1 N A S C A R — L o n g b e f o r e t h e r u b b e r h i t s t h e r o a d , r o u g h l y 950 man-hours are spent on welding and fabrication for each race car. Hundreds of parts are hand-cut, welded and machined, from the chassis and suspension to the drivetrain.
in 1961, General motors installed the first industrial robot in history, the unimate. featuring a motorized arm that weighed more than two tons, the unimate performed spot welds by following step-by-step commands stored on a magnetic drum.
3 which famous comedian has a large antique car and motorcycle collection and employs welders regularly? Jay leno! His large collection includes models from the early 1900s to modern vehicles.
4 explosion welding is a pow- erful welding process that can accomplish what many other weld- ing methods can’t—it can join nearly every kind of metal together, even the most highly dissimilar ones.
W e l d i n g i n 5 space was first attempted in 1969 by Russian cosmonauts. Today, advances in welding technology have made it essential for projects like the construction of the International Space Station.
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Jay leno: courtesy of nbc studios; unimate copyright 2009 gm corp. used With permission, gm media archive
6 President Roosevelt, in a letter to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, boasted about the discovery of new welding techniques that enabled America to build ships with a speed unequaled in the history of shipbuilding.
illustrations: Jonathan carlson
7 the first car made with an entirely plastic body was assem- bled using ultrasonic welding. even though plastic cars did not catch on, ultrasonic welding did. ultrasonic plastic welding is an example of a friction welding process, which creates energy through high- intensity acoustic sounds that cause plastic pieces to vibrate together and form a bond.
10 what is a “fume plume”? it is the visible column of fume that rises directly from the spot of welding or cutting.
t h e c u r r e n t 1 1 record for the world’s deepest under- water dry weld, which is carried out in a cham- ber sealed around the structure to be welded, was set by Global industries in 1990, at 1,075 ft. deep. but that is only half as deep as the world’s record wet weld, set by the u.s. navy in 2005, at 2,000 ft. deep. wet welding is performed underwater, directly exposed to the watery environment.
8 did you know that if two pieces of metal touch in space, they become permanently stuck together? this may sound unbelievable, but it is true. two pieces of metal without any coating on them will form into one piece in the vacuum of space. this doesn’t happen on earth because the atmosphere puts a layer of oxidized material between the surfaces.
9 more than 50% of u.s. products require welding. do you know which of the following products rely on welding?
• race cars
• medical devices
• oil rigs
• farm equipment
• cell phones
• mp3 players
Answer: All of them.
The earliest recorded welds occured in 3,500 B.C., the Bronze-Age. Pictures of welders and their ancient tools have been discovered in long-sealed Egyptian tombs!
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