They say the key to being a master at something is to learn about the origin of the art that you are exploring, so today, we are going to be learning about the history of welding. I wouldn’t really call this an in depth study of the art of welding, but somehow we have gathered every important thing about welding and included it here.
When we say welding, we are referring to the method of repairing or joining metal structures through various fusion processes. Usually welders use metals or thermoplastics. Usually in welding – especially in the TIG process or Tungsten Inert Gas Welding – a filler material is often added to the joint to be able to form a pool of molten material called the weld pool. Once this weld pool cools down, it becomes a joint that is as strong as a base material.
The art of welding can be retraced back to the Bronze Age. The earliest evidence that humans were able to find were welded gold boxes. It has been said that the Egyptians were the first known people to actually use welding. If you take a quick look at Egyptian history, you will be able to notice that most of their iron tools and weapons were made from welding. But the whole art of welding became really known during the middle ages and was performed by workmen who were referred to as blacksmiths. They were able to create several weapons and things with the help of fire and hammer.
In the 19th century, a big change in welding came through. Welders have began using open flames from acetylene. Doing so opened the doors for the manufacture of intricate metal tools and equipment. In 1800, a certain Sir Humphrey Davy managed to invent a battery operated tool that allowed him to produce an arc between carbon electrodes.
When it comes to welding, there are different process that a welder can choose from that works the best for him and the material that he or she is currently welding. Let’s explore each one below.
- GTAW or TIG – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding or Tungsten Inert Gas. Since I already mentioned this one above, let it be the one that we explore first. In this process, you will have to use a non-consumable tungsten electrode to be able to produce weld. Also you will need the help of what they call as the shielding gas which is mostly argon or helium.Hardest of all the welding process to learn because it requires the welder to use two hands.
- GMAW – Gas Metal Arc Welding. This process is commonly known as MIG or Metal Inert Gas. Here you will be using a wire feeding gun that feeds wire at an adjustable speed and just like TIG, there will be a flow of argon based shielding gas or a combination between argon and carbon dioxide.
- ESW – Electroslag Welding. You can count on this process to be highly productive and can be used for metals thicker than 1 inch or 25 mm and 12 inches or 30 mm in a vertical or close to vertical position.
- SAW – Submerged Arc Welding. For this process, you will be using an automatically fed consumable electrode and a blanket of a granular flusible flux.
- FCAW – Flux-Colored Arc Welding. This is almost identical to MIG only that this process uses a special tubular wire filled with flux. You can choose to use or not to use a shielding gas. This choice really depends on the filler.
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