R. MAISONNEUVE, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY R. MAISONNEUVE, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arc welding. A welder wearing protective headgear works on a heavy-duty metal spring, producing an explosion of orange sparks. Arc welding uses electricity to melt metals. Electrodes carrying high-voltage current are connected to a welding rod and to the metal to be welded. When the rod is held near the metal an arc of lightning bridges the gap to complete the circuit, generating an intense but localised heat as it does so. The heat melts the metal, which then flows and mixes to fill gaps and glue different parts together. Some- times the end of the welding rod is made of an easily melted flux that helps to bond the metals.
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