A Brief History of Welding

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While most people think of welding in terms of modern methods, mainly arc welding, the origin of welding was the forge. With the passing centuries many methods of welding have been developed. In the modern era, welding can be found all around us from the electronics we use to the buildings we live and work in, to the bridges we drive across.

Forge Welding

Forge welding, also known as “pressure” or “solid phase” welding, was first recorded around 3000 B.C.E. in Egypt. The early Egyptians used a very hot charcoal fire to heat iron ore until it became pliable. The pieces were then hammered together to form the weld. Shaping the molten metal and then folding it back on itself before flattening it again was a common method of making stronger blades. The Middle Ages saw forge welding spread throughout the world and the art of blacksmithing became a common occupation.

Braze Welding

Braze welding was also developed in ancient times. Egyptian tombs, Greek ruins, and archeological digs throughout the Middle East have all yielded artifacts with evidence of the advancement of brazing techniques over the centuries.

Charcoal furnaces and blowpipes were common tools of the era used for bonding bronze, silver, gold, and even steel. The Industrial Revolution brought many advances to metal working, but the old methods are still in use today.

Arc Welding

Arc welding has become the most common method used in modern times. It was first developed in England and France during the early 1800s. C.L. Coffin registered the first U.S. patent for an arc welding method in 1890. His process used an electrode to melt metal and carry it across an arc to fill a joint between metal plates.

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During WWI, welding surged into use for building ships. It was also during this time that welding was first used by the Germans to construct airplane fuselages. In one form or another, the arc welding process has become a primary element in modern manufacturing.

New Methods

The newest welding processes are probably friction welding and laser welding. Both methods require expensive equipment and are currently of limited practicality for most purposes.

Friction welding was developed in the Soviet Union. It uses friction heat created by rotational speed and upset pressure. However, the expense of initial setup limits its use to high volume applications.

Laser welding uses a high concentration of energy in a small space to create a powerful heat source. It is frequently used for cutting purposes and is being used for welding applications by the automotive industry. However, like the friction welding techniques, the initial expense of the equipment limits its practicality for most purposes.

Contact Tulsa Welding School

If you are interested in the practical applications of welding, consider Tulsa Welding School. With campuses in Jacksonville, Florida and Tulsa, Oklahoma, we have students from a variety of states. Whether you are interested in becoming a structural welder or a welding inspector, we have a program for you. Fill out the form on our contact page, and one of our admissions representatives will get back to you to answer any questions you may have about studying for a career as a welder.

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