How to Join Two Pieces of Metal Without Welding [5 Easy Methods]

Welding is a sensitive craft. Welders not only just work on household items. They undertake many sensitive projects to build a structure. Such projects require expert and highly skilled welders but not for all of the tasks.

Some of the tasks performed by welders can be achieved by the general public as well. For every little work relating to manufacturing, you do not need to call a welder. Rather than waiting for a welder, you can decide to complete the task yourself.

One such task is joining two pieces of metal. You do not need to weld to join them. You can have it done in various ways. In this article, we are going to instruct you on how to join to join two pieces of metal without welding. Such steps will bring the cost down, at the same time, maintain efficiency.

Using glue

Glue is an excellent alternative to welding. Gluing cuts the cost down massively. It is a simple process too. Anybody can do it. In order to join two metal pieces with glue, you first need to apply the adhesive material to the surface of the metal.

Apply the glue only on the surface where you wish the metal pieces to join. After that, apply force on the two sheets onto one another. By doing so, they will develop a bond. Different metaled cores fuse to create such a strong bond.  

We recommend using epoxy, silicone-based polyurethanes adhesives. Even super glue will do the trick as well. The best epoxy for metal is those that have a two-part system consisting of resin and hardener.

Pros:

  • Using glue is more cost-effective than other heat-based options.
  • There is a minimal risk in the gluing process.

Cons:

  • The bonding will not be as strong as other alternatives.
  • The structure will not be long lasting.

Soldering

This process is similar to welding. Rather than using a mechanical connection, soldering utilizes an electron’s bond to join the metal parts. Electric bond is nearly as not as strong as the mechanical joint. Solder is a component much like coiled wire.

Solder is usually made out of tin. Traces of metal such as copper, zinc, silver, and bismuth are also used. We can define solder as a soft metal alloy. Because the solder melts at a lower temperature, the action is performed at a lower heat than welding.

Soldering does not melt the metal pieces; what happens is that the filler metal is melted. The melted metal is used as a bond to hold the joining sheets together. Soldering is the preferred method for electricians. This process is used primarily for electronics and circuit boards.

For electronic devices, this is a particular method. They cope well with transistors, capacitors, and other components and LEDs. Soldering is used to assemble electronic devices like TV, laptop, calculator, etc.

Pros

  • Soldering is much safer compared to welding.
  • Utilizes electrical connection, which particularly useful for electric circuit boards.
  • The action is performed at low heat.
  • Any electrician or someone with the basic knowledge of electricity can conduct the operation,

Cons

  • Weaker compared to mechanical bond
  • This process cannot be applied to every situation due to electroceutical issues.

Using Nanomaterials

This is a relatively new method. It is still under development. This process is done by roughening up the surface of the metal via electrochemical and 3d printing.

After this electrochemical analysis and printing, a hook-like formation is created on a microscopic scale. The adhesive is applied to the surfaces of the metals that have been worked on. This dramatically increases the joining metals bond.

This technique has proven to be quite effective at joining large and big objects. In fact, ships and cars are being built using this method. There is no need for the high temperature here. Therefore, no cost of fuel and energy consumption. No extra safety measures are needed to conduct nano sculpting. It can be done in any ordinary room.

As this method is still in the early stages, its full potential is yet to be seen, but it has already proven quite useful. The operations can be further expanded to manufacturing silicon chips, medical technology, and other fields.

Pros

  • Nano sculpting is done at room temperature and pressure.
  • Less risk compared to welding
  • One of the stronger bonds created compared to other alternatives
  • Can be used in various other projects

Cons

  • This method is still in its heydays, and there much is still unknown.
  • Gathering the electrochemical can be a bit of a hassle.
  • 3d printers are expensive
  • The process is costly compared to glue and soldering

Riveting

Riveting is a widespread yet reliable process to join two metal sheets. A permanent bond is created using rivets. Mechanical fasteners are used to create this permanent bond. It is a straightforward process too.

The shapes of the rivets are like screws or nails. It has a shaft like a cylinder on one end and a head on the other end. The rivet is placed in a hole which is drilled before. After this, the tail end of the rivet is hammered so that it may expand and flatten. It has to be pounded hard until it is wider than the shaft.

The rivet stays in place due to the thicker end and the two metal sheets are joined firmly without the application of heat and or glue. This method is preferable for tensile loads. In tensile loads, the structure has to withstand two opposing forces from opposite directions. Bolts and screws are even better when dealing with extreme loads. More on that a bit later.

Rivet is good at handling shear loads too. The shear loads are perpendicular to the horizontal axis. Rivet sees action more at construction sites. In fact, mechanical engineers and civil engineers supervise riveted structures. Car chassis are also built via rivets.

Lightweight materials are joined this way. It is generally favored over welding when two metal sheets are required to join. It is because the high heat of welding can sometimes damage the metal sheets. It can also deform and change the quality of the material as well.

Pros

  • Works excellent when support for a shear load is required.
  • It performs better compared to welding when dealing with vibration and impact forces.
  • No heat or energy is consumed here.
  • Useful when working with lightweight material.
  • No risk is associated with this process.
  • The cost is reasonably manageable.

Cons

  • Joints are prone to leaks and leave gaps.
  • If the correct rivets are not used, the structure may fail.
  • Screws and nuts are better components to handle the tensile process.
  • Drilling the correct hole can be a sensitive task and need expert mechanics for this.

Brazing

Brazing uses the same principles used in welding and soldering. First, it melts the metal sheets in order to join them. The process is unique to the other two. Here, the filler material works more like an adhesive. The filler material can be made up of different kinds of metals.

It varies upon the project what kind of filler material will be used. Some common filler materials are copper, phosphorus, silver, aluminum, silicon, magnesium, cobalt, nickel, and precious alloys.

One thing you will notice, all these materials have a higher melting point compared to tin. It’s obvious brazing is performed at a higher temperature than soldering. When soldering, the metals involved do not melt due to the low application of heat. The solder is sandwiched in the middle. Solder joins the metal sheets. It is the source of the bond.

But when brazing, the metals involved are affected together. When they come in contact with the heat, filler material bonds them firmly. Filler materials melt and, in liquid-like form, flows into the gaps of the joining metals. So, brazing is the fusion of welding and soldering. It produces a strong mechanical bond. Here the metals that we intend to join are melted with a filler substance.

You can even learn how to bond aluminum with this process.

Pros

  • The mechanical bond produced here is as strong as the welding bond.
  • Performed in lower heat compared to welding
  • This action much more versatile than other methods. Can be applied in various situations

Cons

  • A higher temperature is needed compared to soldering.
  • The bond produced here is as not as strong as welding due to soft filler material.

Using Bolts and nuts

Using bolts and nuts instead of welding is the oldest and the best alternative. Bolts are commonly used in many structures and equipment. All kinds of vehicles powered by manual labor or combustion engine utilize bolts. It is a proven and tested method of joining metal pieces. It is convenient too, as when not needed, and it can be disassembled.

The process is straightforward too. You just need the metal sheets that you will be joining to be drilled and consisting of holes. Once you have the holes ready, just slide in the bolt and put the nut in the designated place and screw it tight on the other end. We advise that you use washers. Because sometimes the metal can be damaged in the process. The bolt and nut are equally good at dealing with tensile forces and shear force.

When using bolts and nuts, versatility can be an issue. Yes, it is used in different sectors but not in different situations. Sometimes the shape of the two metals that you want to join could be awkward. In that case, bolts and nuts just will not be good enough. Besides, its bolts have to be positioned according to the structure’s centroid to handle the load in the best way possible.

Pros

  • The most dependable and standard method to join metal objects and other materials
  • It is extremely cheap
  • No issues regarding heat and energy
  • Very easy to assemble
  • No extra equipment is needed
  • Can be removed later if needed and disassembled

Cons

  • Bolts and nut connection are not leakproof
  • Erosion could be an issue at a later stage

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to assemble a structurally strong bike by attaching two pieces of metal without welding?

The best way to assemble a bike without welding is to join them via brazing. It is the best way after welding. You can also join them via rivets or bolt and nuts.

Are there Alternatives to Welding?

Yes, there are multiple ways you can replace welding. Two standard methods are riveting and using bolts and nuts. In recent times nano sculpting is very popular too. We have soldering for electrical purposes. Brazing and using glue are reliable too.

Is Brazing Similar to Welding?

Brazing is a fusion of soldering and welding. We need to melt the felt material for brazing, which will melt and flow through the joining materials.

Is Riveting a Good Substitute for Welding?

Rivets are a reliable solution when welding is not available. Rivets are placed using a mechanical fastener. They perform well for light-weight materials.

Are Bolt and Nuts Suitable for Joining Metal Sheets?

Bolt and nuts are the best, typical, and oldest components for joining structures. It has a high tensile and shear load-bearing capacity.

Bottom Line

The process of welding is callous and costly. But using the method mentioned above, you can do it in a much easier way. It saves you money too, but your project will ultimately decide what alternative is best to use. Not each of them is equally suitable to use for a single project. Go through the project again and try to relate and find out which caters to your needs.    

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