Years 1800 - 1900
Age of Discovery and Invention
Sceintists are expanding thier view of the micro-world of chemistry and electricity.
- Scientists began using the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe as a laboratory tool to examine refractory metals to the extreme temperature of 4468°F.
- Alessandro Volta discovers that two dissimilar metals connected by a substance became a conductor when moistened, forming a 'Voltaic Cell'.
- Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829) of London England, experimented and demonstrated the arc between two carbon electrodes using a battery. This was the forerunner to electric-arc lighting.
- Vanadium was discovered in Mexico and was thought to be a form of chromium for the next three decades. In 1830, it was rediscovered by N.C. Sefstrom, and in 1887, H.E. Rosco isolated the element from its compounds, mainly vanadite and carnotite. It was named for the Scandinavian love goddess Vanadis.
- Magnesium is discovered as a chemical element by Sir Humphrey Davy.
- Sir Humphrey Davy proved the existence of aluminum.
- Robert Hare, a professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania invents the hydrogen blowpipe.
- Hans Christian Oersted established connection between electricity and magnetism.
- Andre-Marie Ampere pioneered the field of electromagnetism.
- Charles Macintosh opens a rubber factory in Glasgow Scotland.
- Friederich Wöhler discovers aluminum.
- Wallaston produced sponge platinum and welded it together by cold-pressing, sintering and then hammering while the metal was hot.
- Michael Faraday invents the Dynamo creating electricity from magnets
- English chemist Edmund Davy (1785-1857), a cousin of Sir Humphrey Davy described the properties of acetylene, but was unable to give correct formula.
- Frenchman Sainte Claire Deville invents the oxygen-hydrogen blowpipe. Used mainly as laboratory equipment for melting platinum and producing enamel.
- Charles Goodyear discovers the vulcanization of rubber, giving rise to the development of rubber hoses for welding gases.
- Eugene Desbassayrs de Richemont patents a process of fusion welding
- Michael Faraday discovers the homopolar device that generates voltage.
- Frenchman E. Desbassayns de Richemont invents the first air-hydrogen blowpipe.
- de Richemont coins the phrase "soudure autogène", improperly translated into English as "autogenous welding". Welding implies solid state whereas fusion welding implies a liquid state.
- German H. Rossier used the air-hydrogen blowpipe for soldering lead.
- James Nasmyth, while investigating the proving of ship chain for the British Admiralty, discovered and gave the reason for the convex forge welding "scarf". By preparing the surfaces to be welded with a slightly convex surface the flux and swarf are squeezed out of the joint. Otherwise they are trapped in the joint weakening it. This was the first improvement in the forge welding process in 3000 years. Prior to this time the shape of the joint was randomly flat concave or convex.
- James Joule, an Englishman, first experimented with a bundle of wire in charcoal and welded the wires by heating with an electric current. This was the first example of heating by internal resistance to produce a weld. Years later, Elihu Thomson perfected the process into what will then be known as resistance welding.
- An Englishman named Wilde successfully used the theories of Volta and Davy and the primitive electric sources of the time to make "Joins" and received a patent for the earliest form of the art now known as "electric welding".
- French chemist Berthelot (1827-1907) accurately gave the correct formula of C2H2 to acetylene. Also found it to be unstable (1863) under certain pressure and temperature.
- A German, Friederich Wöhler (Woehler), produces acetylene gas from calcium carbide.
- The first successful oil pipeline was built by Samuel Van Sickel at Titusville, Pennsylvania where 2-1/2 miles of 2 inch diameter cast Pipeline was laid for the transfer of 800 barrels of crude oil. The pipe was screw coupled and hammered since welding was not yet invented for pipe joining. The Dresser coupling, invented in 1891 was the first time a mechanical joint could be assembled without excessive leaking. This method was the standard for pipelining until the mid-1930s, when welding overtook the assembly process.
- Englishman Wilde, using primitive electric sources succeeded in making joins by melting small pieces of iron and was granted a patent for his discovery.
- Otto Bernz of Newark New Jersey founded the Otto Bernz Company selling plumber's tools and the gasoline torch "Alway's Reliable".
- Development of gas welding and cutting, carbon arc and metal arc welding.
- Elihu Thomson invents a low-pressure resistance welding machine which was accomplished by causing internal resistance enough to reach the plastic stage of a metal. Later, it was referred to as Incandescent Welding.
Age of Application
Discoveries are leaving the laboratory and defining practical applications for industial explotations.
- During a lecture at the Franklin Institute (Philia), E. Thomson reversed the process of (...)
- Auguste DeMeritens working at an associated laboratory founded by the periodical "l'Electricien" - Cabot Laboratory (Cabat), France was using arc heat to join lead plates for storage battery. French Patent Number 146010 was issued.
- Nikolai N. Benardos (Bernados) and Stanislav Olszewaski (Olszewaski) secured a British patent with carbon arc welding. Both men were working under the direction of A. DeMeritens with the arc lighting industry at the Cabot Laboratory (Cabat) in France. Carbon was oxidized at the carbon tip and created CO2 at the arc for shielding. Both men had to generate their electricity using a steam-engine (prime-mover) to turn the generator and produce electricity. The alternative was to use batteries which did not last long because of the short-circuiting involved. Patents applied for and received besides Britain: Belgium, Germany, Sweden, and France.
- N. N. Benardos obtained Russian Patent (No. 11982) electric arc welding with carbon electrode called ""Elecktrogefest" or "Electrohephaestus". The methods of cutting and welding metals by the arc was termed "Electrohefest" in memory(sic) of Hephaestus, the ancient Greek god of Fire and Blacksmith work. (The Romans renamed Hephaestus to Vulcan and which is shown on the title page, giving instruction to the craftsmen forging metal.)
- Benardos receives permission from the Russian Government to organize production in 1885 for "The production of this plant is based on welding and brazing by electricity and also producing devices for electrical illumination" (Note: emphasis mine)
- Electric furnace installed for production of aluminum alloys. An important step in early development of the Aluminum industry.
- N.N. Benardos and S. Olszewaski secured an American Patent for the welding apparatus. (U.S. Patent No. 363320, May 17)
- The "blowpipe" or "torch", using the gases acetylene and liquefied air or oxygen, was developed.
- Thomas Fletcher develops blowpipe that could be used with either hydrogen or coal gas and oxygen
- An English shop began making tanks, casks, and iron garden furniture with the electric arc process.
- Benardos/Olczewski granted patent 12984 for Carbon Arc Welding.
- Hans Zerner is issued German Patent 53502.3.12.1889 for the Twin Carbon Arc welding process?.
- C. L. Coffin in Detroit Michigan awarded first U.S. Patent 395878, 'Process of Electric Welding' for metal electrodes. This was the first record of metal melted from an electrode and actually carried across the arc to deposit filler metal in the joint to make the weld. One electrode was carbon and the other electrode was filler material.
- The US Commissioner to the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition upon seeing the arc welding process demonstrated wrote in a report "...As the metal is burnt and brittle where it is welded, the process is not a success."
- Coffin also described in U.S. Patent 419032 (January 7) the GTAW beginnings when a voltaic arc weld was made in non-oxidizing atmospheres.
- A bank robber in Great Britain used the newly developed "blowtorch" to gain access to bank vaults.
- John Motley Morehead, a graduate of North Carolina State University in 1891, was working as a chemist for Willson Aluminum Company, Spray, North Carolina, determined that when heating slacked lime mixed with coal tar and immersed in water would produce acetylene gas. Acetylene is formed when bicarburet of H2 and ground carbon produces a solid of calcium carbide when immersed in water. This was originally discovered 56 years earlier by Edmund Davy. Canadian Thomas ‘Carbide’ Willson and American James Turner Morehead begin to commercially produce acetylene as a product from calcium carbide in Spray, NC. Starting with 2,000 pounds of Calcium Carbide and simply mixing with water, yields 10,500 cubic feet of acetylene gas and mixed with air to prevent smoking, produces 100,000 cubic foot of usable illumination gas. J. M. Morehead later becomes Vice-President of the American Welding Society in 1919.
- Slavianoff suggests that a bare metallic electrode could be substituted for the carbon electrodes of the Benardos process.
- Concurrently, C. L. Coffin is also credited with introducing the bare metallic electrode in the US
- Baldwin Locomotive Works was using Carbon Arc Welding (CAW) for locomotive maintenance. The weld joints were hard and brittle because of the carbon flaking off into the weld puddle.
- Elihu Thompson of the Thompson Welding Co. invented Resistance Welding (RW).
- The combustion of Oxygen and Acetylene was discovered by Henri LeChatelier in his home country of France. Describes combustion of acetylene with equal volume of oxygen proceeds in two stages:
4CO + 2O2 = 4CO2
2H2 + O2 = 2H2O
- Machine for liquid air generation placed in operation
- Lord Reyleigh and Sir William Ramsey discover Argon (Ar).
- Konrad Roentgen (Bavaria) observed the effects of x-radiation while passing electric current through a vacuum tube.
- During a 10 year period in the U.S. and at a rate of one accident per day, boilers were exploding with the loss of life from the accidents at twice that rate.