What is welding?
Welding is the term used for bonding two pieces of metal together. This type of bonding has become a method of choice in industries where strength, versatility and efficiency is a priority. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of welding methods in use today. These methods make the bond between pieces using heat, pressure or a combination of the two.
Brazing and soldering are not the same as welding. With the first two methods, the workman uses a filler material to create the bond between two pieces of metal. The filler material has a lower melting point than the pieces being put together. After the filler melts, it creates a bridge between the two pieces and is the weakest point of the bond. With welding, there is no filler involved, which eliminates this weakness.
How long has welding been around?
This type of bonding is by no means a new element in the industrial world. Archaeologists have found examples of welding in parts of Europe and the Near East, dating back as far as the Bronze Age or before. The Classic Bronze Age runs from about 3300 BC through 600 BC.
The only form used from Ancient times to the 19th century was forge welding. This method involves heating the two pieces of metal to a high temperature and then hammering them together. With the Industrial Revolution, and scientific discoveries in the 19th century, industrial engineers and workmen began developing new methods of bonding.
What tools are used in welding?
It takes a lot of experience and the right tools to master the art of welding. Welders need three things to start: the welding rig, the materials to weld and safety equipment.
These rigs come in many configurations and price points. A simple stick weld rig is easy to use and good for home projects. Torch rigs are good for small projects in commercial and industrial applications. Specialty rigs, like the ones used for laser beam welding, are very complicated and require special training.
Just about any metal can be welded. These metals include steel, alloys, bronze, aluminum, cast iron and titanium. Selecting the right edge is as important as selecting the metal. Edge joints, lap joints, butt joints, and t-joints are only a few of the choices available.
Safety must be a priority when it comes to welding. This type of bonding causes intense light which can cause temporary eye inflammation, so welding masks are a must. Wearing protective clothing is also ideal. Ventilation is critical because the process can release harmful substances into the air.
Good welds are not easy to make
Oxidation is a major hazard in welding. When oxidation occurs in the operation, it will create a brittle, porous bond. This porous bond can cause a catastrophic failure which can be hazardous in industrial applications. To prevent oxidation, various methods use flux or inert gases to keep oxygen from interfering with the welding process. Cleaning the surfaces to be welded is also crucial since grease, dust, and dirt can interfere with the bond.
After the welding is complete, it is important to check its quality. A visual inspection can show cracks or breaks. Other options include pressure testing, X-rays, ultrasonic and magnetic particle testing.
This type of bonding is a combination of art and science that requires years to master. It is important to work with welding professionals to get the metal bonding that your project needs.
If you need welding done in an industrial application, contact the experts here at SERCO Inc. You can reach us at (806) 273-7614 or send us an email on Contact Us. Our website has detailed information on our services and products. You can also read more About Us. If you are in or around Borger, Texas, you can stop by our office at 1430 North Main Street. We look forward to working with you.