History of Welding

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The history of joining metals goes back several millennia, called forge welding, with the earliest examples of welding from the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Europe and the Middle East. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus states in The Histories of the 5th century BC that Glaucus of Chios "was the man who single-handedly invented iron-welding."[1] Welding was used in the construction of the iron pillar in Delhi, India, erected about 310 AD and weighing 5.4 metric tons.[2] The Middle Ages brought advances in forge welding, in which blacksmiths pounded heated metal repeatedly until bonding occurred. In 1540, Vannoccio Biringuccio published De la pirotechnia, which includes descriptions of the forging operation.[3] Renaissance craftsmen were skilled in the process, and the industry continued to grow during the following centuries.[3] In 1802, Russian scientist Vasily Petrov discovered the electric arc[4] and subsequently proposed its possible practical applications, including welding. In 1881–82 a Russian inventor Nikolai Benardos created the first electric arc welding method known as carbon arc welding, using carbon electrodes. The advances in arc welding continued with the invention of metal electrodes in the late 1800s by a Russian, Nikolai Slavyanov (1888), and an American, C. L. Coffin (1890). Around 1900, A. P. Strohmenger released a coated metal electrode in Britain, which gave a more stable arc. In 1905 Russian scientist Vladimir Mitkevich proposed the usage of three-phase electric arc for welding. In 1919, alternating current welding was invented by C. J. Holslag but did not become popular for another decade.[5] Resistance welding was also developed during the final decades of the 19th century, with the first patents going to Elihu Thomson in 1885, who produced further advances over the next 15 years. Thermite welding was invented in 1893, and around that time another process, oxyfuel welding, became well established. Acetylene was discovered in 1836 by...
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