Aerospace and defense customers across the country rely on the vacuum brazing operations in our Cleveland Division to ensure their mission-critical components meet strict specs. As a NADCAP Merit heat treater, Paulo maintains the advanced systems and documentation aerospace customers require to perform highly complex vacuum brazing jobs.
Brazing is the joining of closely-fitted steel parts using a filler metal with a lower melting point than the parts being joined. The molten filler metal flows into the gap between the parts by capillary action. Upon cooling, the filler metal solidifies, forming a very strong bond between the joined parts.
The process differs from welding in that workpieces are joined without being melted. It’s similar to soldering, but the temperatures are much higher and the engineered gaps between parts being joined is much tighter.
Adding value with brazing prep
A successful braze depends on proper preparation prior to treatment. That’s why Paulo employs skilled staff to complete brazing preparation. We also take on additional responsibility by completing part assembly when needed.
Our technicians understand the aerospace industry’s demanding specs and are experts at the proper assembly of parts and application of braze alloys in joints.
Advanced process control with vacuum furnace brazing
Vacuum furnace brazing offers flexibility and repeatability in ways conventional brazing or human torch brazing do not. That translates to more efficient processes that result in better part quality.
The ability to reach higher treatment temperatures in our vacuum furnaces (up to 2,450 degrees Fahrenheit) supports treatments that require complex nickel, gold, silver and copper braze filler alloys. Also, vacuum furnaces can more easily control how fast or slow the target treatment temperature is reached, how long a precise temperature is held and how fast or slow the furnace cools.
The flexibility that brazing offers makes it the preferred treatment for aerospace customers. That’s because critical engine components are made of complex superalloys to withstand high heat during service. To perform as designed, the parts must retain their precise design. The risk that parts would deform during other metal joining operations is too high.
Additionally, corrosion of the base and filler metals is prevented during brazing because the lack of oxygen in the furnace prevents oxide formation. Corrosion due to oxide formation results in significant weakening of parts.
Customers benefit from enhanced flexibility in the following ways:
- Their specs will be met, no matter how complex the part or material.
- They can utilize our equipment and expertise to help troubleshoot part failures.
- They can develop next-generation components using our vacuum furnace capacity as part of their research and development program.
Software we’ve integrated with our vacuum furnaces allows us to develop complex treatment cycles that reduce the risk of human error and ensure repeatability on jobs across the industrial spectrum. Enhanced process control allows us to braze at higher temperatures without melting base materials or negatively impacting braze alloys in joints.
Getting the braze right the first time and ensuring consistent brazing is crucial to keeping projects moving smoothly and avoiding delays and added expenses due to rework. We’ve completed vacuum brazing on a wide variety of parts, including meat grinders for food processors, fuel cells for the power generation industry and fuel injection nozzles for a variety of industries.
However, vacuum furnace brazing of mission-critical hot section jet engine components and sensitive measurement equipment is our bread and butter. These complex parts must be brazed to strict specifications. Massive costs and human lives are at stake: If these parts fail, hundred million-dollar fighter jets fall from the sky.
The brazing furnaces in our Cleveland Division can handle loads of up to 44” x 42” x 60” that weigh up to 8,000 pounds.
Quality first for mission-critical vacuum brazing
Paulo is focused on helping customers succeed, and that means quality work is our priority. You can learn more about that commitment, as well as download our certifications, here.