Brazing & Soldering Timeline
Years - Pre-1900s
Three metals consistently found around sites of early man are:
- Gold (Au) - Latin - Aurum- for 'Shining Dawn'
- Copper (Cu) - Latin - Cuprum translated as 'from the island of Cyprus'.
- Silver (Ag) - Latin - Argentum meaning silver.
- Axe heads cast in copper, silver and lead and objects of gold are made in Sumer. This is the cradle of civilization and when metallurgy began. Current technology was the charcoal furnace and the blowpipe.
- The phenomenon of brazing may have been discovered accidently in the primitive furnace.
- Lead (Pb - Plumbum) is discovered in the form of Galena and was used as eye paint in Ancient Egypt.
- The Sumerians, during the Bronze age in Ur (Iraq), made swords which were joined by hard soldering.
- Brazing makes it appearance in the world when the technology becomes widespread.
- The Egyptians heated iron ore in a charcoal fire to reduce it to sponge iron; the particles were then welded together by hammering. This "pressure" welding or "solid-phase" welding was the first recorded.
- Step Brazing processing techniques developed.
- Gold Goblet with a double walled vessel made for Queen Pu-abi was found in her tomb. Brazed with an alloy of 25%Silver-Gold. A twisted wire handle is attached by tubular lugs brazed to the bowl.
- Bronze Axe-Head found in UR used pre-placed pure silver and a coating of chemical flux.
- Wall painting from the Fifth Dynasty tombs of Ti at Saqqara Egypt depicts artisans using mouth blown blowpipes.
- British museum has small buttons or sequins from Thebes Egypt that was fabricated from gold
sheet with a fillet brazed joint. Alloy is Cu-Ag with Au enriched. Brazing technique is using
charcoal fire and mouth blowpipe
- Cobalt has been in use since at least 2250 B.C., when Persians used it to color glass.
- Double spouted drinking vessel is one of many objects that Heinrich Schliemann discovers when the ancient city of Troy is unearthed. Body is pure gold, handle was made separately and brazed from sheetmetal. The handles are brazed to the body using fillet brazed joints.
- Sumerian brazed bronzes were found to have a Fusible Chemical Flux.
- Diffusion Bonding (Archeology description is Colloidal Hard Soldering) is evident in the brazing of small Sphinxes from Egypt.
1600 BC-1500 BC
- Mercury (Hg - Hydragyrum) is discovered and found in tombs. Later, Pliny outlines the purification process of squeezing through leather. It was known at that time that mercury was poisonous.
- At the tomb of Vizier Rekh-mi-re at Thebes, a wall painting depicts a brazing operation.
- British Museum has a small button or sequin made in Thebes, Egypt and fabricated from gold sheet with a brazed fillet joint. The alloy was Cu-Ag and Au enriched. Charcoal furnaces and blowpipe were the current tools in use at that time.
- The Step Brazing techniques is still used when it was used on a ceremonial dagger for Tutankhaman.
- H. Maryon quotes from Pliny who writes about Gold Brazing and the salts that were concocted for the flux. Descriptions are given describing the color (oxides) of the metal and whether it would braze easy or with difficulty.
- A German Monk, Theophilus, also describes in his manuscript, "De Diversis Artibus", a method for mixing together a flux for brazing silver using Potassium Tarpate and Sodium Chloride and flowing an alloy of approximately 66 percent Silver-Copper
- Zinc is discovered
- Antimony is discovered. Sb - Greek (Ant + monos).
- The great Italian goldsmith, Benventuto Cellini, understood the concept of brazing, writing "you must introduce a fresh alloy of silver and copper so as to prevent the solder form of the time before from running".
- Bismuth is produced by reduction of the oxide with carbon.
- Platinum was first used by the pre-Columbian Indians of Ecuador, who made articles from the pure metal as well as from a crude platinum-gold alloy
- The first relatively pure sample of nickel was produced by Swedish chemist Baron Axel F. Cronstedt from an ore German miners called Kupfernickel ("Old Nick's copper").
- Although it was known to the alchemists of the Middle Ages, English physicist and chemist Henry Cavendish describes the physical and chemical properties of hydrogen gas
- The element Oxygen is discovered.
- Frenchman Lavoisier established the basic principle of oxygen cutting of burning an iron spiral in a flask filled with oxygen. The resulting oxide produced melted easier than the metal and that it became detached from the metal
- Molybdenum metal was separated out in 1782 by P.J. Hjelm after groundwork was laid by the Swedish chemist Karl Scheele
- Zirconium is discovered
- Scientists are using the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe as a laboratory tool to examine refractory metals at the extreme temperatures of 4468°F to 'see' what happens.
- Charles Macintosh opens a rubber factory in Glasgow Scotland.
- English chemist Edmund Davy (1785-1857), a cousin of Sir Humphrey Davy described the properties of acetylene, but was unable to give correct formula.
- Charles Goodyear discovers vulcanization of rubber giving the development of rubber hoses for carrying gas to oxy-fuel torches.
- Eugene Desbassayrs de Richemont patented a fusion welding process.
- Frenchman E. Desbassayns de Richemont invents the first air-hydrogen blowpipe.
- German H. Rossier used the air-hydrogen blowpipe for soldering lead.
- Frenchman Sainte Claire Deville invents the oxygen-hydrogen blowpipe. Used mainly as laboratory equipment for melting platinum and producing enamel
- French chemist Berthelot (1827-1907) accurately gave the correct formula to acetylene of C2H2. Also found it to be unstable (1863) under certain pressure and temperature.
- A German, Friedrich Wohler (Woehler), produces acetylene gas from calcium carbide.
- Otto Bernz of Newark New Jersey founded the Otto Bernz Company selling plumber's tools and the gasoline torch '"Alway's Reliable".
- The "blow pipe"or "torch", using the gases acetylene and liquefied air or oxygen, was developed.
- Thomas Fletcher develops blowpipe that could be used with either hydrogen or coal gas and oxygen.
- An English shop began making tanks, casks, and iron garden furniture with the electric arc process.
- A Bank Robber in Great Britain used the newly developed blowtorch to gain access to bank vaults.
- Canadian electrical engineer, Thomas 'Carbide' Leopold Willson attempts to make calcium from heating slacked lime that was mixed with coal tar and ground carbon in an electric furnace for James Turner Morehead at the Spray North Carolina water power source. The result was a solid of metallic calcium. Later, James Morehead's son, John Motley Morehead, a 1891 graduate of North Carolina State University and a chemist for the Willson Aluminum Company determines that the solid was calcium carbide and the Head of the Chemistry department at NCSU identifies the gas as acetylene gas, 56 years after Sir Edmund Davy first discovered the elusive gas but could not explain the gas chemically.
- The combustion of Oxygen and Acetylene was discovered by Henri LeChatelier in his home country of France. Describes combustion of acetylene with equal volume of oxygen proceeds in two stages:
4CO + 2O2 = 4CO2
2H2 + O2 = 2H2O
- Machine for liquid air generation placed in operation