Electric Arc Welding and the British Shipbuilding Industry, 1914–1960

By Hugh Murphy, published November 2022


Notes: The transition from one dominant mode of production to another in a labour-intensive assembly industry such as shipbuilding (with the exception of new entrants to the industry) is by necessity an elongated affair. Processes such as welding ships’ hulls have to be proven as more economical than extant methods of production and be accepted by classification societies, insurers, underwriters and by shipowners, the major determinant of demand. Therefore, shipbuilders would continue to supply riveted ships as long as demand remained strong from shipowners. Nevertheless, if a new mode of production, welding, were to be accepted then yard layouts would need to be altered and/or improved to best utilize the new method, as would the provision of greater cranage capacity to lift larger prefabricated sections of ships built away from the berth in attendant shops to shorten delivery dates and enhance profitability…

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Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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