Welding all started centuries ago, yet many people still wonder what welding is all about. This quick snapshot will walk you through everything you need to know about the history of welding.
What is Welding?
Welding is the process of joining or melting two or more pieces of metal together. This process is also used for plastic, but the term "welding" often refers specifically to the use of metal. The process of welding creates strength and reinforcement for structures, ships, and modern machinery.
Welding's Ancient Roots
The practice of welding dates back to the Bronze Age, the era in human history when people began to use metal. People living during this time created small gold boxes using pressure welding on lap joints. As welding techniques became more refined in the Iron Age, this gave people the opportunity to build things using iron. During this time, Ancient Egyptians and other cultures used the skill for welding tools, among other necessities. While useful, this trade was limited by the tools used to perform the welding function.
Advancements in Welding
The 19th century saw great advancements in welding and its capabilities for modern applications. In 1800, Englishman Sir Humphry Davy introduced the arc to welding, a form made between two carbon electrodes using a battery. In 1836, Edmund Davy discovered acetylene, a gas capable of producing the hottest flame. This discovery led to a rise in popularity for gas cutting in 1850. While there were other notable welding innovations, the next major advancements came in the 20th century.
The Creation of Modern Welding
The 20th century saw many exciting advancements in the welding field. These advancements were, in large part, due to electrical power companies figuring out how to generate and distribute power. This accomplishment motivated scientists to find a way to use electrical power for welding.
In 1920, General Electric's P.O. Nobel invented automatic welding thanks to his use of a bare wire electrode guided by a direct electrical current using arc voltage. From here, further research led to the discovery of various types of electrodes as well as alternate forms of gas welding and resistance welding.
Work to refine welding techniques continued into the 1950s and 60s. In 1954, the Dualshield process gave welders a more efficient, portable option by using an external supply of shielding gas. This process was later abandoned for Innershield welding, which left the shielding gas behind and eliminated the need for welders to lug heavy containers around the job site. This improved process also made it possible for welders to work in outdoor conditions without having to worry about the wind blowing the shielding gas away and contaminating the weld.
Since then, welding processes have become modernized, leading to the use of friction welding and laser welding. Welding techniques are sure to evolve as technologies advance. Scientists and inventors continue to look for more precise, safe, and environmentally friendly ways to build the products and infrastructure needed.
The future for welding is bright. If you're looking for an opportunity to move the world forward, welding could be a great fit for you. We offer welding training at our Visalia and Fresno campuses. Learn more about our welder training program today.
Only about 5.8 percent of working welders are females, according to the American Welding Society. Companies are doing more outreach to women to help replace the welders who are approaching retirement. Welding is a career that can offer many benefits, but there are still a few misconceptions about women doing this type of work.
Myth 1: Companies Don’t Want to Hire a Female Welder
Metal fabricating companies are desperate to find good welders to replace the workforce that is rapidly retiring now. Both women and men are great candidates for these positions. Anyone can have a promising career in welding, as long as they get the proper training. Having additional skills, such as blueprint reading, will help you be a more valuable employee for prospective employers. Keep in mind that there may not always be welding jobs available in your area, and you may have to move to a more industrial city to find the job you want.
Myth 2: Male Co-Workers Don’t Respect Female Workers
Although male welders may have resented women coming into the field in the past, the younger generation is less apt to hold on to these gender differences in the workplace. They may have worked alongside women in the military or in other fields of work. They respect anyone who does good work and can work well as part of a team.
Myth 3: Welding Work is Hard, Dirty and Dangerous
Not all shop settings are alike. Some companies may not have state-of-the-art equipment or the safest environment. However, there are welding positions in forward-thinking companies with clean, climate-controlled environments and manageable materials. Female and male welders can benefit from staying fit in order to manipulate the heavy materials. They should also take safety classes to ensure that they can protect themselves and others in the work environment.
Myth 4: There’s No Room For Professional Growth in Welding
Many welders become supervisors or consultants. They work on projects that involve welding processes for construction or manufacturing of products. In addition, welding offers the opportunity of starting your own business, which can bring increased financial benefits.
Women in welding is still a relatively new concept, but it is fast becoming the norm as more companies look for reliable people who can perform the highly technical work that welders do every day.
Interested in joining the community of women welders? Learn more about our welder training program today!
John is a qualified seven-year welder. He’s often asked, “What does a welder do?” Good question. His day begins at 5:30a.m. The routine includes a quick shower, assembling lunch, popping down aspirin for back pain, and heading out. As he's driving, he looks in the mirror at the burn next to his eye. "This is what happens when I get too close to the arc," he thinks to himself.
Shipyards are loud and dangerous - no place for amateurs. Squealing metal, flying sparks and hot metal drops fill the job site where the massive ship is. He has his meeting with the boss to go over the agenda and read blueprints. The day consists of sophisticated grinding and metal cuttings.
Proper Welding Gear Setup
John straps on his safety gear, which takes 30 minutes. He puts the respirator snap tightly around his face. Next, he pulls the safety boots on followed by thick gloves, protective glasses, and the visor. Body protection is the most important safety step, as he has seen co-workers sustain injuries that could have been avoided: welder's flash, hearing loss, and inhaling toxic fumes.
Next, he inspects and sets up his equipment. He's applying a 480-degree Celsius flame to thick, impenetrable metal. If he misses a step in the setup, it can lead to electrocution or burns. He also checks all cables for leaks and welding leads for nicks or frays. Everything looks good, so he assembles the equipment, and is ready to go.
Welding Condition on a Ship
Working on a ship is not easy. Deafening noise, toxic fumes, and enclosed spaces fill the ship that John has to crawl through with equipment. After welding for two hours, John needs a fifteen-minute break. If he doesn't take one, his muscles can become too stiff, thus, affecting his work. Back cramps, shoulder, neck, and leg pain are common issues caused by bad posture. However, it is hard to maintain good posture when working inside a ship's hull.
John must stay alert and in proper position at all times to avoid any mistakes. If he uses the wrong angle with the flame, the weld won't penetrate. If air gets into the shielding gas, the metal can bubble up. The heating temperature must be spot on to avoid a broken weld. A 30,000-ton sea vessel cannot afford to have any defects. Finally, John completes his task on girder fifty feet up. Thanks to his safety harness, he is able to complete his job safely. His work for the day is done. He leaves feeling good, having successfully completed the day's work safely. He smiles, because he knows he is providing for his family.
Do you want to work as a welder like John? By enrolling in one of our welding training programs at ACI, you will be on the fast track to starting a new welding career.
The commercial use of metals in the construction of equipment, buildings, ships and airplanes has created terrific employment opportunities. Welders can earn good salaries because of their skills. Although welders can earn a lot of money, the job can be hazardous due to high temperatures, materials and work environments. For those on an arc welding path, always put safety first. Here are some welding safety tips to keep in mind.
Arc and other forms of welding use high voltage electrical equipment. The power can range from 20 to 100 volts. Death can result from exposure to less than 50 volts under certain conditions. It’s imperative that you understand and respect electricity. Never work in a wet or damp space. These include puddles, ground water or even where someone spills a coffee. Never handle electrified materials without safety gloves. If you are holding an electrified tool or material and touch another conductor, this can complete an electrical circuit right through your body.
The heat of a welding arc can hit 10,000 degrees. Be certain that you are not working near any combustible materials. Keep in mind that the arc itself does not have to touch other materials to start a fire. The sheer heat can start a blaze. Also, arc spatter is like shooting off a Roman candle. Work at least 35 feet away from flammable materials.
Always wear a complete outfit of safety equipment that includes rated clothing, gloves, face shield, safety glasses, and hearing protection. In commercial settings, you are not only protecting yourself from your own work, but also from those around you. Here are some of the common injuries caused by poor safety gear.
Eye protection: Arc rays can cause what welders call “arc flash” that damages your eyesight. It can occur from other welders working to your side or even behind you. Also, small metal shards can become embedded in your eyes.
Rated Clothing: High UV radiation produced by arc rays can cause intense skin burns. Welding spatter can burn through inadequate gear. Cover up.
Ear Plugs: The high decibels from welding and metal gauging can damage your hearing.
Helmets: Accidents such as falling materials can occur in industrial setting. Protect your head.
Welders enjoy a tremendous trade that has an excellent future. Always place safety as your highest priority and arc on!
Learn more about welding techniques and safety tips through our welder training program. Check out our calendar to see when the next welding class starts.
To the outsider, welding is a career where what you do and where you work is kind of... a secret. Everyone knows what lawyers, doctors, and construction workers do. But unless you know a welder personally, you may not even know what a welder does or where they work.
Many people picture welders working in a dark, dank, factory-type setting. They're sitting alone, behind a mask, welding metal all day. This obviously isn’t reality, and there are many employers who have an immediate need for qualified welders in their companies. Many of these opportunities are in the manufacturing field. In this field, welders create and build products, perform repairs in the factories, or even travel to repair machines they've built.
Some companies are also needing to hire Welding Machine Operators. They don’t typically weld by hand, but instead operate welding machines. Their specialized skill puts them in great demand, since they know multiple welding techniques and can use industrial welding equipment. Large manufacturers usually employ welding machine operators as part of a semi-automated production process. However, being trained in "manual" welding techniques gives you the upper-hand because you have a working knowledge of the process.
There are a variety of other fields in which you can use welding techniques to make a living. Welders are in demand in the construction industry, in shipbuilding, the auto industry, or even aerospace. Solderers and brazers are similar to welders; however, welders usually complete their work at temperatures lower than the melting point of the joined pieces. Soldering is used in manufacturing processes, while brazing is used in plumbing and construction work. Cutters use arc torches or plasma and oxy-gas welding cutters in their work. Welding cutters often work as cutting machine operators. These operators dismantle large metal objects to obtain, reuse, or scrap metal parts.
The Important Part of Any Welding Job
Whatever field you find yourself working in, the important part of any welding job is making sure you are responsible, and work hard. No one is an expert right out of school, you'll have to work your way up and learn as much as you can along the way. Ask questions and learn what you can from the "old timers" - they'll be the ones to teach you different techniques, or show you how different machines work. Overall, if you show that you're willing to work, you'll soon find that you're no longer the "Rookie" and that someone else is looking up to you.
So, you think you're ready to take the next step towards a career in the welding industry? The right training makes all the difference! Learn how ACI can help you reach your career goals - fill out the form you see on this page, or give us a call at 1-877-649-9614.If you'd like more information on the Training Programs available at Advanced Career Institute, please visit www.advanced.edu/programs
Our Fresno welding students just completed a fabrication project for our campus in Fresno. A lot of hard work went into making these benches! We are always proud when our students accomplish great things. We are especially excited to be able to show these off to those that visit or attend our school!