2013-10-21 Welding-Cleaning Weld PieceThroughout a typical school year, the students in Keith Hammond's Welding program gain knowledge about a variety of techniques, tools, and resources available to them in their field. But maybe you didn't know that part of their lessons involves utilizing this technique:

It's called Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW or TIG welding for short), and since it's development in 1953 (a little over 150 years after Humphrey Davy first discovered the electric arc in 1800) it has been used in the production of jet engines, space vehicles, and even everyday objects such as kitchen utensils.

The process is a slow one, but GTAW is preferred in many industries because of its ability to produce high quality items that are also high in cleanliness and hygeine. It's for this reason that hospitals, cafeterias, and hotels use equipment and systems created (at least partially) through TIG welding.

However, these industries are only a glimpse at the types of jobs someone skilled with this technique might be asked to do. Other instances of objects that benefit from GTAW include: gas and oil pipes used on oil rigs; thin tubes used to make bicycles; parts of amusement park roller coasters; and many other objects which require precise welding to glue them together. Additionally, this process is used to repair tools, build up parts of tools such as saw blades and drill bits, and even to seal used nuclear canisters to prepare them for burial.

So the next time you enter your kitchen to find a salad fork or spend a nice, summer day in Hershey Park, remember to thank the welders who made those utensils and roller coasters possible!