Welding Secures America’s Infrastructure
Welding is an integral aspect of America’s building industries, from shipbuilding to skyscrapers, superhighways, bridges and virtually everything in between. A scaffolding of welded steel (or other metal) is often the foundation over which a building’s structural and aesthetic facades are laid. With that support in place, architects, engineers and designers can create imaginative yet highly functioning facilities, knowing the final product will be durable as well as beautiful. Some form of the welding process is involved in as much as 50 percent of the gross national product of the U.S., and, with dozens of welding methods available, there is probably at least one form that can respond to your connecting or fastening concern.
How welding works
Connecting metals to other metals takes either heat or pressure or some combination of both. Unlike other fastening processes (like bolting, for example, which requires the piercing of at least one of the pieces), welding does not puncture either part involved in the weld. Instead, the welding process essentially melts both parts into each other where the weld happens. The chemical makeup of both pieces changes at the weld joint, which becomes a combination of the two. When the melted aspects of the two pieces cool, they are indelibly bonded with and into each other, establishing an almost unbreakable connection.
Stud welding, a method that applies a metal fastener to one side of a substrate metal, is frequently used in projects that require an aesthetically clean appearance on the face of one of the pieces. A common example of this type of weld is found in cookware, where handles or ornamentation are applied to one side of the pan without any marring of the opposite side of the welded site. Shipbuilding relies on stud welding to soundly connect metal parts to each other without puncturing either one. Not surprisingly, this aspect is especially critical when crafting the hull of the boat. Additionally, no multi story building or steel bridge is complete without stud welding as an integral part of composite structural design.
Welding methods are as diverse as they need to be to complete the connection. Underwater divers can use specialized welding equipment that does not require a flame or a dry “habitat” for the weld to form. In space, the lack of an atmosphere creates an ideal welding site, because there are no extraneous gases to interact with the process. Welding was used to craft a significant percentage of the International Space Station.
Welding options are plentiful
When constructing virtually anything, welding often offers the quickest, cleanest and strongest connection between two metals, regardless of the size, location or complexity of the project. For 40 years, Image Industries has been assisting, advising and stud welding for clients on hundreds of large and small projects around the world. The next time you drive across a bridge, thank the welders who created the structure that easily facilitates your crossing of an otherwise impassable stretch.
If you have questions about stud welding contact your sales representative or the factory for trouble shooting!