wanted the bond between the two to be metal as it will transfer heat bnetter but o well the water will be against the copper too. NExt semester project

  5. #5
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    ole man have you tried a recycling place? thats where i buy all my copper....infact they have just about any sizes you really need...and all for a per lbs price to boot...i got a 4in x 3/4 in x 2ft flat bar stock for about 11 bucks...and a big sheet of 1/8 sheeting bout 3x3ft for another 12 bucks..worth a try.. gl

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    ol' man, how 'bout some Artic Silver epoxy? From my recent use of that stuff, it is pretty darn strong epoxy to be a thermal interface material. Would probably be about as good as a soldered joing as far as heat transfer. Besides, the coolant (water?) will be in contact with both the bottom copper plate and the aluminum through the walls of the channels, right?

    In case your really nuts, you can try explosion welding, where the two surfaces are machined flat, cleaned, the pieces heated somewhat (not always needed) and forced together really damn fast. I've seen a lot of bimetallic welding strips (one side aluminum, one side steel) used for joining steel and aluminum structures together without bolting. Would probably work for aluminum and copper.

    Got some C4 laying around? Might scratch up those waterblocks a bit though...

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  7. #7
    ol' man is offline workin fingas to the bone
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    Yeah I just figured it would be similar to the ALPHA and SWIFTECH HS's if it had aluminum up top for heat dissapation joined with meatl at the base. Even ASII epoxy won't cut it plus it is a hard joint and hard joint's sometimes will leak. That is why I will use a the rubber type contact cement adhesive sealant casue you can always tighten it down a bit. It is tough shi# and will work well!

  8. #8
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    Just woken up in the UK

    not much I can add here but you can solder Alu, just not with normal home equipment and its not as strong as Copper solder bond.

    Why not just use all copper? You then won't be using mixed metals copper and Alu are the worst to mix for galvanic corrsion.

    If it were all copper it would be very easy to solder with blowlamp solder and flux.

    Don't trust any epoxy on it's own without some screws as well. You read most if not all say they are resistant to water & chemicals but not designed for continious immersion. maybe fine but also may weaken the bond until one day it just falls off.



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  9. #9
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    Mixed metal bonding is always a bad idea..Especially when there's water about.



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  10. #10
    ol' man is offline workin fingas to the bone
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    Originally posted by BladeRunner:
    Just woken up in the UK

    not much I can add here but you can solder Alu, just not with normal home equipment and its not as strong as Copper solder bond.

    Why not just use all copper? You then won't be using mixed metals copper and Alu are the worst to mix for galvanic corrsion.

    If it were all copper it would be very easy to solder with blowlamp solder and flux.

    Don't trust any epoxy on it's own without some screws as well. You read most if not all say they are resistant to water & chemicals but not designed for continious immersion. maybe fine but also may weaken the bond until one day it just falls off.

    Heay blade I guarentee I am going to bolt the whole thing together no matter what. I wouldn;t use epoxy cause of the hard joint. The two metals will expand and contract a little but one a little more than the other so a rubber typeseal will be best.


  11. #11
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    You still shouldn't be mixing the metals. I know I did in the first ram cooler and I still have Au in my system now but I also have at least 33% Glycol antifreeze. I'm slowly getting it to all copper.

    Swiftech have learned this and now anodise the Alu parts of thier block.

    If you can't get any copper the size & thickness you want mail me maybe I can send you a small piece, 13mm (") is the thickest I have though, (need to be small as weight will be the cost factor of mailing any of course).



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  12. #12
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    Hmm...Ol' Man...you said you were going to use a rubber type sealant to hold the milled channel part to the copper since it couldn't weld? How about dabbing the one side of the channel block that matches the copper with some thermal paste(AS2 maybe?) and then sealing it. This will work as good as a solder joint, will eliminate the need for expensive AS2 epoxy, eliminate the use of any type of epoxy, and should work with your system. This is an ok thing to do because I have some Arctice Silver(I hate AS2) between my peltier and cold plate with epoxy around the edges to seal it airtight. It works fine. Good luck!

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  13. #13
    ol' man is offline workin fingas to the bone
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    Originally posted by BladeRunner:
    You still shouldn't be mixing the metals. I know I did in the first ram cooler and I still have Au in my system now but I also have at least 33% Glycol antifreeze. I'm slowly getting it to all copper.

    Swiftech have learned this and now anodise the Alu parts of thier block.

    If you can't get any copper the size & thickness you want mail me maybe I can send you a small piece, 13mm (") is the thickest I have though, (need to be small as weight will be the cost factor of mailing any of course).


    Yeah blade I know what you are saying but I will use some corrosion inhibitors so the copper salts if any are made will not corrode the aluminum. That is what would happen if Cu salts were made from some sort of acid reaction or other. I am not worried about it. After I cut out the channels I will let it sit out for a day. That should make a pretty good anodization alone forming a small layer of ruby if you will Al2O3.


    Should work slick.

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