Who Invented Welding

Who Invented Welding - Welding has been in use since the beginning of time.

This article will give an overview of welding's history through the years.

Who Invented Welding

Middle Ages

Welding has traces its historical progress back to prehistoric times. 

The first instances of welding date back to in the Bronze Age. 

The small circular gold boxes constructed by welding lap joints. 

It is believed that the boxes were constructed over 2200 years in the past. 

In the Iron Age the Egyptians and people living in the eastern Mediterranean region learned how to join iron pieces together. 

There were many tools which were created around 1000 B.C.

In the Middle Ages, the art of blacksmithing developed and various iron items were made that were then made to be welded using hitting. 

It wasn't till the late 19th century when welding in the way we use today was developed.


Edmund Davy of England is acknowledged as the inventor of the chemical acetylene in 1836. 

The process of creating an arc that is formed between two carbon electrodes with batteries is believed to be the work of Sir Humphry Davy around 1800. 

In the middle of the 19th century the invention of the electric generator and arc lighting was a very popular. The late 1800s saw cutting and gas welding was created. 

Arc welding using carbon arc as well as the metal arcs was created and then resistance welding was made a feasible joining method.


Auguste De Meritens, working in the Cabot Laboratory in France, employed the heat generated by an arc to join lead plates to create storage batteries in 1881. 

It was his student, the Russian, Nikolai N. Benardos employed within the French laboratory that was awarded an patent for welding. 

He, along with another Russian, Stanislaus Olszewski, was granted an British patent on 1885 as well as both an American patent on 1887. 

Patents depict that an earlier electrode holder. 

This was the first step towards Carbon Arc Welding. 

Benardos efforts were limited on carbon arc welding but he was also capable of welding iron and lead. Carbon arc welding was popular in the late 1890s and into the early 1900s.


In 1890, C.L. Coffin from Detroit was granted one of the very original U.S. patent for an arc welding technique using an electrode of metal. 

This was the first instance of the metal melting from the electrode and carried across the an arc to place filler metal inside the joint to create an arc welding. 

Around the same time, N.G. Slavianoff was a Russian was also presenting the same concept of moving the metal over an arc however, he proposed casting metal into the mold.


Around 1900 Strohmenger created a coated electrode for metal in Great Britain. 

It was coated with a thin layer of lime or clay however, it created the most stable arc. 

Oscar Kjellberg of Sweden invented an electrode covered or coated between 1907 until 1914. 

Stick electrodes were created by submerging short lengths naked iron wire into thick mixtures of carbonates as well as silicates before permitting that the layer to set.

During this time, resistance welding methods were invented, such as seam welding, spot welding projection welding, the flash butt welding. 

Elihu Thompson originated resistance welding. 

His patents are dated 1885-1900. 

In 1903 Goldschmidt, the German called Goldschmidt created thermite welding, which was the first to be used to weld railroad rails.

Cutting and welding with gas were perfected in this period also. 

The creation of oxygen and later, the liquefying of air and the invention of a blow pipe, or torch in the year 1887 contributed to the development of cutting and welding. 

Before 1900 hydrogen as well as coal gas were being used in conjunction together with oxygen. 

In the year 1900, a torch that could be used with low-pressure acetylene became available.

World War I brought a massive demand for production of weapons and welding was forced into service.

Numerous companies began popping up in America and Europe to make welding equipment and electrodes to meet demands.


Following the war in 1919 twenty members from the Wartime Welding Committee of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, under the direction by Comfort Avery Adams created the American Welding Society as a non-profit organization that was that was dedicated to the development of welding and related processes.

Alternating current was first invented during 1919 by C.J. Holslag However, it wasn't widely used until the 1930s, when the electrode that was coated with heavy metals became popular.


In 1920 the introduction of automatic welding took place. 

It was based on the bare electrode wire that operated on direct current. 

It also utilized an arc voltage as the base of controlling the rate of feed. 

Automatic welding was created by P.O. Nobel of the General Electric Company. 

The company used it to make new motor shafts that were worn and worn wheels for cranes. 

It was also utilized in the auto industry to manufacture the rear axle housings.

In the 1920s, a variety of kinds weld electrodes invented. 

There was much debate in the 1920s regarding the advantages of heavy-coated rods over light-coated rods. 

The electrodes that were heavy-coated, and were created by extruding were invented through Langstroth along with Wunder from the A.O. Smith Company and were used by the company in 1927.

By 1929, Lincoln Electric Company produced electrode rods extruded from the mold that were distributed to the public. 

In 1930 covered electrodes were extensively utilized. 

The codes for welding were introduced that required the highest quality of weld, which led to the increased use of covered electrodes.

In the 1920s there was extensive research on protecting the arc and weld region by applying externally applied gases. 

The oxygen-rich atmosphere and nitrogen that came into contact with the weld metal led to brittle, and sometimes porous welds. 

The research was conducted using gas shielding methods. 

Alexander and Langmuir worked in chambers employing hydrogen to create a weld environment. 

They used two electrodes, beginning with carbon electrodes and eventually switching to the tungsten electrodes. 

The hydrogen changed into an atomic hydrogen within the arc. 

The hydrogen was then released from the arc, forming an extremely fiery flame with atomic hydrogen that was turning into molecular form, and releasing heat. 

The arc generated half the heat of an flame of oxyacetylene. 

This led to the process of welding with atomic hydrogen. 

Atomic hydrogen did not become popular however it was utilized in between 1930 and the 1940s to use for specific applications in welding and later, to weld tool steels.

H.M. Hobart and P.K. Devers were working on similar projects but with atmospheres of Helium and argon. 

In their patents filed in 1926, the use of arc welding gas that was injected within the arc is the precursor in the gas-tungsten gas arc welding procedure. 

They also described welding using the use of a concentric nozzle as well as the electrode feeding as a wire via the nozzle. 

This was the predecessor to Gas Metal Arc welding. 

The processes were developed later.


Stud welding was first developed in the 1930s at the New York Navy Yard, specifically to attach wooden decking to a metal surface. 

Stud welding gained popularity in the construction and shipbuilding industries.

The automated process that gained popularity was submerged arc welding. 

This smothered or under-powder method of welding was created in the National Tube Company for a pipe mill in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. 

It was developed to create the seams along the length of the pipe. 

The technique was developed through Robinoff in 1930. 

The process was later purchased by Linde Air Products Company, and was later rebranded as Unionmelt welding. 

Submerged-arc welding was utilized in the buildup of defense operations in 1938, in shipyards as well as ordnance factories. 

It is among the most efficient welding techniques and is still in use today.


Gas tungsten Arc welding (GTAW) began with an idea of C.L. Coffin that he could weld using an atmosphere of non-oxidizing gas, which he patents in 1890. 

The idea was improved in the later 1920s by H.M.Hobart who employed the shielding power of helium, as well as P.K. Devers using the argon. 

This technique was great to weld magnesium as well as to weld aluminum and stainless. 

The process was developed in 1941 and was patented by Meredith and later known as Heliarc welding.

Later, it was licenced by Linde Air Products, where the water-cooled torch was created. 

This gas-tungsten arc welding technique is now one of the top.

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) process was successfully invented at the Battelle Memorial Institute in 1948 under the patronage from the Air Reduction Company. 

This process employed the shielded gas arc that was similar to the gas tungsten arc, but substituted the tungsten electrode with an electrode wire that was continuously fed. 

One of the fundamental modifications that made the process more scalable was the use of small-diameter electrode wires and the constant voltage source of power. 

The idea was previously patented by H.E. Kennedy. 

The first introduction of GMAW was to join non-ferrous metals. 

The speed of deposition was high, which led users to test the method on steel. 

The cost of inert gases was quite expensive, and cost savings could not be immediately realized.


The year 1953 was when Lyubavskii along with Novoshilov announced the possibility of welding using consumable electrodes in the environment of carbon dioxide gases. 

The CO2 welding procedure quickly gained popularity since it used equipment designed to use inert gas for metal arc welding, but can now be used to economically weld steels. 

This CO2 welding arc can be described as a hot one and the longer electrode wires require relatively high currents. 

The procedure was widely adopted as the introduction of smaller-diameter electrode wires and improved power sources. 

The result was the short-circuit-arc variation, which was called Micro-wire shorter-arc welding, and dip transfer welding all of which came out at the end of 1958 and in 1959. 

This modification allowed all-position welding of thin materials and was soon the most well-known of gas metal welding variations.


Another variant used inert gas containing small amounts of oxygen, which provided the spray-type transfer of arcs. 

It was popularized in the 1960s early on. One recent variant uses pulsed electricity. 

The current is changed between a high and low value at one or two times the frequency of the line.

Following the invention of CO2 welding another variation using a particular electrode wire was designed. 

The wire, called an inside-outside electrode that was a tubular cross section and had the fluxing agents on the inside. 

The method was known as Dualshield. 

It indicated that shielding gas from outside was employed as well as the gas created from the flux within the center of the wire to shield the arc. 

The process, developed by Bernard who was announcing it in 1954. 

However, it was first patented in the year 1957 when it was discovered that the National Cylinder Gas Company reintroduced it.

The year 1959 saw the first electrode that was inside-outside was created which did not require gas shielding from outside. 

The absence of gas shielding has made this process popular for non-critical work. 

The process was dubbed Innershield.

The process of welding with electroslag was officially announced by Soviets in the Brussels World Fair in Belgium in the year 1958. 

It was in use by the Soviet Union since 1951 but was developed based on research conducted by the United States by R.K. Hopkins, who received Patents back in the year 1940. 

The Hopkins method was not used in any significant way to join. 

The process was refined and equipment was created by the Paton Institute Laboratory in Kiev, Ukraine, and also at the Welding Research Laboratory in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. 

The first use of the process of the process in the U.S. was at the Electromotive Division of General Motors Corporation in Chicago which was referred to as the Electro-molding procedure. 

The process was first announced in December 1959 to enable the manufacturing of diesel engine blocks that were welded. 

The method and its variant with the consumable guide tube is used to join heavier materials.

In 1961, the Arcos Corporation introduced another vertical welding technique, known as Electrogas in the year 1961. 

The equipment was designed for electroslag welding. It used the use of a flux-cored electrode and gas shields that were supplied externally. 

It's an open arc process as there is no slag bath necessary. 

A recent development employs self-shielding electrodes as well as an alternative uses the solid wire, but that has gas shielding. 

These methods permit the welding of lighter materials that can be welded using the electroslag method.

Gage invented the plasma arc welding process in the year 1957. 

The process employs a constricted the arc or an arc via an orifice. 

This produces an arc plasma which is hotter than the tungsten arches. 

It can also be used to spray metal, gouging and cutting.

The process of welding electron beams is based on a laser-focused beam of electrons to serve as an energy source within the vacuum chamber first developed in France. J.A. Stohr at J.A. Stohr of the French Atomic Energy Commission made the first public announcement of the procedure on November 23rd in 1957. 

Within the United States, the automotive and aerospace engines are the main consumers of electron beam welding.

The most recent

Friction welding makes use of the power of rotation and pressure to create the heat for friction, invented during the Soviet Union.

It is a highly specialized procedure and can only be used when an adequate amount of similar parts must be welded as a result of the initial cost for equipment and tools. 

This is referred to as inertia welding.

Laser welding is among the most recent processes. 

The laser was designed by the Bell Telephone Laboratories as a communication device. 

Due to the huge power density within a compact area it was able to prove an effective source of heat. 

It is utilized to cut metals as well as non-metals. Continuous pulse technology is readily available.

Lasers are finding welding applications in metalworking processes for automotive.

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