Self-propagating formation reactions in nanostructured multilayer foils provide rapid bursts of heat and can act as local heat sources to melt solder layers and join materials. This letter describes the room-temperature soldering of stainless steel specimens using freestanding, nanostructured Al/Ni foils. The products, heats, and velocities of the reactions are described, and the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the resulting joints are characterized. A tensile shear strength of 48 MPa was measured for the reactive foil joints, compared to 38 MPa for conventional joints. Both numerical predictions and infrared measurements show limited heat exposure to the components during reactive joining.
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