It’s always fun to learn that we still do things in 2022 that others did four thousand years ago. Welding dates back to 2000 B.C. based on gold boxes that researchers discovered which were banded together. Luckily, with the implementation of new technologies, welding has become more efficient in these modern times. Here are some interesting facts about welding that may surprise you, especially if you are unfamiliar with the field.
First Industrial Robot
In the early 1960s, the automotive industry was trying to find ways to maximize its production. General Motors needed additional assistance for welding jobs, so GM was the first company to employ a robot to improve its productivity. The UNIMATE conducted spot welds because they were the most dangerous tasks for workers to do by hand. It took nearly 20 years before robotic welding became a mainstay for many manufacturers.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Over half of all manufactured items involve welding. Everything requires welding to become completely functional—from cars, aircraft, and locomotives, to the buildings in which we reside, and even the computer or device you are reading this article on. Therefore, without welding, our world would be a shell of itself.
Golden Gate Welds
As is the case with several bridges, the Bay Bridge linking San Francisco and Oakland carries a high-traffic volume each day. Subjected to considerable wear and tear, it’s unsurprising that several overpass sections have welds.
Each bridge’s base required an uninterrupted weld 33 feet high and 2-4 inches in thickness. Laborers used electroslag welding, a one-pass method to join thick materials. Every weld took around four hours to complete, accounting for over 656 feet of welded material.
During World War II, innovations in welding enabled workers to construct ships in record time. The swift production of The SS Robert E Peary only took 4 days, 15 hours, and 27 minutes to build the entire ship, setting the benchmark for its quick construction. Although the ship took less than 5 days to build from the ground up, it wasn’t in action until 1963. Surprisingly, this milestone continues to stand today.
A Wonderful Career Choice
The wonderful thing about welding is that the industry continues to grow, offering several job opportunities for aspiring welders. By 2026, the U.S. will need approximately 370,000 welders, including jobs underwater and in outer space. Plus, if you have the skills of becoming an elite welder, you can make as much money as a doctor, especially when you factor in the cost of student loans that doctors have compared when compared to welders.
Hopefully, the interesting facts about welding that may surprise you taught you a thing or two. Next time you look at a product or structure, you now know welding made it happen. Regardless of whether it did or not, it’s impressive how integral welding is in creating a functioning society.