Soldering is a very useful skill to have in roofing whenever you need to fuse together sheet metal, pipes, or anything else. Before you can get very far in soldering, you need to know about the material itself: solder bars. You need to know which type of solder bar you want to use and when you want to use it.
What is a Solder Bar?
A solder bar is made of a metal alloy designed to have a low melting point, meaning it melts down fairly easily. These bars of metal are used to fuse other metal together during work projects. They are quite versatile and can be used in a wide range of industries including the automotive, electronics, plumbing, and of course roofing industries to name a few. The bars of solder are heated and used almost like a strong glue to bond two separate pieces of metal together. Once the solder cools down, it hardens again and acts as a strong hold between the other pieces. Solder bars are typically made of some combination of tin, lead, or flux. The exact type of solder that you might want to use for your project will depend on what you want out of it, but we will get into that below.
When Do You Need Solder Bars?
Solder bars can prove highly useful in roofing when you want to create a very strong bond that will prevent any sort of leakage. This proves to be exceptionally useful when roofing because you would want the roof you are working on to be solid and not let through rainwater or precipitation of any kind. When you are working on or around flashings, protrusions, or seams, you will likely want to reach for that solder bar to seal them up. Soldering is not only strong and water-resistant, but it is a very efficient technique. It does not take long to heat the solder bar to the point that it is soft and compliant, and the metal hardens quickly on its own. We have to celebrate anything that helps you do your work faster and more easily.
What Types of Solder Bars Are There?
When deciding which type of solder bar you want to use, it essentially boils down to two options. You can choose a solder that is made with lead or without. Out of the options that contain lead, you will find different blends including the 50/50 blend of tin and lead which is the most common solder you will find in roofing. It is easy to work with, affordable, and a good general purpose type of material. A 60/40 blend with more tin than lead will form a stronger bond but become somewhat more finicky to work with. It is up to you to find the balance you prefer.
A lead-free solder bar, also known as pure tin solder is becoming more popular in roofing as the industry is slowly moving away from lead-based options for health and safety reasons. Tin solder is more expensive and more difficult for professional roofers to work with, even those with years of experience soldering. While it is more tricky to work with, the resulting hold is very strong and keeps clients feeling more secure with the work that is being done without involving lead. Those used to working with lead-based solder bars should definitely become familiar with this option as well.
Once you are certain about which type of solder you want to use going forward, you can visit stortz.com and find the bars you need for your upcoming projects. Choose pure tin, 50/50 solder, or a little bit of both so that you can become familiar with each kind. Whichever variation you choose, solder on.