From jewelry to aerospace to bridge building, every industry where two or more metals are used and fused, welding is needed. There are more than 30 different methods to get to each of these separate projects of welding, like shielded metal arc welding or SMAW welding, TIG welding, laser welding: a contemporary welding type gaining more popularity now.
For the longest time in history, almost up till the 19th century, forge welding was the only process in common use. That’s till arc welding with its electrodes and oxy-fuel welding were invented and took the baton.
Soon after, SMAW welding came into being and maintained its ground and is commonly used even now. Other processes like gas metal arc welding or GMAW and flux-cored arc welding or FCAW followed suit.
Advancements in the welding industry have since been booming and have come into more and more commercial and industrial use. Here are a few industries where welding is commonly used:
Rivets are sturdy but they add to the weight and maintenance, thus welding is the most suitable and effective way to fuse metals or join them in the aerospace industry. It has been in use in this industry since the making of the first commercial aircraft and is continually used.
GMAW or MIG welding was the go-to for the longest time, and is till date used for repair work. For production and manufacturing, electrical arc welding has taken a forefront.
Other welding types like plasma arc welding & electric resistance welding are used for other tasks in the production process like joining the sheets or for other precision work.
Construction and Infrastructure
The construction industry very widely uses steel and aluminium and MIG welding is widely used and loved to work with those metals. More than half of the steel produced in the world is used in construction of buildings: both residential and commercial alike.
It is due to the sturdiness and long life of the metal that it is a popular choice. With its popular choice, welding too is a popular choice, since it reduces the demand for year-on-year maintenance unlike rivets and bolts. Welding also is a fairly simple and quick way to repair damaged machines and goods.
FCAW and SMAW welding are also commonly used in construction but they are deemed to be messy yet it is lighter on the pocket. Plasma arc welding is a good choice in case detail and precision is what one is looking for.
It goes without saying that welding is an essential to railways. Whether it is the manufacturing of the different compartments or joining the rails, welding is paramount. Spot welding, and a sub-sect under it called shot welding have proven to be effective in fusing steel and iron together.
Ships: cruise liners, cargo ships as well as shipping containers, large tanks and submarines, welding plays a big, if not huge, role in their manufacturing. Like mentioned earlier, rivets can be a choice in case one is looking for sturdiness, but welding is preferred since it is lightweight and much easier to maintain.
It is also a speedy process that is much more economical than using rivets and bolts and thus has been a first choice ever since World War 2.
Routine repair work and maintenance can also be done more efficiently by welding as opposed to other processes, and quite frankly, isn’t needed all that often.
This includes everything from computers to their fine machinery, furniture and even certain machinery for mass production! MIG welding is a common welding method used across industries and is a favourite here too.
Why? It is the speed, efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness given the previous two factors that makes it a preferred choice.
These are some major industries where welding is an absolute must and technological advancements in welding have proven to be beneficial to the industries themselves!