Due to the relatively high stability of ceramic surfaces, ceramics, graphite, and alloys that easily form an oxide passivation layer by natural oxidation, such as aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, and magnesium alloys, are not wetted by common solders and brazing fillers. Moreover, in most applications, the brazing temperature is so high that it causes hot cracking or functional degradation of the difficult-to-wet materials. Active filler metals containing active elements have been developed, which can successfully join the nonwetting materials at low temperatures (<250°C) in air. The active elements, such as titanium, magnesium, and rare earth elements, in active solders play an important role in wettability and reactivity between filler metals and difficult-to-wet materials. Solders with active element content have been shown to provide excellent wettability. Hence, direct active soldering has been developed to simplify the manufacturing of difficult-to-wet material joints. A practical understanding of the design and characterization of low melting point active solders and active soldering processes is elaborated in this chapter. The effects of active elements, active solder characteristics, mechanism of active soldering, active soldering techniques, and specific applications are introduced. The influence of the thermal and mechanical activation on the interfacial reactions between filler metals and difficult-to-wet materials during the active soldering process is also discussed.
Part of the book: Fillers