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The primary purpose of flux is to prevent oxidation of the base and filler
materials. Tin-lead solder, for example, attaches very well to copper, but
poorly to the various oxides of copper, which form quickly at soldering
temperatures. This applies to lead and brass too. Flux is a substance
which is nearly inert at room temperature, but it becomes strongly reducing
at elevated temperatures, preventing the formation of metal oxides.

Secondarily, flux acts as a wetting agent in soldering processes for lead,
copper and brass.

 

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   flux - the purposes