7 Interesting Facts About Welding That You Might Not Know

metal weldingAlthough welding is such an integral part of the fabrication process, it often gets forgotten, or at least isn’t much talked about. Yet without it, structures, appliances and even railways would be rendered useless. With this in mind, at Metro Steel we thought that we’d give a big shout out to the art of welding with 7 interesting facts you might not know.

Fact No 1 – Some of the earliest welding recorded dates back to the Bronze age where small gold circular boxes were discovered. They were made by forge-welding two pieces of metal together and hammering them to make one component part. This was some 2000 years BC.

Fact 2 – When two pieces of metal touch in space they become instantly welded together. Although it sounds pretty far-fetched, it’s perfectly true. Bare or highly polished metal (those without any coating) will weld themselves together in a phenomenon known as cold welding. This is where metallic bonds that hold atoms together, bridge the gap to create one single solid piece of metal. It can’t happen on earth because the atmosphere helps to create a layer of oxidisation between the two metals and therefore they won’t weld together without the use of a welding tool.

Fact 3 – The world’s first industrial robot was made to spot weld. In 1961, American car company General Motors installed the Unimate. It was in essence an industrial motorised arm weighing in at a staggering two tonnes. It performed step-by-step commands which were stored on a large magnetic drum. Talk about supersize!

Fact 4 – Long before a car hits the road at a NASCAR event, over 950 man hours of fabrication and welding are needed. Each part is hand-cut, machined and welded together. This includes the suspension and chassis, through to the drive train. All that work – it must be a real downer for a welder working on the car when the car crashes!

Fact 5 – Two first’s here…Ultrasonic welding was first used on the world’s first plastic bodied car. While the car didn’t really take on, ultrasonic welding did. This type of welding creates friction through high frequency (ultrasonic) waves. When the pieces vibrate together heat is produced and the two bond together.

Fact 6 – More than 50% of all man made products require welding. From the cars, planes and trains that we travel about in, to the buildings that we live and work in and even the laptop that I’m typing this blog post on, they all need a spot of welding before they become fully functional.

Fact 7 – During the second world war advancements in welding allowed ships to be built in super quick time. The record for the fastest built ship was the SS Robert E Peary which was constructed in 1942, taking just 4 days, 15 hours and 27 minutes. Funnily enough, this record still stands today. As for the ship herself…well she had an illustrious career, operating in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans before eventually being scrapped in 1963.

So there you have it 7 facts about welding you can use to wow/bore your friends and family with!

If you want to know more about welding or indeed the fabrication process, or would like a bespoke quality steel product made for you, then contact us on 07 3204 1000 to discuss your requirements.