AWS - Welding and the Soc...


A nostalgic look at the American Welding Society and events in the history of welding
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By Andrew Cullison and Christine Tarafa

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Weapons of War
A nation at war turns to its technology to produce the material necessary to execute a successful end to its conflict, and in so doing pushes that technology into new applications and discoveries. During WW II, welding was one of those technologies that was called upon to perform at its best.

In a 1943 article "Welded Weapons in War," Col. Scott Ritchie of the Ordinance Department extolled the merits of welding in the war effort when he said, "...welding has done much to keep us above and ahead of the enemy." He went on to note, "Welding enters into a large percentage of more than 1700 different weapons...furnished to our fighting forces." He also recognized the versatility to fabrication welding afforded when he said, " is a powerful tool for producing weapons, which otherwise could not be produced." Welding came out of the war years as a growth technology, replacing riveted construction in much of metal fabrication.

The carriage of this 155-mm Howitzer was of
all-welded construction.
Nicknamed the "Priest" because of the pulpit appearance of the machine gun mount, this 105-mm howitzer self-propelled artillery motor carriage had extensive welding in its fabrication.

The M4 medium tank (above) played an important role in the Allies' effort to regain control in North Africa, as well as other campaigns during WWII. The change over from riveting tanks to welding of both armor plate and castings was complete by 1943.
F-86D sabre jets saw action in the Korean War, and brazing with a BNiCr alloy was used extensively in their General Electric J-47 jet engines.

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