Welding technology continues to evolve in the manufacturing industry. Many times the characteristics of weld joints, not welded materials, are what determine structure performance and industry innovation. During the past few decades, welding has grown in sophistication.
Here are some recent developments in welding.
Current Popular Welding Methods
Arc welding continues to be the most common form of welding technology. It involves connecting heavy plates in big steel structures. Innovation in arc welding has been driven by these processes:
- Narrow Gap Welding
- High Heat Input
- Automatic Welding
Laser welding is growing in demand due to its diversity and efficiency for connecting thin steel sheets together, as well as joining heavy plates. Visionaries of the manufacturing industry seek to better integrate welding with production cycles and move toward the concept of an IT-based “virtual manufacturing plant”.
Improvements in composition and materials are helping shape the course of evolution in welding processes. Advances have been made in thicker and stronger steel plates for big large vessels, which have led to more efficient transportation. More eco-friendly materials have come into play with growing concerns about keeping the environment safe from toxic substances. Nickel-based steel for coastal bridges is being used more due to its weatherproof properties and resistance to saltwater corrosion.
Stainless steels have become more favored than traditional low-alloy steels, due to cost efficiency, corrosion resistance and customization capabilities. Titanium also withstands corrosion. Additionally, its strength and light weight make it more universal and appropriate for shipbuilding. These large structures involve Electron Beam Welding and Metal Inert Gas Welding.
High strength steels are becoming more common in modern welding developments due to their durability and resistance to weather conditions. Manufacturers are choosing greener methods, as well as focusing on lower cost materials that provide long lasting strength.