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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Understanding Certificates of Conformance for Filler Metals

Most of the time when we ask a manufacturer of welding consumables for a certificate of conformance it is simply to have it on file.  But sometime we need to actually read and understand it to make sure that filler metal meets the mechanical and physical requirements of our specific application.  Certificates of conformance contain […]

How to Qualify Welders for Internal Purposes

Whenever we think about qualifying welders we typically think about welding codes such as one of the AWS structural welding codes, API 1104 or ASME Section IX.  In most cases qualifications are carried out to comply with a customer requirement. But what if you simply want to qualify your welders as part of your own […]

How Hard is the CWI Exam?

Why passing rate is so low and what to do about it

Are you planning on becoming a certified welding inspector (CWI) in the near future?  Or do you need one of your employees to get this certification?  If so, you have probably heard that the exam is pretty tough.  Although the American Welding Society (AWS) does not publish information on passing rates, it is estimated that […]

Who Can Qualify My Welders?

There is a misconception in our industry that the qualification of welders, and welding procedures for that matter, needs to be done by a certified welding inspector (CWI) or a welding engineer.  Or that it has to be done by a third party.  Although this may be the case if specified in contract documents, more […]