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The Science of Manipulating Metal Part 1: Welding

Most people are well aware that metals like steel and aluminum are great building materials. They’re made of prevalent, naturally occurring materials, they’re affordable, they’re durable, and they last a long time. 

What people don’t always understand is how they’re manipulated.  

Because of their strength and resistance to heat, particularly with Steel, they can be a little difficult to work with. But with enough heat and the right amount of pressure, you can make some pretty wonderful things out of metal. 

Of course, it’s a little more technical than that. Today, we’re going to take a deeper look at how welding works. 

The Welding Process 

First, let’s clarify what welding is. Welding is a fabrication process that joins two materials through the introduction of high heat, followed by a cooling process.  While there are different types of material that can be welded (like glass or plastic), most people are referring to metal welding unless otherwise stated. 

For the sake of this post, we’ll be focusing specifically on metal welding. 

When you weld something, you directly alter the materials that are being joined, creating a very strong bond that’s not easily broken. This is different from processes like soldering, where two pieces of metal are joined by a filler metal that’s being altered. 

That said, welding often uses filler metal to help bridge and protect the connecting points. 

Welding has been around for thousands of years. Until modern times, the only method was forge welding, which allowed blacksmiths to heat and hammer metals together. While forging is still used for certain applications and in remote regions, it’s use is limited. It’s also a lot of work. 

For most modern types of welding, electricity and gas are used to create heat.   

There are a number of different welding techniques employed today depending on what’s being welded. The most popular type of welding is arc welding. When you picture someone wearing a mask, holding a thin stick that’s shoot electricity and creating a shower of sparks, this is arc welding. 

Though there are different forms of arc welding, they all involve channeling electricity through an electrode contained within a handheld tool. The electrode is brought into contact with the base metal and pulled back, creating an arc of electricity that begins the welding process. 

Another prominent form of welding is butt-welding. This is what we specialize in here at Ever-Roll. 

Butt-welding, also know as upset welding, is a technique that joins two metal ends together to form a near-seamless end product. Instead of using a tool like a welding torch, electricity is passed through both metal ends, heating it to a plastic-like state. 

If you’d like to learn more about how butt-welding works and what it’s used for, click here. 

And make sure to check back here soon for when we talk about another type of metal manipulation: tube bending production. 

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