Reed Relays and
Electronics India Limited
Manufacturer of Reed Switches, Reed Sensors and Reed-based products
Reed Relays and Electronics India Limited Incorporated in 1971

Glossary on Reed Switches, Reed Sensors and Magnets

Reed Switch Glossary

We have added an alphabetical list of Glossary terms used in the Reed Switch and Reed Sensor business. Clicking the alphabets bar will display relevant terms accordingly, and linking to the appropriate term pages will give more information and added information from other third party sources as well.

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  • a

  • AlNiCo is a type of permanent magnet which is made from an alloy of Aluminium, Nickel, Cobalt and Iron.
  • Alternating Current or AC is a type of flow of electric charge which periodically reverses direction. Example mains supply.
  • Alternating Current or AC is a type of flow of electric charge which periodically reverses direction. Example mains supply.
  • Alternating Current or AC is a type of flow of electric charge which periodically reverses direction. Example mains supply.
  • Ampere-turn or AT is the SI unit of magneto-motive force and is a direct measure of a reed contact's magnetic sensitivity.
  • Ampere-turn/metre is the SI unit of coercivity. The equivalent CGS system unit is Oersted, and 1 AT/m = 4π/1000 Oersteds.
  • Annealing is a process of heating a material quickly and cooling it down slowly, in order to reduce internal stress.
  • Anti-ferro-magnetism is a phenomenon by which a magnetic field creates parallel but opposing spins and varies with temperature.
  • Anti-ferro-magnetism is a phenomenon by which a magnetic field creates parallel but opposing spins and varies with temperature.
  • Arcing is the discharge of current that jumps a gap in a circuit or between two electrodes or opposite polarity.
  • b

  • Back EMF is the voltage that occurs where there is relative motion between the armature and the magnetic field from the motor.
  • Back EMF is the voltage that occurs where there is relative motion between the armature and the magnetic field from the motor.
  • Bakeout is a process by which parts are exposed to heat in a controlled atmosphere to release surface impurities.
  • Bakeout is a process by which parts are exposed to heat in a controlled atmosphere to release surface impurities.
  • A Bi-stable is an electronic circuit that has two stable states. Latching type of reed contacts are bi-stable.
  • A Bi-stable is an electronic circuit that has two stable states. Latching type of reed contacts are bi-stable.
  • A bias is a permanent magnet placed very near a normally open reed contact to oppose or aid its operation.
  • A Bifilar winding is a coil with two wires are wound simultaneously with the turns of each winding being contiguous.
  • Bounce is the period during which reed blades make multiple closures intermittently before providing full unbroken contact.
  • Bounce is the period during which reed blades make multiple closures intermittently before providing full unbroken contact.
  • Bounce is the period during which reed blades make multiple closures intermittently before providing full unbroken contact.
  • Bounce Time of a reed contact, measured in ms, is the time taken for to bounce before providing full unbroken contact.
  • Breakdown Voltage, measured in Volts, is the voltage which may be applied across the leads of a reed contact without causing arcing, breakdown, or leakage.
  • Breakdown Voltage, measured in Volts, is the voltage which may be applied across the leads of a reed contact without causing arcing, breakdown, or leakage.
  • Buzzing is a process by which a batch of reed switches are operated mechanically at high speeds with no load, inside a coil.
  • Buzzing is a process by which a batch of reed switches are operated mechanically at high speeds with no load, inside a coil.
  • c

  • Cadmium is a a soft bluish-white metal, is chemically similar to Zinc and Mercury, and is toxic. It is banned under RoHS.
  • Capacitance is the ability of a system to store an electric charge, and is expressed in Farads.
  • A capacitive load is a type of load that contain little resistance or inductance and mostly capacitance. for example motors.
  • Carry Current of a reed contact, measured in Amperes, is the maximum current that can be applied to an already closed contact.
  • CGS is an acronym for the Centimeter-Gram-Second system of units. It has been superseded by SI units.
  • CGS is an acronym for the Centimeter-Gram-Second system of units. It has been superseded by SI units.
  • Close Differential or Low Differential is the term used to denote a reed contact with a differential of minimum 70%.
  • Close Differential or Low Differential is the term used to denote a reed contact with a differential of minimum 70%.
  • Close Differential or Low Differential is the term used to denote a reed contact with a differential of minimum 70%.
  • Coercivity is the demagnetization force required to reduce polarization or induction of a magnetic material to zero.
  • Dwell of a change-over contact, is the difference, in AT, between the closing of the NO contact and the opening of the NC contact.
  • Contact force is the force between the overlapping part of the two reed blades of a reed switch in actuated, closed condition.
  • Contact gap, measured in microns, is the distance between the mating reed blades of a Reed Switch in open state.
  • Contact Noise is the irregular fluctuations that accompany a transmitted electrical signal that are not part of it .
  • Contact Protection circuits are simple circuits that suppress in-rush current generated by Inductive or Capacitive loads.
  • Contact Protection circuits are simple circuits that suppress in-rush current generated by Inductive or Capacitive loads.
  • Contact Rating, in Watts, is the maximum power a reed contact can switch. Loads other than resistive will require contact protection.
  • Contact Rating, in Watts, is the maximum power a reed contact can switch. Loads other than resistive will require contact protection.
  • Contact Resistance measured in milli-ohms, is the electrical resistance of a reed contact in closed state, measured across leads.
  • Contact Resistance measured in milli-ohms, is the electrical resistance of a reed contact in closed state, measured across leads.
  • Copper is an element with symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is used in cladding reed switches for radio frequency applications.
  • Curie Temperature is the temperature above which a Ferro-magnetic material loses its Ferro-magnetism and becomes Para-magnetic.
  • d

  • Dynamic Contact Resistance measured in milli-ohms, is the electrical resistance of closed contacts, when the contact is in continuous operation under load.
  • Dynamic Contact Resistance measured in milli-ohms, is the electrical resistance of closed contacts, when the contact is in continuous operation under load.
  • Dynamic Contact Resistance measured in milli-ohms, is the electrical resistance of closed contacts, when the contact is in continuous operation under load.
  • Degreasing is a surface finishing process for surface cleansing of metal parts using solvents in vapor form.
  • Dia-magnetism is a phenomenon exhibited by materials such as Copper, that become magnetized in a magnetic field.
  • Dia-magnetism is a phenomenon exhibited by materials such as Copper, that become magnetized in a magnetic field.
  • Differential of a reed contact, measure in AT is the difference between it operate AT and its release AT.
  • Differential of a reed contact, measure in AT is the difference between it operate AT and its release AT.
  • Direct Current or DC is a type of flow of electric charge which is only in one direction. It is used for example, in batteries.
  • Direct Current or DC is a type of flow of electric charge which is only in one direction. It is used for example, in batteries.
  • A Dual Inline Package is a chip or device package that contains two rows of connection pins that can be soldered.
  • A Dual Inline Package is a chip or device package that contains two rows of connection pins that can be soldered.
  • e

  • An Electro-magnet is an assembly consisting of a coil on a soft metal core, that exhibits magnetism when energized.
  • Electro-motive Force or EMF, is a measure of the energy that causes current to flow through a circuit.
  • Electro-motive Force or EMF, is a measure of the energy that causes current to flow through a circuit.
  • Electro-static discharge is the release of static electricity when two objects come into contact.
  • Electro-static discharge is the release of static electricity when two objects come into contact.
  • Electroplating or Plating is a process of depositing a thin coating of metal on a conductive surface.
  • Electroplating or Plating is a process of depositing a thin coating of metal on a conductive surface.
  • f

  • Ferri-magnetism is a phenomenon exhibited by Ferrites, for example, having parallel but opposite alignment of neighboring atoms.
  • Ferri-magnetism is a phenomenon exhibited by Ferrites, for example, having parallel but opposite alignment of neighboring atoms.
  • A Ferrite is a type of compound that exhibits magnetic properties and is made from ceramic compounds derived from Iron Oxides.
  • Ferro-magnetism is a phenomenon where materials like Iron, tend to become magnetized in the presence of an external magnetic field.
  • Ferro-magnetism is a phenomenon where materials like Iron, tend to become magnetized in the presence of an external magnetic field.
  • A Ferrofluid, is a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field.
  • A Float Switch is an assembly of a reed contact and an external magnet encapsulated in a foamed float, to sense a fluid level.
  • A Float Switch is an assembly of a reed contact and an external magnet encapsulated in a foamed float, to sense a fluid level.
  • A Flow Sensor is a device used to quantify the volume of fluid passing through a point in a pipe.
  • A Flow Sensor is a device used to quantify the volume of fluid passing through a point in a pipe.
  • A flow switch is a mechanical switch that changes state in the presence or absence of flow of fluid through it.
  • A Form A or Normally Open type of contact stays in an "open" state until actuated with an external magnet or coil.
  • A Form A or Normally Open type of contact stays in an "open" state until actuated with an external magnet or coil.
  • A Form B or normally closed type of reed contact stays in a closed state until actuated with an external magnet or coil.
  • A Form B or normally closed type of reed contact stays in a closed state until actuated with an external magnet or coil.
  • A Form C type or Break before Make type of reed contact is a change-over type of contact having three leads.
  • A Form C type or Break before Make type of reed contact is a change-over type of contact having three leads.
  • A Form D or Make Before Break type of reed contact is a change-over type of contact having three leads.
  • A Form D or Make Before Break type of reed contact is a change-over type of contact having three leads.
  • A Form E type or latching, or bi-stable type of reed contact, stays in the last energized state. A magnet of opposite polarity changes its state.
  • A Form E type or latching, or bi-stable type of reed contact, stays in the last energized state. A magnet of opposite polarity changes its state.
  • A Form E type or latching, or bi-stable type of reed contact, stays in the last energized state. A magnet of opposite polarity changes its state.
  • g

  • Gauss is the CGS unit of magnetic induction. The equivalent SI unit is Tesla, and 1 Gauss = 10^-4 Tesla.
  • Gilbert is the CGS unit of magneto-motive force. The equivalent SI unit is Ampere-turn, and 1 Gilbert = 10/4π or 0.7958 AT.
  • Glass to metal seals are what intimately and hermetically seal metal parts within a glass housing or tube.
  • Gold is a soft yellow metal and is sometimes used as an under-layer in reed switches, but can cause some sticking.
  • h

  • A Hall Effect Sensor is a transducer which varies its output voltage in response to changes in an external magnetic field.
  • A Hard Ferrite is a type of Ferrite where magnetism is inherent in it, and does not require an external field to stay magnetized.
  • A Helmholtz coil is a device named after a German scientist, for producing a region of nearly uniform magnetic field.
  • Hermetic describes a type of closure or seal that is complete and airtight and isolated from the atmosphere.
  • Hexavalent chromium refers to chemical compounds of Chromium in the +6 oxidation state that is recognized as a human carcinogen.
  • A homogeneous material is defined as either a raw material or a material applied during the construction of a product.
  • i

  • An inductive load is type of load made of wound or coiled wire, for example transformers or coils, that causes inrush current.
  • An inert gas is one which does not react with other elements, for example Noble gases and Nitrogen.
  • Inrush Current or Surge Current, is the maximum instantaneous input current drawn by a device when first turned on.
  • Inrush Current or Surge Current, is the maximum instantaneous input current drawn by a device when first turned on.
  • Insulation resistance, measured in Ohms, is the electrical resistance measured between open terminals of a reed contact.
  • The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to physical objects that require an IP address, and collect information for a service.
  • The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to physical objects that require an IP address, and collect information for a service.
  • Irridium is a a very dense, hard, brittle, silvery-white metal and is sometimes used as a contact material in reed switches.
  • k

  • Kelvin Sensing uses separate pairs of current-carrying and voltage-sensing electrodes to make more accurate measurements.
  • Kelvin Sensing uses separate pairs of current-carrying and voltage-sensing electrodes to make more accurate measurements.
  • l

  • A lamp load is a type of load that generates Inrush current when lighting up. Reed Switches need protection for such loads.
  • A Level Sensor is an assembly that is a PCB assembly fitted inside a tank, consisting of multiple reed switches and resistors.
  • A Level Sensor is an assembly that is a PCB assembly fitted inside a tank, consisting of multiple reed switches and resistors.
  • A Life Test is the process of testing a product by subjecting it to conditions in excess of its normal service parameters in an effort to uncover faults.
  • A Light Emitting Diode or LED, is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electrical current is passed through it.
  • A Light Emitting Diode or LED, is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electrical current is passed through it.
  • Line Voltage is the potential difference between line and neutral phases of a three phase Mains Electricity AC supply.
  • m

  • A Magnet is a type of material, primarily of an Iron alloy, that has its component atoms so ordered, that it exhibits magnetism.
  • Magnetic Field Strength is the amount of magnetic flux in a unit area perpendicular to the direction of magnetic flow.
  • Magnetic Flux is a measure of the strength of a magnetic field over a given area, and is expressed in Weber.
  • Magnetic Flux is a measure of the strength of a magnetic field over a given area, and is expressed in Weber.
  • Magnetic Ordering Temperature is the temperature above which a Ferri-magnetic material becomes Para-magnetic.
  • Magnetic Permeability is the ability of a material to get magnetized and hold magnetism in the presence of a magnetic field.
  • Magnetic saturation exists when an increase of magnetization applied to a reed contact does not increase the magnetic flux through.
  • Magnetic saturation exists when an increase of magnetization applied to a reed contact does not increase the magnetic flux through.
  • A Magnetic Shield or a Shunt, is a material of high magnetic permeability, that is used to protect circuits from external magnetic fields.
  • A Magnetic Shield or a Shunt, is a material of high magnetic permeability, that is used to protect circuits from external magnetic fields.
  • Magneto-motive force is a quantity representing the line integral of the magnetic intensity around a closed line.
  • Maximum Energy Product or BHmax of a magnet, is the product of its B Field and H field and is a measure of it strength.
  • Maximum Energy Product or BHmax of a magnet, is the product of its B Field and H field and is a measure of it strength.
  • Maxwell is the CGS system unit of magnetic flux. The equivalent SI unit is Weber, and 1 Maxwell = 10^-8 Webers.
  • Mercury is a heavy, silvery metal that is liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, and when ingested, is poisonous.
  • MegaGauss-Oersted is the CGS unit of the Maximum Energy product (BHmax) of a magnet, which is a measure of stored energy.
  • MegaGauss-Oersted is the CGS unit of the Maximum Energy product (BHmax) of a magnet, which is a measure of stored energy.
  • The MKS is a physical system of units that expresses any given measurement using the Metre, Kilogram, and/or Second.
  • The MKS is a physical system of units that expresses any given measurement using the Metre, Kilogram, and/or Second.
  • Molybdenum is a silvery white metal used as a contact material in reed switches for switching high current loads.
  • n

  • NdFeB is a rare-earth magnet made from an alloy of Neodymium, Iron and Boron to form the Nd2Fe14B tetragonal structure.
  • A normally closed or NC type of electrical contact is one that normally allows electricity to flow until it is signaled to open.
  • A normally closed or NC type of electrical contact is one that normally allows electricity to flow until it is signaled to open.
  • A normally closed or NC type of electrical contact is one that normally allows electricity to flow until it is signaled to open.
  • A normally open or NO type of contact is one that normally does not allows electricity to flow until it is signaled to close.
  • A normally open or NO type of contact is one that normally does not allows electricity to flow until it is signaled to close.
  • o

  • Oersted is the CGS system unit of magnetic field strength. The equivalent SI unit is Ampere-turn/metre.
  • An omni-polar device is a component that can fully function with either pole of a magnet. It is not polarity sensitive.
  • Operate or Make is defined as the closing of open contacts. The operate of a reed contact is measured in Ampere-Turns.
  • Operate or Make is defined as the closing of open contacts. The operate of a reed contact is measured in Ampere-Turns.
  • Operate Ampere-Turn, also known as Pull-in, is a measure in Ampere-turns, of the point at which a reed contact opens.
  • Operate Ampere-Turn, also known as Pull-in, is a measure in Ampere-turns, of the point at which a reed contact opens.
  • Operate Range or Pull-in Range is the range of available or possible operate AT values for a reed switch or a reed sensor.
  • Operate Range or Pull-in Range is the range of available or possible operate AT values for a reed switch or a reed sensor.
  • The time interval, measured in ms, from coil energization, to the closing of a normally open reed contact.
  • The time interval, measured in ms, from coil energization, to the closing of a normally open reed contact.
  • Operating Frequency of a reed contact, measured in Hertz (Hz), is the maximum speed at which it can be operated.
  • The temperature limit over which a reed contact or magnet will cease to meet specified operating parameters.
  • Over-drive, is the extra Ampere-turn applied to a reed contact after closure, before measurement of Contact Resistance.
  • p

  • Palladium is a rare silvery-white metal and is sometimes plated as an under layer in reed switches.
  • Para-magnetism is exhibited by materials that tend to become magnetized when a magnetic field is present, but lose it when absent.
  • Para-magnetism is exhibited by materials that tend to become magnetized when a magnetic field is present, but lose it when absent.
  • Polarity sensitive devices are those which require only a specific polarity of magnet to get them to change state.
  • Potting or encapsulation is a process of filling a housing with an electronic assembly with a compound that sets after curing, for resistance to shock and vibration, and for exclusion of moisture and corrosive agents.
  • Potting or encapsulation is a process of filling a housing with an electronic assembly with a compound that sets after curing, for resistance to shock and vibration, and for exclusion of moisture and corrosive agents.
  • A Printed Circuit Board is a thin board made of a laminate material on which conductive pathways are etched or "printed".
  • A Printed Circuit Board is a thin board made of a laminate material on which conductive pathways are etched or "printed".
  • A Magnet Sensor is a device that uses a reed switch, and is encapsulated in a housing for easy mounting or clamping.
  • A Magnet Sensor is a device that uses a reed switch, and is encapsulated in a housing for easy mounting or clamping.
  • r

  • Re-closure of a reed contact, measured in AT, is the second closure which occurs after further magnetic energization of an already open, NC reed contact.
  • A Reed blade, is one of the two flattened parts that form the cantilever and current carrying parts of a reed switch.
  • A Reed blade, is one of the two flattened parts that form the cantilever and current carrying parts of a reed switch.
  • Contact is the current-carrying parts of a reed contact that engage or disengage to close or open electrical circuits.
  • A Reed Relay is a device having single or multiple Reed Switches within a coil that help switch higher loads.
  • A reed sensor is a device using a reed switch, having additional functionality such as improved shock resistance, etc.
  • A reed switch is a passive device consisting of two reed blades sealed inside a glass tube, that operates when brought near a magnet.
  • Release or Break is defined as the opening of closed contacts. Release of Reed contacts is measured in Ampere-Turns.
  • Release or Break is defined as the opening of closed contacts. Release of Reed contacts is measured in Ampere-Turns.
  • Release AT, also known as Drop-out, is a measure in Ampere-turns, of the point at which a reed contact opens.
  • Release AT, also known as Drop-out, is a measure in Ampere-turns, of the point at which a reed contact opens.
  • Release Range or Drop-out Range is the range of available or possible release AT values for a reed switch or reed sensor.
  • Release Range or Drop-out Range is the range of available or possible release AT values for a reed switch or reed sensor.
  • Release time of a reed contact, measured in ms, is the time interval from coil de-energization to the opening or change over.
  • Remanence is the magnetization left behind in a ferro-magnetic material after an external magnetic field is removed.
  • A Resistive Load is a type of load that contains no inductance or capacitance, for example, incandescent light bulbs.
  • Resonance frequency of a reed contact, measured in Hertz, is the maximum operating frequency that a reed contact can withstand.
  • Rhodium is a hard silvery-white metal having resistance to corrosion, and is used as a contact material in reed switches.
  • RoHS or Restriction of Hazardous Substances, originated in the EU and restricts the use of specific hazardous materials.
  • RoHS or Restriction of Hazardous Substances, originated in the EU and restricts the use of specific hazardous materials.
  • Ruthenium is a a hard silvery-white metal having a high melting point and excellent wear resistance.
  • s

  • A shielded cable is one with one or more cables inside, enclosed by a layer that shields the cables from external electrical noise.
  • Shock resistance of a reed contact, is the acceleration limit and sine-wave duration in milli-seconds that an open reed contact can withstand without changing state.
  • SI is an acronym for Système International d'Unités or the International System of units which is the Metric System.
  • SI is an acronym for Système International d'Unités or the International System of units which is the Metric System.
  • Silver is a soft, white, transition metal having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal.
  • A Single Inline Package or SIP is a chip or device package that contains only a single row of connection pins that are soldered.
  • A Single Inline Package or SIP is a chip or device package that contains only a single row of connection pins that are soldered.
  • A Single Pole Double Throw switch is a type of that has a single input and can connect to a dual outputs.
  • A Single Pole Double Throw switch is a type of that has a single input and can connect to a dual outputs.
  • A Single Pole Double Throw switch is a type of that has a single input and can connect to a dual outputs.
  • A Single Pole Single Throw switch is a type of switch that has a single input and can connect to a single output.
  • A Single Pole Single Throw switch is a type of switch that has a single input and can connect to a single output.
  • SmCo is a rare earth magnet made from an alloy of Samarium and Cobalt to form SmCo5 or Sm2Co17 compounds.
  • A Soft Ferrite is a type of Ferrite where permanent magnetism is not inherent, and requires an external field to magnetize it.
  • Soldering is the process of joining two or more metals together by melting and flowing a filler metal with a lower melting point.
  • Dwell time during soldering, is the amount of time a component's lead is in contact with a solder wave or the tip of a hand soldering Iron.
  • Sputtering is a process that uses ions of an inert gas to dislodge atoms from the surface of a target, and have them deposited on a substrate.
  • Pressing or Stamping is a process by which metals in the shape of wires or sheets are formed using a tool or a die.
  • Pressing or Stamping is a process by which metals in the shape of wires or sheets are formed using a tool or a die.
  • Static contact resistance, measured in milli-ohms, is the electrical resistance of a reed contact in closed state.
  • A Surface-mount Device is an electronic component that mounts on the surface of a printed circuit board.
  • A Surface-mount Device is an electronic component that mounts on the surface of a printed circuit board.
  • Surface-mount Technology is a design standard for electronic circuits where components are mounted directly onto the surface of a PCB.
  • Surface-mount Technology is a design standard for electronic circuits where components are mounted directly onto the surface of a PCB.
  • Switching current of a reed contact, measured in Amperes, is the maximum current a reed contact can switch.
  • Switching frequency, measured in Hertz (Hz), is the maximum frequency at which a reed contact can operate with no loss in pulses.
  • Switching voltage of a reed contact, measured in volts, is the maximum voltage a reed contact can switch.
  • t

  • Tesla is the SI unit of magnetic flux density. The equivalent CGS system unit is Gauss, and 1 Tesla = 10^4 Gauss.
  • Test Coil is an assembly consisting of one or more windings on a bobbin and is used to measure the AT of a reed contact.
  • Test Coil is an assembly consisting of one or more windings on a bobbin and is used to measure the AT of a reed contact.
  • Test Coil is an assembly consisting of one or more windings on a bobbin and is used to measure the AT of a reed contact.
  • The EMF generated by a reed contact when the reed contact unit is subjected to a temperature differential.
  • A Thermal Ferrite is special Ferrite compound which changes from being Ferro-magnetic to Para-magnetic, at its Curie Point.
  • A Thermal Reed Switch is an assembly consisting of a Reed Switch, a Thermal Ferrite and magnets that can sense a set temperature.
  • A Tilt Switch is a reed switch based device which gives out a signal at a pre-defined tilt angle.
  • A Tilt Switch is a reed switch based device which gives out a signal at a pre-defined tilt angle.
  • Tin is a chemical element with symbol Sn (Stannum in Latin) and atomic number 50. It is used on Reed Switch leads.
  • Tungsten is a hard metal which is used as a contact material in reed switches due to its resistance to damage by arcing.
  • u

  • Ultrasonic Welding is the process of joining two plastic work pieces by using high frequency acoustic vibrations
  • v

  • Vacuum Deposition is process of depositing a thin film under vacuum or a low-pressure plasma environment on a substrate.
  • Variable Contact Resistance is the difference between the lowest and the highest Contact Resistance of multiple readings.
  • Variable Contact Resistance is the difference between the lowest and the highest Contact Resistance of multiple readings.
  • Variable Contact Resistance is the difference between the lowest and the highest Contact Resistance of multiple readings.
  • Vibration resistance of a reed contact, is the acceleration level and frequency range that an open or closed reed contact can withstand without changing state.
  • w

  • Weber is the SI unit of magnetic flux. The equivalent CGS system unit is Maxwell, and 1 Weber = 10^8 Maxwell.
  • Welding is the process of joining two metals or plastics by heating the surfaces to the point of melting, and uniting them.

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