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Forge welding is one of the oldest forms of welding. It is performed by heating two pieces of metal until they are sufficiently malleable and then hammering them together. It was the prevailing method of joining metals until the Industrial Revolution brought innovations in gas and electrical welding methods.
Forge welding is not considered difficult, but it can be dangerous. It is more commonly used on thicker pieces of metal, since thin pieces of metal are more likely to bow and form bubbles when heated.
Flux is often used to prevent oxidation on the welding surfaces, which would negatively affect the weld. When oxides do form, the flux mixes with them to lower their viscosity and melting temperatures. This makes it easier for the oxides to move out of the joint when the pieces are hammered together.