Welding is not the most popular subject to discuss when it goes about shipbuilding, concept cars, the creation of spaceships, or skyscrapers. However, all those constructions would not appear without welding. Welding, which is “the fusion of material by the use of heat,” dates back to the Middle Ages (Andrews, 2016, p. 15). Certainly, contemporary welding technology differs from that used in Ancient Egypt or the civilization of the Middle Ages. This paper aims to discover the history of welding from its creation to the present days.
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Researchers discover the early examples of welding dating back to the Bronze Age in different locations. There is evidence that already during the Iron Age, people found the way to weld pieces of iron together (“The history of welding,” n.d.). Archeologic findings reveal welding tools that can be probably dated 1000 B.C. Blacksmithing as an art significantly developed during the Middle Ages. For example, iron objects were welded by “heating the objects and hammering them together” (Andrews, 2016, p. 15). However, welding art similar to what is used at present was not invented until the 19th century (“The history of welding,” n.d.).
The industrial revolution forced the development of welding. At the beginning of the 19th century, Sir Humphrey Davy introduced gas welding (Andrews, 2016). Later, in 1836, he discovered acetylene gas which is still used today. His another invention that became important for welding was an electric arc which joined two carbon electrodes and used a battery as a power source. Nevertheless, arc welding developed only after the invention of the electric generator in the middle of the 19th century. Only in 1890, arc welding with the use of metal electrode was patented (“The history of welding,” n.d.).
During the first quarter of the 20th century, a coated electrode was invented (“The history of welding,” n.d.). This period is also characterized by the creation of such types of welding as spot, seam, and projection welding. The First World War stimulated the development of welding with the increased demand for armament. Wartime also accelerated the creation of welding machines and new electrodes.
1920 is the time when automatic welding was invented. After that, diverse types of welding electrodes were created, both heavy- and light-coated. Already in 1930, covered electrodes came into use (“The history of welding,” n.d.). The 1930s were characterized by the development of stud welding which was mainly used for connecting wood decking and a metal surface. In the 1940s, the process of gas tungsten arc welding was improved by Meredith.
The 1950s are marked with the discovery of welding with consumable electrodes with CO2 in the environment (“The history of welding,” n.d.). A micro-wire and dip transfer welding were developed in the late 1950s and empowered welding of thin materials. A popular welding technique of the 1960s was called spray-type arc transfer. Also, the 60-s of the 20th century are known for the invention of Electrogas, a new vertical welding method. Plasma arc welding and beam welding process are also the products of the 1960s.
The most recent welding techniques are as follows. For example, friction welding which was invented in the USSR is still applied but has limited use. Laser welding is among the newest inventions in the field which is implemented in automotive metalworking operations.
On the whole, welding is a crucial technology for different industries. It is impossible to imagine a metal construction without welding. It is a continually developing technology that enhances its methods to meet the growing needs of diverse spheres where it is applied.
Andrews, G.J. (2016). Practical arc welding. Welding techniques and projects for the home and farm. Drysdale, Australia: Flairnet.
The history of welding. (n.d.). Web.