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the history of Forge welding

Dec 07, 2016

The history of joining metals goes back to the Bronze age, where bronzes of different hardness were often joined by casting-in. This method consisted of placing a solid part into a molten metal contained in a mold and allowing it to solidify without actually melting both metals, such as the blade of a sword into a handle or the tang of an arrowhead into the tip. Brazing and soldering were also common during the Bronze age. The act of welding (joining two solid parts through diffusion) began with iron. The first welding process was forge welding, which started when humans learned to smelt iron from iron ore; most likely in Anatolia (Turkey) around 1800 BC. Ancient people could not create temperatures high enough to melt iron fully, so the bloomery process that was used for smelting iron produced a lump (bloom) of iron grains sintered together, small amounts of steel, slag, and other impurities, referred to assponge iron because of its porosity. After smelting the sponge iron needed to be welded, or "wrought," into a solid block (billet) to squeeze out air pockets and excess slag. Many items made of wrought iron have been found by archeologists, that show evidence of forge welding, which date from before 1000 BC. Because iron was typically made in small amounts, any large object, such as the Delhi Pillar, needed to be forged welded out of smaller billets.