Attaching nichrome wire to copper
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Thread: Attaching nichrome wire to copper

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    Default Attaching nichrome wire to copper

    Anyone have definitive answer for soldering/attaching the nichrome to the copper wiring? I am ready to start making a coil for an e-cigar but there seems to be different ideas on what to use.

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    So far I have not had any trouble with my solder joints to the NiCr wire with copper leads. My soldering Iron has two settings one is 20 watts and the second is 40 watts I used the 40 watt setting. I also used water souluable tinning flux and tinned the ends twice before joining the cooper leads. I'm not sure what gauge NiCr wire you are using, I made mine with 32 gauge and I will tell you it is very robust. (a little too much really) On my next one I will probably drop down to 36 or even 40 gauge. I am no expert nor claim to be and my coil has been working well for about a week of HEAVY use and abuse to see if it will hold up.
    Back to the tinning... In my experience there is a fine line of how much heat to apply to the NiCr wire so use another piece to practice. Basically I dipped the NiCr wire into the flux and applied the heat to it when all the flux was burned off I let it cool and did it one more time with a little silver solder. After it cooled I attached my copper, that was also tinned, and so far so good. After the wires are attached I cleaned the joints to remove any exccess flux that might be there.
    Hope this helps and like I said this is new to me and I'm sure others are working on other ways to attach the NiCr to the power leads.
    Last edited by Carlos49; 08-05-2009 at 03:09 PM.
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    Full Member ECF Veteran HockerMagnum's Avatar
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    After tinning, as Carlos described, bend a V in the end of each wire, hook together, squeeze the Vs closed, then solder. That way if you happen to get it too hot it won't pop loose at the joint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HockerMagnum View Post
    After tinning, as Carlos described, bend a V in the end of each wire, hook together, squeeze the Vs closed, then solder. That way if you happen to get it too hot it won't pop loose at the joint.
    Good suggestion. From my observation and a few searches on the web, soldering nichrome is not an easy task. When looking at the connection in an atomizer, it appears the solder 'blob' at the end of the copper wire is holding the nichrome ends to the wire as opposed to actually getting solder to stick to the nichrome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HockerMagnum View Post
    After tinning, as Carlos described, bend a V in the end of each wire, hook together, squeeze the Vs closed, then solder. That way if you happen to get it too hot it won't pop loose at the joint.

    Will try that this next time ... thanks for the info

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    Solder with an acid flux. Makes things much easier.

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    Thanks for the advise

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    Is there any chance a welder would do the trick? We have (or had) one at work we used for attaching braided wire to posts (40 mil pins).

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyhorse View Post
    Solder with an acid flux. Makes things much easier.
    Acid flux is a requirement when soldering NiChrome; not an option. (just clarifying)

    Don't ever use acid flux for electronic circuits though.

  10. #10
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    Can you even use silver solder on nichrome? I thought the heat of the nichrome will desolder these!!

    Why not just twist the wires and use epoxy putty?? I'd have to check the temp ratings and see what happens over long use of heat on the epoxy putty. (is muffler stuff good?) Also some is more resistive than others.

    Mechanical crimps will work?

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