Basic welding

 

One of the most common types of welding is arc welding and this will always be included in the basics of welding. Standard arc welding involves two large metal alligator clips that carry a strong electrical current. One clip is attached to any part of the piece being welded. The second clip is connected to a thin welding rod. When the rod touches the piece, a powerful electrical circuit is created. The massive heat created by the electrical current causes both the piece and the steel core of the rod to melt together, cooling quickly to form a solid bond. The speed with which the welder works can affect the strength of the weld.

 

Formal training is available in high schools and post secondary institutions, such as vocational-technical institutes, community colleges, and private welding schools. The United States Armed Forces operate welding schools as well. Although some employers provide training, they prefer to hire workers who already have experience or formal training. Courses in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry, and metallurgy are helpful. An understanding of electricity also is very helpful, and knowledge of computers is gaining importance, especially for welding, soldering, and brazing machine operators, who are becoming more responsible for the programming of robots and other computer-controlled machines. Since understanding the welding process and inspecting welds is important for both welders and welding machine operators, companies hiring machine operators prefer workers with a background in welding.

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