A Brief History of Welding
The meaning of welding is to fuse or to unite metal pieces by compressing or hammering. It is done by making the joining points soft and pasty by applying heat. Followed by combining the pieces together by using the additional material for the purpose of making a better joint.
The Early Stage
Welding has gone through evolution to come at the point as we see it today. The early stages of the welding work took place in the iron and bronze ages before coming to perfection. Previously, people needed to hammer the pieces of metal recurrently to bond them together. This process was known as Forge-Welding. This particular process was very time-consuming, and it required the blacksmiths to be somewhat skilled. After 1900’s, there were many development and advancement that came through.
Many tried to work with electric arc back in the 1800s but the results were not fruitful. Eighty years later people learned to use welding. A Russian scientist named Bernardo was known for patenting the first ever electric arc which was used in welding. The rods in this process were made from carbon. Nikolai Slavyanov, another Russian, invented an alternative version, which used metal electrodes.
C.L Coffin developed the SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding) as we know it. The SMAW is renowned for its multipurpose usability regarding repair and maintenance projects. The SMAW is mainly used for steel and iron. It can be used in aluminum, copper and nickel alloys as well. The thermite, resistance, oxyfuel welding were getting more and more fame in the same period.
The resistance welding was renowned in the car manufacturing industry. The thermite was very useful in the railroads, and the oxyacetylene could be used in anything that is not very thick. The acetylene was discovered back in the 1930’s. However, to use it an efficient blowtorch was needed, which was invented after 80 years.
The Oxyacetylene welding was known for its various usage and portability for some period in the early years. The recent advancements in the manufacturing area have taken over that particular segment. The SMAW welding process was followed by MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding. MIG welding is also known as Metal Inert gas welding.
Regarding MIG welding, a spool of wire is fed into the welding pieces which created inert gasses such as, helium and argon. The inert gas protects the molten spool from some atmospheric impurities. When you see some robotic arms moving in synchronized motion on a car manufacturing plant, they are probably busy in the MIG welding process.
The Flux-cored arc welding, also known as the FCAW is gradually becoming renowned due to its fast processing power. FCAW welding process does not need expensive welding gears and very easy to automate. The similarity between the FCAW and MIG welding is that in both cases, a spool of wire is fed into the welding joints. However, the major dissimilarity between these two welding process is the fact that the FCAW wire has a core flux on the wire itself. The core flux removes the need for shielding gas. However, the shielding inert gas can also be applied to provide additional stability to the arc.
When we move onto the gradual improvements in the welding sector, we quickly get to know terms such as plasma welding and cutting, electron gas and electro-slag, laser and the electron beam welding procedures. As the price of the electron beam and laser welding drops more and more, the popularity of these welding procedures is rising at a stable rate.
In these welding processes, there is not much heat generated in the welding process. They can provide deep weld penetration and can be easily automated. The main dissimilarity between the laser and the electron beam welding process is the fact that electron beam welding does not take place in a vacuum.
Most of the modern welding processes require heat generation and implication. However, there are a few exceptions as well.
The explosion welding process is known to be an efficient procedure to join two very different workpieces together. The welding is done by explosives that push the workpieces together. They are then joined rapidly and vigorously. The explosions are contained in typical shapes. Most obvious implications are on steel workpieces where there is rust on the body. Titanium is used in the process which is known to be resistant to corrosion.
The process itself is somewhat complicated. Most welders do not have sufficient knowledge to perform the welding. Magnetic pulse welding is also very popular. Regarding magnetic pulse welding, magnets are used to join the workpieces very quickly and strongly.
The friction stir welding is also a modern variant of welding. In this case, two work materials are rubbed together to the point where they join each other by melting through frictions. This type of welding process does not require a shielding gas. Complicated welding gears are used in the process.
Various types of welding went through different stages of change to come to the state as we see them today. Primarily to join two pieces together, we had to beat them until they unite. Nowadays, we have so much efficient and effective welding processes that use fire, electric arc, electromagnetic ration and so on. No matter which method is used, the procedures are surprisingly useful.