This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
The fluxes generally used in the soft-soldering of metals are powdered rosin or a solution of chloride of zinc, alone or combined with sal ammoniac. A neutral soldering liquid can be prepared by mixing 27 parts neutral zinc chloride, 11 parts sal ammoniac, and 62 parts water; or, 1 part sugar of milk, 1 part glycerine, and 8 parts water.
A soldering fat for tin-plate, preferable to ordinary rosin, as it can be more easily removed after soldering, is prepared as follows: One hundred and fifty parts beef tallow, 250 parts rosin, and 150 parts olive oil are melted together in a crucible and well stirred, 50 parts powdered sal ammoniac dissolved in as little water as possible being added.
Soldering fat for iron is composed of 50 parts olive oil and 50 parts powdered sal ammoniac. Soldering fat for aluminum is made by melting together equal parts of rosin and tallow, half the quantity of zinc chloride being added to the mixture.
Soldering paste consists of neutral soldering liquid thickened with starch paste. This paste must be applied more lightly than the soldering liquid.
Soldering salt is prepared by mixing equal parts of neutral zinc chloride, free from iron, and powdered sal ammoniac. When required for use, 1 part of the salt should be dissolved in 3 or 4 parts water.
Borax is the flux most frequently used for hard-soldering; it should be applied to the soldering seam either dry or stirred to a paste with water. It is advisable to use calcined borax, i. e., borax from which the water of crystallization has been driven out by heat, as it does not become so inflated as ordinary borax. Borax dissolves the metallic oxides forming on the joint.
Finely powdered cryolite, or a mixture of 2 parts powdered cryolite and 1 part phosphoric acid, is also used for hard-soldering copper and copper alloys.
Muller's hard-soldering liquid consists of equal parts of phosphoric acid and alcohol (80 per cent)-
A mixture of equal parts of cryolite and barium chloride is used as a flux in hard-soldering aluminum bronze.
A very good dry-soldering preparation consists of two vials, one of which is filled with zinc chloride, and the other with ammonium chloride. To use, dissolve a little of each salt in water, apply the ammonium chloride to the object to be soldered and heat the latter until it begins to give off vapor of ammonium, then apply the other, and immediately thereafter the solder, maintaining the heat in the meantime. This answers for very soft solder. For a harder solder dissolve the zinc in a very small portion of the ammonium chloride solution (from 0.25 to 0.5 pint).
When steel is to be soldered on steel, or iron on steel, it is necessary to remove every trace of oxide of iron between the surfaces in contact. Melt in an earthen vessel: Borax, 3 parts; colophony, 2 parts; pulverized glass, 3 parts; steel filings, 2 parts; carbonate of potash, 1 part; hard soap, powdered, 1 part. Flow the melted mass on a cold plate of sheet iron, and after cooling break up the pieces and pulverize them. This powder is thrown on the surfaces a few minutes before the pieces to be soldered are brought together. The borax and glass contained in the composition dissolve, and consequently liquefy all of the impurities, which, if they were shut up between the pieces soldered, might form scales, at times dangerous, or interfering with the resistance of the piece.
To prepare rosin for soldering bright tin, mix 1.5 pounds of olive oil, 1.5 pounds of tallow, and 12 ounces of pulverized rosin, and let them boil up. When this mixture has become cool, add 1⅜ pints of water saturated with pulverized sal ammoniac, stirring constantly