How Does Welding Help the World? Welding is the process of bonding two pieces of metal together by heating them until they melt. Welding is known for the strength with which it combines metals.
That’s why it’s used to build things like airplanes and space probes. While we don’t always notice every weld under the hood or behind the walls, welding plays an integral role in keeping people safe and advancing our quality of life. Every industry depends on it.
Think about all the ways welding impacts your daily life, and help change the negative perceptions and stereotypes about the trade. So many things, from the small appliances in your kitchen all the way to space travel, wouldn’t be possible without it.
Humans have been welding for a very long time. In fact, it goes back thousands of years. Experts say the earliest evidence of welding is from the Bronze Age. Early people used a method called pressure welding. That means they used pressure to heat and join pieces of metal together.
Later, blacksmiths used forges to weld. Modern techniques for welding developed in the 19th century. Since then, many forms of welding have come about. This includes automatic welding, arc welding, and, more recently, friction welding.
Today, welding is a highly sought-after skill. Many people learn to weld as a hobby. But it takes a great deal of practice and training to become a master welder. Part of learning to weld today is becoming aware of the basic safety precautions. Without the right clothing, gloves, and face shields, welding can be dangerous.
How many types of welding are there? More than 30 different types of welding exist, and they range from simple oxy-fuel to high-tech processes such as laser beam welding. However, only four welding types are used commonly, and they are MIG, TIG, Stick and Flux- Cored arc welding.
How does someone go about becoming a welder? Many people start preparing for a career in welding during high school. They take math and science classes to build a foundation of knowledge. Some also take shop courses or spend part of their day at a career center to get hands-on experience.
After high school, future welders may go to a trade school or college. They’ll earn a certificate or degree. This will help them qualify for an apprenticeship. As an apprentice, they’ll learn from people who have mastered the skill of welding. Eventually, they’ll start their own career as a welder.
How does a welder work? First, a grounding wire is attached to the material. Next, the welder places an electrode lead against the work material. As the welder draws the electrode away from the material, it creates an electric arc, otherwise known as an ongoing plasma discharge from the electrical breakdown of gas.
Why do welders drink milk? “The milk theory is that when a welder is exposed to zinc fumes produced by welding galvanized steel, the calcium in the milk supposedly helps prevent the body’s absorption of the zinc. This does work to some degree, but it’s obviously not a cure for severe exposure to zinc fumes.”
Do welders go blind? When welders don’t properly protect their eyes from the arc, they commonly suffer welder’s flash, or photokeratitis, a condition caused by exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation resulting in temporary blindness and extreme discomfort. More extreme eye injuries can result in permanent blindness.
Content for this question contributed by Richard Crawford, resident of Milliken, Weld County, Colorado, USA