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A UK company offering a low temperature soldering alloy for joining aluminium seeks partners looking to implement their solution for a commercial agreement with technical assistance or to join an R&D consortium for a research cooperation agreement.

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Reference Number: TOUK20170213001
Publication Date: 13 February 2017

Summary

A UK based company has developed a low-temperature soldering alloy for joining of aluminium as an alternative for brazing, riveting or gluing. The solder produces mechanically strong and electrically conductive bonds with no need of flux. The company seeks partners who wish to use the solder in their product for a commercial agreement with technical assistance or a research  cooperation agreement to join a consortium for R&D projects in European calls for grants e.g. H2020

Description

Joining technologies used for the fabrication of aluminium components in automotive, aerospace and electronic applications includes: 
 Bolting and riveting.
 Assembling using adhesives in conjunction with punctiform joints (e.g. self-piercing rivets) as in aluminium car bodies.
 Automated clinching methods, often combined with adhesive bonding as in case of non-critical (non-structural) joints.
 Resistance spot welding.
 Arc welding.
 Laser beam and combined laser/arc welding methods.
 Friction stir welding.
 Brazing.
Bolting and riveting is the oldest and the most popular method of joining aluminium parts however making holes is a necessity for mechanical joints. These holes are the areas of high stress concentrations and determine load capability of the whole structure. In bonded joints (adhesive, welding and brazing) the load is distributed in a more uniform way, especially if one of the components is made of composite material. Adhesives usually require time for hardening, are temperature sensitive, becoming brittle at low temperatures and lose strength at high temperatures. Moreover, adhesives are usually thermal and electrical insulators limiting joints to non-thermal/electrical applications. One of the disadvantages during welding and brazing of aluminium is its oxide film – Al2O3 (alumina), which appears rapidly on the surface of aluminium exposed to air. Its melting temperature exceeds 2000°C so it has to be removed chemically or mechanically before welding. Soldering is a low temperature process and therefore is expected to introduce less distortion of the aluminium component than brazing, welding, or other fusion joining processes. Typical soldering alloys are not wetting aluminium therefore highly active, acid based fluxes are needed. The residues of some soldering fluxes may be still active after soldering and therefore must be removed.
Solder developed by this UK company offers a patented tin based, lead –free, low temperature, fluxless joining of aluminium as an alternative for welding, brazing, riveting or gluing
.
The solder can be purchased on line in 1m lengths and larger quantities can be purchased by contacting the company. Full data sheets for the solder are available.
The company is happy to work with businesses looking to find better ways to bond aluminium and can assist in the process of research and development of a solution.

The company seeks partners interested in incorporating this new bonding technique into their aluminium assemblies for a commercial agreement with technical assistance.

The company is also interested in being involved in R&D projects as part of a consortium for a research cooperation agreement.
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Advantages and Innovations

Unlike traditional methods of joining aluminium, the patented solder developed by this company offers the following benefits: 
a) No expensive equipment is needed to bond the aluminium – soldering can be conducted in air using a standard soldering iron
b) No flux is required
c) The joining takes place at temperatures below 450 degrees
d) The solder offers excellent wetting properties ensuring it bonds to the aluminium
e) The solder offers fast formation of mechanically strong bonds which are electrically conductive simultaneously.
f) The ability to solder aluminium offers manufacturers a light weight alternative to traditional joining techniques which can often add weight to assemblies
g) The company has a highly qualified technical team with many years of research experience in materials science.

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Requested partner

The company seeks partners for a commercial agreement with technical assistance in industry looking to find alternative solutions to joining aluminium and who need to bring in expertise to achieve this.


The company is heavily R&D focused with a strong pedigree of research from the University of Cambridge and hence would also like to work on R&D calls for grants such as Horizon 2020 as part of a consortium for a research cooperation agreement.

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