Brazing and forge welding techniques have existed since the Bronze age. In the early-19th century, acetylene and the electric-welding arc were discovered, but their widespread use was not practical until the early-20th century. World War I, World War II and private industry created a very large demand for welding technology. Increased usage drove the development of fluxes, arc welding and new techniques in later decades, such as tungsten inert gas welding and plasma arc welding.Continue Reading
Examples of forge welding are known dating as far back as 3000 B. C. During this time period, Sumerians used hard-brazing techniques to join together bronze swords. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, forge welding was the primary method for joining metals, and it continued to develop well into the Iron Age. During the Renaissance, blacksmiths displayed great skill in the process, and their ingenuity further developed the technique in the centuries that followed. During the 18th century, other welding techniques began to be developed, including arc welding and resistance welding.
Oxyfuel welding, the technique of combining acetylene and oxygen to reach temperatures suitable for metal joining, became a popular method in the early-20th century for joining metal due to its low cost and portability. However, this technique soon fell out of favor once fluxes were developed for arc welding. Arc welding saw extensive usage during World War I and World War II, when it was used to construct battleships, warplanes and munitions. Flux-cored arc welding was introduced in 1957 and allowed for faster welding speeds that could be used with automatic equipment.Learn more about Inventions