Importance of Macro Etch Testing of Welds

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 […]

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 […]

21 Changes to PQR Essential Variables that Require WPS Requalification

​Have you ever seen a welding procedure specification with established amperage ranging from 200 to 550 amps?Or voltage ranging from 21 to 29 volts?Or some other variable with a huge window?This is all too common, but extremely dangerous. Why? Because changes to essential variables beyond that which is reasonable will affect the physical and mechanical […]

The Importance of Accurate Documents to Support Welder Qualifications

When it comes to precision welding and fabrication, it only takes one wrong document to cause a major problem.  Still, many companies operate by the motto: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Assuming you have incredible attention to detail and a lot of luck, that approach might work for a while.  That’s why companies […]

How to Keep Welder Qualifications Active

There is a misconception that welder qualifications are only good for six months.   This is not accurate.  Most codes state that welder qualifications may lapse if the welder is not engaged in a given process for which he or she is qualified for a period exceeding six months. This means that as long as the […]