How much weight can soldered pieces hold?

Posted on 2009-04-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I soldered these two copper bracket together to act like a place to hang objects on.   They both are in a u shape.  used to hold copper pipes onto like walls.  

I was wondering how much weight can it hold up?  because both ends of the brackets are held together by solder.  It now looks like a oval.  

Tried pulling them apart  with my hands but seems like its holding on pretty strong.  
Question by:speed_mst
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    None.  Solder is not made for bearing any load.  It will fail under tensile load (your pulling on it)...but is far more susceptible to failure by shear force.  Twist, slide, pull at the joint and it will fail with far less force than a straight pull.

    If you want to support weight, you could weld the material or use a mechanical connection.

    Better yet, buy a threaded chain connector.  Looks like a link, but has threaded nut to open/close.  Cheap.  If you need to rotatel, buy a bearing swivel.

    Most have nominal or max. weight ratings, and rating for lifting (or not).

    Author Comment

    i hanged about 15 lb weight on one end of the bracket while the other clings onto a pole going horizontal,  with the solder joint between them.  seems to be holding.
    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    I've soldered wires together for a car stereo, etc. If I pull on the two wires as hard as I can the solder link does not break, the wire does.
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    More surface area with stranded wire.
    No torsional force (first thing to break a solder point).

    Flat solid surface on another flat solid surface offers the smallest surface area for any adhesion.  With suspended weights you are applying torque.

    I'm sure there's some really complicated formula to be found, but I'm sure the manufacturer will never provide it to you, nor stand by the numbers.  Mostly because of your safety...OK...mostly because of liability.  :)

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