The history of welding goes back to the Bronze Age! As we discovered new ways of utilising metal we also needed to find new ways of working with it. Welding was an incredible innovation that changed the face of construction as we know it.
The Bronze Age was an era of ancient history defined by a civilisation’s ability to produce bronze through the smelting of copper with another metal such as tin.
Starting in Europe in 3000 BC, welding didn’t start to look like the process we see today until the 19th century.
Welding is just one form of metal joinery. It is a fabrication process characterised by joining two pieces of metal using heat and pressure. Back in the day, this was done through heating and hammering. Also known as forge welding. Other common forms of metal joining are brazing, soldering and riveting.
"Welding didn’t start to look like the process we see today until the 1800s."
Brazing and soldering are very similar processes. A filler metal is melted like glue to join two pieces of metal together. What makes soldering different from brazing is the temperature. Soldering happens at under 450℃.
It’s thought that welding began in Ancient Egypt.
Civilisations began by learning to weld copper before moving on to other metals such as bronze and eventually iron.
There are examples of bronze pressure welding and metal jewellery around 3000-2000 BC.
It was in the 1800s that the welding we commonly see today was first starting to be used. It started with the invention of the electric generator. It changed the face of construction and the way we lived.
"There are examples of bronze pressure welding and metal jewellery around 3000-2000 BC."
With this, arc lighting became popular. Arc lighting is the discharge left when gas is ionised.
In the later part of the 19th century, gas welding and cutting were developed.
In the 1920s, automatic welding was slowly being introduced. This was done through a bare electrode wire invented by P.O. Nobel who worked for the General Electric Company. This method was also used by the auto industry to make rear axle housing.
To some, these developments just seem like minor details. The controversy about whether it was best to use heavy or light coated rods, for instance. But, these innovations were all about increasing efficiency - something we are all about at Bobtrade!
So, where are we today?
As it stands a debate is raging through the world of metal joining and that debate is this: TIG or MIG welding? Which is the most efficient?