Knowledge Base

Topics related to brazing to aid with learning and understanding the technical aspects of brazing, how brazing works, why it works, along with useful hints and tips.

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Pickling Solutions Chart

The pickling solutions recommended below may be used to remove oxides from areas that were not protected by flux during the brazing process. In general, they should be used after the flux residue has been removed from the brazed assembly.

Oxide removal from copper, brass, bronze, nickel silver and other copper alloys containing high percentages of copper.
10 to 25% hot sulphuric acid with 5 to 10% potassium dichromate added. Pickling can be done at same time flux is removed. Will work on carbon steels, but if pickle is contaminated with copper, the copper will plate out on the steel and will have to be removed mechanically. This sulphuric pickle will remove copper or cuprous oxide stains from copper alloys. It is an oxidizing pickle, and will discolor the silver filler metal, leaving it a dull gray.
Oxide removal from irons and steels.
A 50% hydrochloric acid solution, used cold or warm, More diluted acid can be used (10 to 25%) at higher temperatures (140-160°F/60-70°C.) A mixture of 1 part hydrochloric acid to 2 parts water can be used for Monel and other high nickel alloys. Pickling solution should be heated to about 180°F/80°C. Mechanical finishing is necessary for bright finishes. This HCI pickle is not like bright dips on nonferrous metals.
Oxide removal stainless steels and alloys containing chromium.
20% sulphuric acid, 20% hydrochloric acid, 60% water, used at a temperature of 170°-180°F(75-80°C.) This pickle is followed directly by a 10% nitric dip, and then a clean water rinse.

20% hydrochloric acid, 10% nitric acid, 70% water, used at about 150°F(65°C.) This pickle is more aggressive than the sulphuric-hydrochloric mixture listed above, and will etch both the steel and the filler metal.

Note: The pickles recommended above will work with any of the standard silver filler metals, and no specific instructions are required for the individual filler metals. The phos-copper and silver-bearing phos-copper filler metals are different, and then only when used on copper without flux. In this case, a hard copper phosphate slag forms in small globules on the metal surface. Prolonged pickling in sulphuric acid will remove this slag, but a short pickle in 50% hydrochloric acid for a few minutes is more effective. When the brazed joint is to be plated or tinned, the removal of the slag is absolutely essential. A final mechanical cleaning, therefore, is advisable for work which is to be plated.

* Consult your supplier or local environmental restrictions regarding the proper product disposal information for your area.