Day 180/365 of Steel – Nikolay Gavrilovich Slavyanov

‘Skilled welders aren’t cheap, cheap welders aren’t skilled’.

Nikolay Gavrilovich Slavyanov (5 May 1854 – 5 October 1897) was a Russian inventor who in 1888 introduced arc welding with consumable metal electrodes, or shielded metal arc welding, the second historical arc welding method after carbon arc welding invented earlier by Nikolay Benardos.

Welding Steel Profiles in a Workshop
Fig 1: Welding Steel Profiles in a Workshop

In November 1888, N.G. Slavyanov made practical use of arc welding for a metal, for the first time in the world. This meant keeping the surface of the metal fluid during casting in order to better degas the casting to avoid blowholes.

An electric arc is used for this purpose in the process. In connection with this process, he chosen not to call his method “welding” but rather “electric casting of metals” Before him only carbon electrodes had been used in such processes.

For this innovative contribution to engineering, he received a gold medal at the world electrotechnical exhibition in 1893 in Chicago, with the citation: “For producing a technical revolution.”

Welding Steel Profiles in a Workshop
Fig 2: Welding Steel Profiles in a Workshop

Shielded metal arc welding, commonly known as stick welding, remains to be one of the most commonly used welding techniques today. Stick welding is an immensely versatile welding process, as we can use it in almost any industry, environment, position and metal.

Advantages of SMAW

  • Low cost
  • Great for outdoor and field welding
  • Great for dirtier metals, although care should be taken to clean any metal being welded as much as reasonably possible

Limitations of SMAW

  • Somewhat slow welding process
  • Inefficient deposition of consumable rod use (stubs need to be thrown out)
  • High amounts of spatter
  • Requires the removal of slag

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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