Tuesday 10 December 2013

Five Things that Wouldn’t Exist Without Welding

It is incredibly easy to take certain things for granted.  Sure we acknowledge that our cars are wonderful engineering marvels right at our fingertips, but how often do we really take the time to delve into what goes into making it?  When you get down to it, there are a lot of things that would not exist without something as simple as welding.  Things we probably don’t even think of when you hear the word “welding”
Long ago, Henry Ford decided to ditch the wooden models and broke out the sheet metal to jump -start his automotive empire.  Although cars aren’t made with the same heavy metals as before, the framework and internal workings of modern cars still heavily rely on welding to hold the pieces together.  Speaking of cars…
With technology rapidly growing, we now have keys to open car doors almost by magic.  The pieces inside the key fob are plastic, and those pieces of plastic are held together by, you guessed it, welding.  “How?” You might be asking yourself.  Ultrasonic Welding.  Ultrasonic welding is a type of cold welding process that uses less energy because of its low heat rate, and is commonly used to weld together plastic.  Ultrasonic welders have a relatively small depth of weld, so it is the perfect technique for this piece of technology.
Well, this is only half a truth.  Much of New York has the same technique used within its floors as reinforcement.  Grand Central Station’s flooring is reinforced with welded wire within the pavement.  This is a technique that was copied throughout New York City, like the Empire State building, as well as many other cities throughout the United States.
Okay, so maybe this one isn’t surprising, as it is just awesome.  Much like the automobile, rocket launchers have decidedly wooden origins that became more refined and powerful as technology grew and developed.  Otherwise known as, bazookas, or shoulder carried rocket launchers; these massive weapons were used as anti-tank weapons during World War II.
Well space isn’t welded together, but welding in space does produce some interesting results.  Essentially, when two pieces of uncoated metal are touched together in space, they create and inseparable bond between the two pieces.  This exists because there is no layer of oxidization to prevent this from happening on earth. There is some dispute to the usefulness of this technique, although it does not take away from the fact that it is a fact worth throwing out at your next dinner party.
Welding is a technique that is used in roughly 50% of the United States projects, and can be found in even the smallest of places.  Next time you’re walking through Grand Central, you can look down and know that it has held up so well, because of welding.
Ella Gray is a happy home maker who discovered an interest for welding when she was working on some home projects.  It lead her down a path of learning.  Please feel free to contact her at any time with questions.  Ella.l.Gray@gmail.com.

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