Meaning of WELDING in English


technique used for joining metallic parts usually through the application of heat. This technique was discovered during efforts to manipulate iron into useful shapes. Welded blades were developed in the first millennium AD, the most famous being those produced by Arab armourers at Damascus, Syria. The process of carburization of iron to produce hard steel was known at this time, but the resultant steel was very brittle. The welding technique-which involved interlayering relatively soft and tough iron with high-carbon material, followed by hammer forging-produced a strong, tough blade. In modern times the improvement in iron-making techniques, especially the introduction of cast iron, restricted welding to the blacksmith and the jeweler. Other joining techniques, such as fastening by bolts or rivets, were widely applied to new products, from bridges and railway engines to kitchen utensils. Modern fusion welding processes are an outgrowth of the need to obtain a continuous joint on large steel plates. Rivetting had been shown to have disadvantages, especially for an enclosed container such as a boiler. Gas welding, arc welding, and resistance welding all appeared at the end of the 19th century. The first real attempt to adopt welding processes on a wide scale was made during World War I. By 1916 the oxyacetylene process was well developed, and the welding techniques employed then are still used. The main improvements since then have been in equipment and safety. Arc welding, using a consumable electrode, was also introduced in this period, but the bare wires initially used produced brittle welds. A solution was found by wrapping the bare wire with asbestos and an entwined aluminum wire. The modern electrode, introduced in 1907, consists of a bare wire with a complex coating of minerals and metals. Arc welding was not universally used until World War II, when the urgent need for rapid means of construction for shipping, power plants, transportation, and structures spurred the necessary development work. Resistance welding, invented in 1877 by Elihu Thomson, was accepted long before arc welding for spot and seam joining of sheet. Butt welding for chain making and joining bars and rods was developed during the 1920s. In the 1940s the tungsten-inert gas process, using a nonconsumable tungsten electrode to perform fusion welds, was introduced. In 1948 a new gas-shielded process utilized a wire electrode that was consumed in the weld. More recently, electron-beam welding, laser welding, and several solid-phase processes such as diffusion bonding, friction welding, and ultrasonic joining have been developed.

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