Electric arc welding, widely used in modern production, owes its appearance to Russian scientists and electrical engineers. In 1902, academician V. Petrov discovered during experiments that when an electric current was passed between two carbon electrodes, a dazzling arc was formed, which had a very high temperature. This effect has found application in arc welding.
Arc welding: first experiences
Russian academician V.V. Petrov, who was the first to describe the occurrence of an electric discharge between two conductors, carefully studied the phenomenon he discovered. He suggested that the heat generated during this process could be used to melt a wide variety of metals. This was the first step towards the creation of electric arc welding, which became an outstanding achievement in electrical engineering.
The first attempts to connect metals by acting on them with an electric current were made in 1867 by an engineer from the United States, Thomson. He took two pieces of metal and pressed them tightly to each other, after which he passed a current of low voltage, but high strength, through this system. The edges of the parts began to melt. The inventor at this moment had to forge the joint with a blacksmith's hammer, after which they were connected.
Almost at the same time, the German engineer Zerner tried to use a carbon electrode to join metals. He placed the blanks horizontally, after which he brought electrodes to them - two on each side. Now it was necessary to pass an electric current through the entire system, as a result of which the metal became very hot. But the junction still needed to be additionally processed with a hammer, after turning off the current.
The invention of arc welding
Nevertheless, Nikolai Nikolaevich Benardos is rightfully considered the founder of the arc welding method. The Russian inventor was the first to put forward an idea, which later became the basis for this method of metal processing. In 1882, Benardos designed and built a device with which it was possible to qualitatively weld parts in an alternating field and in a gas stream. For arc welding, he used carbon electrodes.
Benardos also discovered the method of magnetic control of an electric arc. Along the way, the inventor developed techniques for the effective use of flux and the automation of the welding process. He also tested the resistance spot welding method. A number of Benardos' design solutions were patented by him both in Russia and abroad.
Another Russian engineer, Nikolai Gavrilovich Slavyanov, improved the arc welding method already developed earlier. In fact, he made an independent invention, proposing to use not carbon, but metal electrodes. Slavyanov also built a welding generator and a system that made it possible to adjust the length of the arc. Engineering solutions implemented in practice by Russian inventors formed the basis of a new welding method, which has not lost its significance in modern production.