Welding is one of the best-invented things by human beings ever. Currently, there is no other substance or technique that can replace it. There is almost no limit to what welding can do. Welding is an increasingly high-tech skill that employs from space stations, offshore oil platforms to large sculptures. So, how does welding a dynamic industry with a bright future?
- Birth of Welding in Bronze-Age
- Welding Can Weld All Metals
- Welding Techs in Modern Time
- Don Howard on the Future of Welding
- Use of Virtual Devices in Welding Schools
- More than 80 Welding Processes Available
- Importance of Welding a Dynamic Industry
Welding a Dynamic Industry with Bright Future
Birth of Welding in Bronze-Age
Thousands of years ago, a clever Bronze-Age worker was thinking outside the box one day when he came up with an inspired idea. A great way of making things with the bronze alloys that were being developed the time. He reasoned it would be to heat them until they started melting and pound them together with the help of a hammer. By combining heat and pressure, craftsmen could make just about anything that required a strong metal like bronze.
Therefore, it was the birth of welding, a process. It has had a major impact on metalworking and product engineering ever since.
Welding Can Weld All Metals
Welding can weld anything made of metal, no matter how small or big it is. The examples are everywhere like cars, trucks and motorcycles, rail cars, ships, aircraft, rockets and space stations. The construction industry is a huge market for welding. The skyscrapers, bridges, and highways would not be possible to build without welding. Welding has made possible oil and offshore oil platforms, natural-gas pipelines, solar panels, and giant wind turbines. Besides this, welders help to install and maintain boilers, antipollution systems, large structures, piping for industrial, commercial and residential facilities. Even artists use welding to create sculptures and decorative items.
Welding Techs in Modern Time
As said above, there is almost no limit to what a welding process can do. The developments in technology continually improving its quality, accuracy, and versatility. In fact, welding is an increasingly high-tech skill. In modern times, welders are being trained to operate robots and other automated systems that use electron beams, powerful lasers and sometimes explosives to bond metals. The ability to work with computers and program software is consequently vital to the successful operation of these systems.
Don Howard on the Future of Welding
Don Howard was a welding specialist at Concurrent Technologies Corp., an engineering firm in Johnstown, Pa. He estimates that 20% to 25% of U.S. welding is automated and predicts this trend will grow by about 20% in the next few years.
“A lot of very intelligent people are coming into the welding community,” says Howard. He notes there is money to be made, but the industry also offers career paths. “Welding is not just about working on a manufacturing line anymore. Once in the industry, people know they can find a niche.”
“These are good times to be in welding,” says Patricio Mendez. He is the director of the Canadian Center for Welding and Joining (the University of Edmonton in Alberta), Canada. Further, Mendez notes that students who like designing and building with metal and are interested in fields will find plenty of career opportunities in welding. The fields are materials engineering, computer programming, lasers, robotics, and systems integration.
Use of Virtual Devices in Welding Schools
Welding schools are playing a crucial role in advancing welding technology. Every year, many students are being introduced to the process with the help of virtual welding devices. Edison Welding Institute (EWI) of Columbus, Ohio, and Lincoln Electric of Cleveland, Ohio have developed virtual welding devices. They teach students the basics of welding in classrooms. The EWI system uses sensors that duplicate the look and feel of welding. On the other hand, Lincoln’s system includes a torch with sensors and a welding mask with special lenses that create realistic images of welding applications. The use of modern techs in welding classes is taking teaching ways to the next levels.
More than 80 Welding Processes Available
The welding process is a technique for joining two or more pieces of metals together. At present, there are more than 80 welding processes available. Mostly, a skilled worker using a high-heat torch, filler material that is usually in wire or stick form to permanently bond metal pieces. Besides this, welders use welding to dismantle and cut objects of all sizes as well as for repairs.
The most common process is Gas Metal Arc Welding or GMAW. The process employs an electrode that is continuously fed through the nozzle of an arc torch. When the welder activates the torch, the following operations take place:
The electrode begins feeding through the nozzle and generates a direct current. It creates an arc when it meets the workpiece and shielding gases are released around the nozzle. It protects the weld from atmospheric gases that could degrade its quality. The welder-controlled arc consumes the electrode and fills in the weld joint, which then creates the weld.
Many industries widely employ Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) and Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). For example, GTAW is a low-heat method that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode for welds. The low-heat characteristic reduces distortion in thin metals, such as those used in aerospace. SMAW or stick welding is a welding process that uses a flux-coated consumable electrode. The “flux” is a chemical cleaning agent that removes oxidation from the metals to be joined. Repair and steel welding primarily use it. In the process, the electrode burns and the flux disintegrates. Further, it releases a shielding gas that protects the weld from degradation.
In more advanced welding technologies, lasers combine with GMAW in a hybrid process. It makes “scalpel-like cuts” that are up to ½ inch deep, narrow and extremely precise. Next, the GMAW part of the process deposits the filler and melts it with a secondary heat source.
Importance of Welding a Dynamic Industry
The influence of welding is widespread. Without it, the product design and building techniques would not be possible. With the rising demand for skilled welders and the technology of welding becoming more advanced. especially automation. That’s why students have a good opportunity to learn a career that can change their lives.
Above all, welding is a long-lasting technology ever invented. It doesn’t matter it is water, land, and space. Every sector employes it in this way or that way. The use of welding will still be there until any other durable technique replaces it. There are millions of jobs with smart salaries in welding industries throughout the world. It depends on how you think of welding a dynamic industry.
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