Most people don’t think about the craft of welding in everyday life. The fact of the matter is, no matter where you are in the developed world, you are always within 50 feet of something that has been welded together. This expanse of welded objects includes items like sewer pipes, street lights, electrical transformers, ductwork etc… Gowelding.com puts it simply when they point out, “Did you know that welding is done everywhere ranging from the bottom of the ocean to outer space and everywhere in between!” Lincoln Electric, with its headquarters down the street from HGR, is a fantastic example of a company that puts tremendous focus on welding.
There are a few different categories of welding that use different techniques. Among these different types is Ultrasonic Welding which was popularized in the 1960s. Wikipedia notes that, “Ultrasonic welding is an industrial technique whereby high-frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibrations are locally applied to workpieces being held together under pressure to create a solid-state weld. It is commonly used for plastics and metals, and especially for joining dissimilar materials.” The applications for ultrasonic welding are vast and include uses in many industries. Computer and electrical industries, for example, use ultrasonic welding to help create semiconductor devices, transistors and diodes. Tiny microcircuits can be bonded together with thin aluminum wires using this specialized type of welding. Working on such a small scale requires extreme precision and sensitivity that can be provided by ultrasonic welding technology.
Coincidentally, another major sector that benefits from the use of ultrasonic welding is in the medical industry. The major benefit for the medical industry is that ultrasonic welding does not produce contaminants like traditional welding machines do. An environment that needs to be sterile, such as an operating room, cannot risk having contaminating particles floating around. A traditional welding machine that uses heat is almost guaranteed to release unwanted particulates that will create an unsafe hospital environment. Ultrasonic welding is commonly used in the production of medical items like dialysis tubes, blood filters and IV catheters. One medical item that is in particular demand right now, the facemask, is another commodity that can be safely manufactured with ultrasonic welding.