Simply put, welding is a metal fabrication process by which two pieces of metal is connected into a huge structure. The location to be joined is heated to melting using torch or electrical arc and additional metal material in the form of welding rod or welding wire is used to fill the gap. The welded connections are as stronger as the base material or even more.
There are three basic types of welding. They are the Gas welding, Arc welding and Spot welding. In the gas welding, a gas torch is used to heat and melt the base metal. Commonly a mixture of oxygen and acetylene is the gas combination used for gas welding. They are usually used for welding pipes. The gas welding is also used for brazing, cutting and heating metal for bending since the temperature of the torch flame can be varied.
The Arc welding uses an electric current to melt the base metal. There are different types of arc welding available for handling different metals, equipment and conditions. Each type would be suitable for welding a specific metal. For joining thin sheets of metals, the spot welding is used in which an electric current is used to create a weld at a single location. This type of welding is largely used for robotic processes. The robots are capable of performing large number of spot welds in automobile assemblies. There are also more recent innovations in welding like beam welding which are used for specific applications.
In almost every industry from automobiles to electronics, the welding is being used. Welding can be even performed underwater or in the vacuum space if the welder is given the appropriate equipment. Even though the welding is generally performed on steel parts, the aluminum parts are also welded together. Some aluminum alloys are particularly easy to weld.
As the welding involves high levels of electric current, gases and temperature, it is important to take certain safety measures while performing welding. The welders are advised to take extreme care for protecting themselves. Some safety equipments like welding masks, gloves, aprons and coveralls.
The welding masks are shields that cover the head and neck and have darkened glass to protect eyes from high intensity of lights of the welding spark. The masks would be hinged so that the welders can easily remove the mask to evaluate his work without fully removing the mask. During welding, sparks are thrown off and this would heat and burn the welder’s hands. So for protecting welder’s hands, the gloves should be used. It is always suggested that the welders should wear leather aprons and coveralls for protecting themselves from the heat and gases. Sometimes the welders are seen to be operating behind tinted shields. This is to prevent passersby from seeing the welding sparks directly.
The main advantage of welding process is that it creates a permanent and strong bond between two metal parts that would not shift or break over time. It is basically a process of melting and joining metals locally by which a strong bond is created.