So if using Stay-brite is stronger and cleaner than a brazed joint, why in the world would anyone braze together residential A/C systems? Obviously, some local codes probably specify brazed joints, but it seems counter-productive in doing so. Reason I'm pressing the issue is my 3 ton split system is going in very soon and I need to know.
I have worked on systems where 95/5 was used, at the time system was 35 years old and still tight, but dont recommend it today. We use 15% on copper. No cleaning or fluxing needed if copper is clean. I still use Stay-Brite 8 on my drier connections. No paint burning and rusting down the road.
On 2 jobs I used Stay-Brite 8 on R-410A. Here come the comments, DO NOT USE WITH 410A. Both jobs my personel homes, My equ not customers. So far so good.
If joints are exposed then Stay-Brite 8 Its looks better.
If joints covered 15% it's faster.
95/5 and Staybrite 8 are both soft solders. Of the two soft solders, Staybrite is stronger and better for filling loose fittings.
Brazing is stronger than both. Staybrite is not stronger than your average brazing alloy and melts at a much lower temperature.
There are many reasons people use Staybrite. Staybrite requires less heat and will not damage ball valves, txv's etc.. Staybrite will not oxidize the inside of a tube and cause dirt and acid in a refrigeration system. Staybrite can be soldered with a cheap hand held torch, which is easier to transport and to use. Staybrite temperatures do not anneal hard copper tubing. Staybrite, if your good, is a much more attractive joint if you are building something that you want to look good. Staybrite helps me to avoid the use of a nitrogen purge. That means I don't have to carry nitrogen all of the time.
I would stay away from using Staybrite on discharge lines, especailly on a large system that runs a hot discharge line temperature. I would stay away from Staybrite where there is excessive vibration. I personally would never use Staybrite on any system that is running R410a refrigerant. I use it on cup to fit connections only. Don't use it to solder a shrader access into any line on a refrigeration system.
There is no reason to use anything but 15% brazing on refer lines unless, like pecmsg said, overheating is an issue but that can usually be prevented by rapping with a wet rag.It kills me when i see soft solder on refer lines.
I know a lot of reasons where 15% should not be used on refrigeration lines.
Originally posted by i b cool There is no reason to use anything but 15% brazing on refer lines unless, like pecmsg said, overheating is an issue but that can usually be prevented by rapping with a wet rag.It kills me when i see soft solder on refer lines.
I B COOL has a very popular opinion. I personally would never make such a broad statement, because I don't know everything about every refrigeration system and every application. Making broad statements is a good way to minimize your credibility.
I know a lot of reasons where 15% should not be used on refrigeration lines. I personally use at least 35% when I braze a copper fitting into a steel cup on a receiver, compressor service valve, or an accumulator. I always use at least 45% when soldering copper to a zink plated, or stainless steel plate heat exchanger.
I use Alsolder 500 when connecting a copper tube to an aluminum evaporator. I'm no expert, but I don't think 15% silver brazing alloys would work on some of these applications.
In fact 15% would be strongly discouraged in many refrigeration applications. I gaurantee that you would void the warrenty from a lot of manufacturers if you used 15% on every refrigeration line connection in the world.
I'm not saying he is wrong, but if he uses 15% to braze every type of refrigeration line in the world, then you can definitely use Staybrite on copper and take his very narrow opinion with a grain of salt.
Sporlan actually recommends the use of high silver content soft solder for many of their expansion valves and other products. Read the bulletin closely next time you open a Sporlan TXV.
Here is what the company says about it. Make your own decision.
Stay-Brite Silver Bearing Solders
Versatile Stay-Brite silver-bearing solders are used throughout industry as a better-than-brazing method in many instances.
The important advantage of Stay-Brite solders is the greater strength of the overall component after joining. Their lower working temperatures eliminate the weakening of the base metals caused by annealment from high brazing heat.
Stay-Brite silver-bearing solders have the same excellent affinity as Stay-Silv and Safety-Silv to bond with all the ferrous and non-ferrous alloys (including stainless steel, nickel, copper, brass, etc.). Stay-Brite joints exhibit considerably higher-than-necessary elongation for sound dissimilar metal joints and vibration applications. Stay-Brite alloys range in temperature from 430°F to 535°F.
Stay-Brite offers these important advantages over silver brazing:
Lower material cost - up to 3 times
Lower temperature - up to 3 times
Faster production - up to 4 times
Faster post cleaning, little metal discoloration.
Elimination of base metal distortion.
Elimination of base metal annealment
Elimination of oxide scale formed by heat.
Cadmium-free - non-toxic.
Acceptance by The National Sanitation Foundation
Stay-Brite has been used for over thirty years to join refrigeration/air conditioning tubing. This alloy has been used to fabricate millions of strong, leakproof joints. Stay-Brite connections are excellent for many HVAC applications.
I never said I would use it "in every refrigeration system" I was referring to (casturbo's post)A residential system.Why would u attack me for stating my opinion on a web site that has lots of posts that are opinion.Oh and nobody asked u if u would make such a strong statment.Also I have no reason to give a rats a$$ about my credibility on this website.Just having fun and putting my opinion out there to see what other mechanics think.I learn stuff of of this website all the time, like in ur post u said u r no expert.