The Process of Welding from A to Z
Welding is the art form of joining metals and sometimes other materials together on a molecular level. Welding as a type of technology is constantly evolving, and many industries, including the military one, are relying on it. What we do know about welding today, is that there are four components to the process: the metals, filler material, a heat source, and a shield from the air. The process goes something like this: metal gets heated to a melting point while there’s something shielding it from the air for protection. The filler material is then added to the area that needs to be joined, which results in a single piece of metal being produced.
However, it wasn’t always like this. In fact, the first welding (circa 1750 AD) was done through a process called forge welding. It wasn’t until about a century later when Elihu Thompson came up with resistance welding, which is the technique that is used nowadays. Because of this, some welding supplies like bolts, screws and rivets that used to join metals before became obsolete.
These days, there are 4 popular welding processes – they haven’t always been the most popular, but have recently risen as the favourite for welders and engineers for practical reasons and cost. These processes include: tungsten, inert gas welding, flux core arc welding, metal inert gas and shielded metal arc welding. All of the processes involve electricity to create the heat necessary to weld the metals, what makes the differences is how they’re shielded from air and the way the filler metal is added.
Regardless of which welding process you use, using quality welding supplies and wearing protection equipment is essential. Burns are the most common injury that occurs when welding, because of sparks landing on skin. Welding arcs are intense and dangerous, and can cause skin burns and eye burns within minutes of exposure.
Wearing fire resistant clothing, safety glasses, gloves, helmet, leathers and shoes is highly advised to prevent burns. Moreover, hearing and noise protection equipment is also recommended, because the welding process can be quite loud and damage your hearing. You’ll find many different brands and types of welding protection gear online and in hardware stores, the price of which can range anywhere between a hundred up to several hundred dollars.
Welding is something you can pick up as a hobby and do in your free time to relax and distract you from everyday life. It can also be your career choice, and there is no shortage of job options for welders. If you’re interested to learn more about welding, you can find beginners guides on YouTube and start from there. Happy welding!