Benardos, Nikolai Nikolaevich
Born June 26 (July 8), 1842, in the village of Benardosovka, Kherson Province; died Sept. 8 (21), 1905, in Fastov, Kiev Province. Russian inventor, originator of electric arc welding.
Benardos studied at the University of Kiev and at the Petrov Agricultural and Forestry Academy in Moscow. Beginning in 1865 he made and, in part, patented in Russia and abroad more than 100 inventions in the most varied areas (agriculture, transportation, and others). In 1882 he proposed a procedure for “connecting and disconnecting metals by the direct action of an electric current” (which he named “elektrogefest”). In 1885 he patented his invention in Germany, France, Russia, Italy, England, the USA, Belgium, and other countries. The characteristic feature of this method was the utilization of the electric arc arising between a carbon electrode or one of another conductive substance and the articles processed. “Elektrogefest” was immediately used in Russia as well as abroad (in railroad workshops and in machine-building and metallurgical plants). Benardos built a special type of electrical storage battery to supply the continuous high current necessary for welding.
Benardos was also the first to invent welding with an indirect arc, welding in a gas stream, arc cutting both in ordinary conditions and under water, and the electrolytic method of coating large metal surfaces with copper. Among Benardos’ other inventions was a thermal method for electrical soldering. He created carbon electrodes of the most varied forms and electrodes made of a combination of carbon and metal. He offered one of the first designs for an alternating current hydroelectric power plant on the Neva River (1892). At the Fourth Electrical Exhibit in St. Petersburg in 1892, Benardos was awarded the highest award of the Russian Technical Society, the gold medal, for the successful utilization of the arc in his electrical welding invention. In 1899 the Electrical Engineering Institute in St. Petersburg awarded him the title of honorary electrical engineer.