Car accidents result in 1.3 million fatalities every year, according to the World Health Organization. To avoid such tragedies, the automotive industry has needed to take some drastic and immediate steps for the safety of passengers.
Vehicle manufacturers regularly introduce new processes and parts to ensure cars meet the required safety standards. Take the example of Formula One. In the last few years, the introduction of a welded titanium halo has saved the lives of multiple drivers.
But we don’t even have to go that far. Simply ensuring a strong and clean weld can help maintain structural integrity, introduce new safety measures, and protect occupants in the unfortunate case of a high-speed collision.
Let’s take a closer look at the impact welding has on crashworthiness.
Welding in the Automotive Industry
Welding processes are integral to the automotive industry.
It is used in the manufacturing and assembly of passenger automobiles, military vehicles, and even sports cars driven in motorsport.
An automotive welder could be tasked with making repairs, crafting new safety components, or improving the overall design and functionality. Essentially, welding ensures that passengers get maximum protection and that all parts work as intended.
Welding for Structural Integrity
One of the most obvious uses of welding in the automotive industry is in maintaining the structural integrity of a vehicle. Welding is extensively used to make a car’s exterior stronger — it can be used to repair the frame, reinforce the chassis, create sturdy bumpers, or simply improve the all-around design and functionality.
Strong and consistent welds are also what make a car more likely to hold up following a collision. Through a number of welding processes — MIG welding, TIG welding, or spot welding, to name a few — a vehicle’s frame is made more durable and able to withstand the stress of everyday driving. This structural integrity also helps a car drive safely through extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes or blizzards.
Welding Crucial Safety Components
Welding applications and safety benefits also extend to the car’s interior.
Micro-welding, for instance, is a technique commonly used in the automotive industry. Among its other applications, this form of welding is used to craft several crucial components of the modern vehicle, such as sensors, batteries, light bulbs, or electronics — all of which contribute to overall passenger safety.
Micro-welding is used to fuse tiny parts with maximum accuracy. But don’t be fooled by its name — it is known to create exceptionally strong and consistent welds. This makes micro-welding a crucial process in the repair and maintenance of these small components, which also helps expand the lifespan of systems.
Laser welding is another crucial process used to ensure passenger safety.
The welding technique is most commonly used to make airbags, which, along with seatbelts, are the most critical safety features of a car. In the last 30 years, airbags are estimated to have saved about 50,000 lives.
Full Speed Ahead with nexAir
It may not be so immediately obvious, but the welding process is just as crucial to road safety as wearing a seatbelt or following the traffic rules. In fact, strong welds are also what help maintain the structural integrity of aircraft and spacecraft.
No one understands the value of welding more than nexAir, the leading supplier of welding supplies and industrial gas in the Southeast. Since the 1940s, nexAir has helped the automotive industry Forge Forward and ensure passenger safety by providing only the highest-quality welding goods and sharing our KnowHow in various processes.
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