Welcome to National Welding Month! This month we’re changing up the content to focus on welders and in this article, we’ll briefly explore the history of this profession.
Welding is a few thousand years old
Some of the earliest examples we have welding techniques are from the Bronze Age. Craftsmen from as early as 1000 B.C.E. pressure welded lap joints together to make golden circular boxes.
Pressure welding, or forge welding, would come to the forefront during the middle ages. As craftspeople developed their skills and advancements in metallurgy advanced, so too did the applications of the art.
Blacksmiths further developed the process of forge welding. They took pieces of heated metal and would hammer them together.
1800 – Sir Humphrey Davy invents a battery produces an electric arc
1836 – Edmund Davy discovers acetylene
1831 – Eugene Desbassyrs de Richemont is granted a patent for fusion welding
1881 – August De Meritens and Nikolai Benardos develop the technique of using the heat generated from the arc from carbon electrodes to weld.
1888 – Nikolai Slavyanov and C.L. Coffin develop the use of metal electrodes.
1900 – Foresche and Charles Picard develop the first commercial oxyacetylene welding torch
1903 – Thermite welding is invented
1907 – Oscar Kjellberg receives the patent for the coated metal electrode used in manual metal arc welding
1914-1918 – World War 1 leads to the widespread adoption of arc welding, which was used to construct ships and aircraft.
1920 – Automatic welding, where the electric wire is continuously fed is discovered.
1920s – Gas shielding research advances with the use of hydrogen, argon or helium.
1930 – Submerged arc welding is invented.
1948 – Gas metal arc welding is developed by the Battelle Memorial Institute. GMAW becomes economical with the use of carbon dioxide in 1953. In 1958 and 1959, a short-arc variation of GMAW is released increasing the applications and versatility of the technique.
1957 – Flux-cored arc welding technique, allowing the electrode to be used with automatic feeders.
1957 – Robert M. Gage patents plasma welding.
1958 – Electroslag welding is debuted.
1958 – Electron beam welding becomes practical and is used in the aircraft industry.
1967 – Magnetic pulse welding enters the industrial sphere through the automotive industry.
1991 – Friction stir welding is invented at The Welding Institute.