Welding has been an ancient activity. It traces its roots to the historical ages. However, it’s still evolving in modern times. Welding is the action of joining two or more parts of metal using high heat and allowing them to cool down, creating a joint or fusion. A single person did not invent welding; instead, different people’s cumulative effort resulted in modern-day welding technology. We find the earliest evidence of welding in the Bronze Age and Iron Age. We have seen gold boxes joined using pressure welding. Moreover, some evidence also suggests that Ancient Egyptians knew about welding.
The history of welding technology is fascinating. The subject dates back to about 2000 years. Welding during the Middle Ages was very elementary; it involved hammering two pieces of metal under high heat until they joined. However, the industrial revolution during the 18th century paved the path for inventing welding technologies to meet the demand of the industries. Although, it was not before the 19th century that the modern form of welding appeared. A series of inventions and discoveries led to modern day welding.
There is no single person who can take the sole credit for the invention of welding. Nevertheless, modern day welding wouldn’t have been possible without the inventors in the 19th century.
Here is the timeline for the evolution of welding technology through the centuries:
The first records of gold brazing in 60 A.D. in the Roman Empire, written down by the Roman author Pliny, described the process. Here, they used salt as a flux. It was often difficult to determine the color of the metal. For example, the iron pillar built in India and other structures made in Rome and England between 300-400 A.D. are great for understanding this technology.
From 500-1000 A.D. We find many manuscripts that describe the early welding process. The first time we see wrought iron converted to steel was during the Chinese Sui Dynasty. Also, the Japanese made samurai swords during this period. Similarly, a monk known as Theophilus wrote a script in 1000 A. D describing the welding process. Through the 14th-century, this technology saw some more improvements.
In 1800, Sir Humphrey Davy, made the critical step. He invented an electric arc using a battery-operated tool. It is still widely used in welding. Edmund Davy, an Englishman, discovered acetylene. As it made fabrication of tools possible, industries soon started using it widely. In 1881, scientist Auguste De Mertens joined lead plates using heat by arc- generator. Around the same time, Nikolai N. Benardos, with his colleagues, invented the electrode holder. Meanwhile in 1890, C. L Coffin, an American engineer patented the metal-electrode arc welding method. On the other hand, Russian scientist, N.G. Slavianoff used the same to cast metals in molds.
Strohmenger introduced coated metal electrodes in 1900. In this technique, a coating of lime stabilized the arc further. In this period, we see many new welding processes such as projection welding, spot welding, seam welding, and flash butt welding. Moreover, stick electrodes became a widespread tool for welding around this time.
After the end of the first world war, Comfort Avery Adams established the American Welding Society. The motive of establishing the society was to encourage innovative development of the welding processes. The method of combining arc voltage with bare electrode wires, automated welding was initially utilized by the automobile industry. The A.O. Smith Company developed the heavily coated roads in 1927, and the extruded rods were also designed and sold to the general masses in 1929.
The New York Navy Yard advanced stud welding technology. During the same time, the National Tube Company developed submerged arc welding. Rubinoff patented this technique and sold it to Linde Air Products Company. The GTAW (Gas tungsten arc welding) was patented in 1890 by C. L Coffin. H. M Robert later refined this concept. Eventually, P. K Devers replaced helium with argon and improved it further.
In 1941, Meredith improved the modernized form of welding for welding magnesium and aluminum. This process came to be known as Heliarc welding. The Battelle Memorial Institute developed the GTAW or Gas shielded metal arc, an essential milestone in history.
Lyubavskii and Novoshilov popularized the CO2 welding process in 1953. It was economical and quickly became a choice of welders welding for welding steels. A short while later, after the development of small sized electrode wires, welding thin materials became easy and convenient.
This decade saw the development of technologies like Dual shield welding, Inner shield, and Electroslag welding. Gage invented Plasma arc welding at this time, used for spraying the metal. The French developed electron beam welding, which is still used in the United States by aircraft industries.
Started in the 1990s with the introduction of friction stir welding, the precision and technique of Modern-day welding now have efficient welding technologies such as Gas Metal Arc Welding-Brazing, laser technology, and the latest robotics welding. All operations are computer-based and done with precision and accuracy.
Welding technology has evolved through time with incredible advancements that have enabled the process to be more efficient and easy. The latest technology is hassle-free and requires less time. Welding is a popular and well-paying trade, and it is advisable for aspiring welders in Philadelphia to go for a certified welding program in Philadelphia. A welder trade school in Philadelphia offers Welding Training Program Philadelphia. Philadelphia Technician Training Institute is a welding school in Philadelphia equipped with the latest technology that enables students to work with precision. Students get hands-on training and quality education with brilliant faculty. You can fulfill your dream of becoming a welding technician and complete your career.