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 […]

Common Tests for Welder Performance Qualification

The purpose of welder performance qualifications is to ensure that the welder can deposit sound welds.  There are several tests, both destructive and nondestructive, that are used to evaluate a welder’s ability to deposit good welds.  Below are four of the most common test applied for these qualifications:   Visual Inspection (VT) Visual inspection is […]

Fillet Weld Leg Sizes Are Meaningless!

Measuring fillet weld legs is meaningless, well… not really.  Fillet weld leg sizes are very important, but simply measuring the leg of a fillet weld does not tell us if we actually achieved the desired throat dimension.  The strength of a fillet weld is determined by its effective throat.  As you can see in the […]

Inspection Before, During and After Welding is Critical

Checklists for the CWI, welder and other production personnel

Weld inspection should not just take place after welding. Inspection before and during welding is critical.  But what can you inspect if welding has not been performed? Take a look at the checklists below for pre, during and post weld inspection.   Most of these items fall under the responsibility of the welding inspector, but any party involved […]

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 […]

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 Types of Tests for Welder Performance Qualification

Codes detail the requirements for performance qualifications of welders, welding operators and tack welders. Many codes do not demand that a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) or a welding engineer conduct the necessary testing.  Unless your customer specifically asks that a CWI or third-party do this, you can simply follow the code yourself to perform all […]

Benefits of Using Prequalified Welding Procedures

Prequalified welding procedures are a great tool available to those who need qualified procedures in conformance with  AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code – Steel.  However, there are strict requirements for the use of a prequalified welding procedures.  It is not as easy as picking a qualified joint and using filler metal manufacturer’s recommended procedures. There […]

Preventing Hydrogen Induced Cracking

Our last post (Factors Influencing Hydrogen Induced Cracking) went over the factors that contribute to hydrogen-induced cracking.  We will now go over how to prevent HIC from happening.  If you recall, we mentioned you need all three factors to be present in order to have HIC:  These factors are 1. a susceptible microstructure, 2. threshold […]