The next time you are thinking of welding, consider its history and where it all started. Allow your thoughts to go back to the Iron Age, when humankind discovered how to extract metal from rock, to get a sense of where it all began. Looking at items from that historical period discovered in Egypt and the Middle East, you will see that the metalwork is incredibly ornate and detailed. Before acetylene was found, they made metal boxes and adorned them with other metal objects.
Edmund Davy developed acetylene and utilised it to weld metals together in the nineteenth century. The invention of arc lighting simplified the welding process more than ever before to link metal components together. The next breakthrough was carbon welding, created by a Frenchman named Auguste De Mertens. Welding grew more widespread in the early twentieth century and considerable advancements in arc precision were made at this time. The first stick electrode was used in 1914, making the welding process more accurate and enabling finer work.
The stick electrode also enabled projection and seam welding, a tremendous breakthrough. More progress was made and as the quality of the gas increased, so did the quality of the welding.
Welding firms grew and became increasingly common during World War I. As a result, countries began competing in various forms of technology to gain an advantage, and welding was one such technology. The countries at war were all attempting to build more powerful ships using welding and other metallurgical techniques because the country that commanded the waters had control over the supply channels. Around this period, there was a welding revolution, with the Europeans using arc welding in shipbuilding and the Americans using arc welding to repair ships.
Welding has advanced even further over the last 50 years, and with the discovery of the laser, employing a laser beam to do welding has become widespread in automated facilities. Many safety advancements have also been made, the tools, equipment and protective clothes today make welding a much safer practice. If you would like to learn more about the history of welding, please do contact us today at Code A Weld.