Weld Toughness vs Weld Strength

If you have ever been tasked with selecting the right specification and grade of steel for a particular application you know there are hundreds of choices.  Typically these are based on the materials tensile strength and yield strength.  There are many factors that go into selecting the right base metal for a given application.  In […]

9 Changes for the New AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code (Steel) 2020 Edition

The new edition of AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code (Steel) has been released. If you are looking to get the hard copy you may need to wait a few weeks, but the electronic version is ready for purchase from the American Welding Society (AWS) through their website. There is a significant cost to obtain the […]

6 Misconceptions about Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs)

Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs) who have been certified by the American Welding Society or other international bodies tend to be considered experts in the welding industry.  They certainly should be experts in visual inspection and in the interpretation and application of welding codes and standards; however, this does not necessarily mean they are experts in […]

14 Welding Procedure Specification Variables

A Welding Procedure Specification has several variables which should be carefully specified.  The values selected for the variables discussed below have a significant impact on weld soundness and mechanical properties. It is critical that these values be appropriate for the specific requirements of applicable code and job specifications.  Some of the most important variables in […]

5 Questions and Answers You Must Know for the CWI Exam

And fundamental principles for the fabrication of steel structures

If you have taken or hope to take the CWI exam you probably have searched for some practice exam questions.  In practicing for the code book portion of the test you may have come across a few questions for which you could find the answer, but didn’t really understand the importance of the question or […]

Importance of Macro Etch Testing of Welds

Lack of fusion cannot be detected visually. The image above shows a macroetch of a fillet weld showing that lack of root fusion.

Macro etch tests are commonly done as part of qualification tests for welders and welding procedures. This test is relatively easy to do and does not require complex or expensive equipment.  However, very few fabricators ever perform this test. A macro etch test can serve as verification that a change on how something is welded […]

Tips for Passing the AWS 3G FCAW Certification

Passing the AWS Structural Welder Qualification Test (vertical up certification on Flux-Cored Arc Welding) can be problematic for some, but insuring the right procedures and techniques  are used should make things a lot easier.  The good thing about this qualification is that if passed it certifies the welder no just in the 3G position, but […]

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 […]

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 […]