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The Process & History of Welding

written by: Ricky • edited by: Swagatam • updated: 5/15/2009

What do you do when you want to stick stamps on a letter you are posting, or when the fascias of your mobile breaks? I for one do not use my saliva or buy new fascias in such situations. Rather I use some sort of glue for the job. Learn how engineers use the process of welding metals to do the same.

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    Introduction

    Unity is strength but sticking-together through thick-and-thin is one of the most difficult tasks in life. This is true not only for human beings but for materials as well. It is not easy to join materials in such a manner that they would stay united come whatever may. Well if you think that is not your problem – think again! Imagine what would happen if you are flying high in a chopper or airplane and suddenly the wings decide to break away from the body, or similarly if you are on a cruise vacation having some quality time with your beloved ones, and suddenly some Titanic issues raise their head.

    Of course I Pray that such things never happen to anyone, but my point here is not to get you depressed about not enjoying life but to ponder a bit over the techniques which go into joining metals and materials in such a manner that the strength of the joint excels or at least matches that of the original material hence making is feel that there is no joint at all.

    The Process of Welding

    Fabrication always involves joining together pieces of materials which have been cut and/or shaped according to various parameters such as requirement, strength, size, shape and so on. An engineer always has the need to join together parts for manufacturing purposes and there are several techniques and procedures which help in this initiative depending on material specifications under consideration.

    Welding is the one such useful technique and it refers to the process of joining together two or more materials by making them melt and allowing them to fuse together during the cool down, with or without the addition of other materials. This is just a very broad definition and the exact procedure depends on the type of welding in question.

    Welding can be of many types and is classified according to the source of energy used in the process, namely, electric arc welding, gas welding, laser welding etc; or by the nature of the welds such as overhead welding, underwater welding and so forth. It would not be feasible to take up the study of each types of welding in detail in this single article but would be done in different parts.

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    The History of Welding

    Welding is not a new technique but examples of the existence of welding procedures in some form or the other have been found even in the Middle Ages. Even today you could come across a traditional blacksmith who uses fire to soften two pieces of metal and beats them together unless they get united into a single piece, which is one of the most basic examples of the welding technique used in earlier days. But of course the more advanced forms of welding such as electric arc welding, laser welding etc. are surely of a recent origin since these technologies of electricity and laser are relatively new and were not heard of in the days of the yore.

    Read more articles on types of welding, the underlying principles, tools, techniques and usefulness of each.

    Safety First is a Must: Issues in Arc Welding

    The Intelligent Machines: Robot Welding