Welding is the joining of metals in a fusion process in which the two pieces of metal are melted together and joined with a filler material and then when cooled can lead to form union or joint that can be even stronger than the original metal material.
Some of the better known methods of welding include:
The History of Welding:
In 1800 the short pulse electrical arc method was discovered and in 1802 the continuous electric arc was discovered by a Russian scientist. Then in the late 1800’s electric carbon arc welding was created which used carbon electrodes. Metal electrodes where also created in this same time frame. In 1900 a coated metal electrode which provided a more stable arc was released in Britain. Three phase electric was proposed in 1905 and in 1919 alternating current was proposed but it took 10 more years for it to become mainstream for welding.
In the next 15-20 years advanced techniques such as resistance, oxyfuel, thermite and acetylene were all invented but not all gained uses in the industry. Arc welding took over because of advent of the flux covered electrode which could stabilize the arc and could shield the base metal from impurities.
World War I brought about a huge surge in welding with countries trying to determine which process worked best for their military efforts. Britain was the first to contract a ship made of an entirely welded hull and aircraft also started to be welded together as well.
Major advances were made during the 1920’s such as automatic welding which used a continuously fed wire electrode and shielding gas to prevent the welds from from becoming brittle from the oxygen and nitrogen found in the atmosphere.
During the following decade methods such as stud welding which was used for ship building and building construction as well as advances in aluminum and magnesium were also made. Underwater welding was invented in Russia and is still popular today. This along with advances in automatic, alternating current and flux welding all made for a major advance in arc welding during the 30’s.
Gas tungsten arc welding and gas medal arc welding which allowed for fast welding of non-ferrous metals but also required expensive gases were brought on to the scene in the 1940’s.
The 1950’s saw the advent of shielded metal arc welding which used a flux coated consumable electrode. It soon became the more popular of the metal arc welding processes.
In 1957 the flux-cored arc welding process which uses a self shielded wire electrode to be used in automatic equipment which results in an increased welding speed. Also that same year plasma arc welding was invented. 1958-61 both electroslag and electrons welding were both brought on to the scene.
The advent of the laser in 1960 lead to laser beam welding a few decades later which now used for high speed automated welding. Most recently magnetic pulse and friction stir welding have come to be used world wide in high quality applications.