11 Reasons Why Welders Don’t Follow Welding Procedures

The purpose of having welding procedures specifications (WPS) is to ensure quality. This is accomplished by giving the welder a detailed set of instruction on how to deposit weld metal for a specific joint.  Consistent quality can be achieved, but there is one caveat.  The welding procedures must be well written.  A poorly written welding […]

What is a Standard Welding Procedure Specification

If you have worked with the American Welding Society codes, you have probably heard about Standard Welding Procedures Specifications (SWPSs). A SWPS is define by AWS as a welding procedure specification qualified according to the requirements of AWS B2.1/B2.1M, approved by AWS, and made available for production welding by companies or individuals other than those […]

How To Qualify Welders

One of the most common requests for help that we get pertains to the qualification of welders. Our customers win a contract and later find out they need to qualify their welders.  Often, they realize this right before production is to begin and scramble to get their qualifications done.  Even worse, they may also need […]

Characteristics of Aluminum That Affect Weldability

If you have welded aluminum you know that it behaves considerably different than steel.  Other than the strength difference and general appearance, there are four physical characteristics of aluminum that make it weld completely different than steel.  These are: High thermal conductivity High solidification shrinkage High hydrogen solubility Oxide coating When welding aluminum it is […]

7 Variables That Affect Weld Penetration

Getting deeper penetration, or at least adequate penetration is very important in welding.  There are a few applications in which we wish to minimize penetration, but in general we always want good penetration.  There are many variables that affect penetration, some more than others.  It is important to know how each individual variable affects the […]

Etching Solutions for Steel, Stainless, Aluminum and Other Metals

For high-quality macro-etches

The qualification of welders and welding procedures often involves macro-examination of welds.  Performing macro-etches is a relatively simple procedure, but strict guidelines must be followed to ensure safety.  Most chemicals used in etching solutions are hazardous and must be handled accordingly.  Any person etching with these chemicals must be familiarize him or herself with the […]

5 Ways to Increase Welder Efficiency

In our many years of working in the welding industry we have come across some phenomenal welders.  We continue to be impressed by the level of skill of quite a few of these men and women.  Unfortunately, many business owners allow this skilled labor to be underutilized.  Welder efficiency, which also goes by other names […]

Bigger (Weld) Is Not Always Better

When it comes to fillet welds, bigger is not always better.  A fillet weld is easy to measure, simply take out your fillet weld gauges measure it.  However, there is an incorrect assumption that a bigger weld (as measured with a fillet gauge) is always stronger than a smaller weld. Before we get into this […]

5 Methods to Determine Preheat Temperature

Preheat is used when a base material, due to its chemical composition, thickness or level or restraint, is susceptible to cold cracking.  Knowing what temperature to preheat your base metal is sometimes a complicated matter.  You may hear people say “preheat to 300F to be safe.”  The reality is that 300F may be playing it […]

Is It Time To Retire Your Old Welding Machines?

Those oldies-but-goodies may be costing you money

Thousands of manufacturing shops are full of old welding equipment.  We all want to be good stewards of our money or our company’s money, and we want to make things last as long as possible.  We sometimes even take pride on the fact that we have had a specific welding machine for 20-25 years. Most […]