What is welding? and what do welders do?
Welding is the most economical and efficient way to join metals permanently. It
is the only way of joining two or more pieces of metal to make them act as a
single piece. Welding is vital to our economy. It is often said that over 50% of
the gross national product of the U.S.A. is related to welding in one way or
another. Welding ranks high among industrial processes and involves more
sciences and variables than those involved in any other industrial process.
Welding is a main focus of steel fabrication. The formed and machined parts
will be assembled and tack welded into place then re-checked for accuracy. A
fixture may be used to locate parts for welding if multiple weldments have been
There are many ways to make a weld and many different kinds of welds. Some
processes cause sparks and others do not even require extra heat.
Welding can be done anywhere… outdoors or indoors, underwater and in outer
A small group of welders belongs to the group of repair services. This includes
maintenance and repair on automobiles or refers to the welding performed on
industrial and electrical machinery to repair worn parts.
Special precautions may be needed to prevent warping of the welded piece due to
heat. These may include; welding in a staggered fashion, using a stout fixture,
covering the weldment in sand during cooling, and straightening operations.
Straightening of warped steel weldments is done with an Oxy-acetylene torch and
is somewhat of an art. Heat is selectively applied to the steel in a slow,
linear sweep. The steel will have a net contraction, upon cooling, in the
direction of the sweep. A highly skilled welder can remove significant warpage
using this technique.
Steel weldments are occasionally annealed in a low temperature oven to relieve