9 Common Problems with Welding Procedures

They can do more than simply fail an audit

The use of welding procedures specifications (WPS) is the foundation of a good welding quality control management system. It has a huge impact on quality as well as productivity.  Despite this, many fabricators are still running their facilities without WPSs.  And many who are, have significant issues which prevent this powerful document from maintaining quality […]

Welding Cast Iron

Cast iron is not impossible to weld, although many that attempt to do so end up with cracked welds. The reason welding cast iron is a big challenge is that it contains up to 4% carbon.  This is an insane amount, considering that any material with a carbon content above 0.30%  is already considered “high […]

The Advantage of Using Undermatching Filler Metals on High Strength Steels

High strength steels are becoming more and more popular in steel construction.  Higher strength means we can reduce the thickness of the base material and thus reduce weight.  This is very important not just in vehicles but in static structures as well.   However, higher strength steels usually bring about a few issues that if not […]

Preheat and Interpass Temperature for Structural Steels

Preheating of structural steels is carried out primarily to slow the cooling rate after welding and prevent the formation of martensite.  Martensite makes the weld and the heat affected zone (HAZ) very hard and brittle.  This newly formed microstructure is susceptible to cracking.  By slowing the cooling rate we reduce or eliminate the formation of […]

The 9 Clauses of AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code Explained

The most widely used welding code in North America, and perhaps the world, is AWS D1.1/D1.1M Structural Welding Code – Steel.  It is specified as the quality standard in hundreds of contract documents every year.   Yet, we find that less than half of the fabricators that need to use it have a sound understanding of […]

12 Ideas to Reduce Welding Costs

Controlling costs associated with welding operations does not have to be complicated. Yet, many fabricators miss out on savings substantial amounts of time and money simply because they are too busy to take some time to implement cost reduction initiatives.  Some of the ways in which costs can be reduced are presented below.  Some of […]

Components of a Standard Welding Procedure Specification (SWPS)

A Standard Welding Procedure Specification (SWPS) is a welding procedure that must meet the rules for qualification of AWS B2.1 – Specification for Welding Procedure and Performance Qualification, and be approved by the AWS B2 Committee on Procedure and Performance Qualification. All SWPSs have supporting  Procedure Qualification Records (PQRs) which comply with the rules set forth […]

How to Develop a Welding Procedure Specification

Developing a welding procedure does not have to be complicated.  But when we are dealing with demand critical welds or with hard-to-weld metals we need to be careful. Simply setting our welding machine to get an arc we like is not enough if we are dealing with materials for which we need to limit heat […]

6 Mistakes That Can Lead to Cracked Welds

Cracks on welds are never good.  Welding codes always have allowances for porosity, undercut, weld sizes, and even weld profiles.  However, there is never an allowance for cracks.  Being a linear discontinuity, a crack will tend to propagate through the weld and into the base metal with relative ease, especially in cyclically loaded structures.  So […]

Which Welding Process Produces the Strongest Welds

SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, FCAW, MCAW or SAW?

This is a question that is often asked.   The short and quick answer is: they are all the same.  However, to understand why that is let’s take a quick look at the three elements that determine the strength of a weld: Weld length Weld size Weld (filler) metal strength Since we are trying to compare […]