6 Factors That Lead to Cracks in Aluminum Welds

Welding aluminum should not be complicated.  That is, if you are welding 6061-T6 (very common) with ER5356 or ER4043 filler metal.   Although this alloy is still susceptible to cracking, other aluminum alloys are much more prone to cracking. Below are 6 factors that affect cracking susceptibility when welding aluminum alloys.  Thermal stresses: Aluminum has […]

How Carbon Content Affects the Weldability of Steels

And its effects on strength, hardness, ductility and machinability

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon along with several other elements in small quantities, all of which have an impact on its properties. Steels can contain varying amounts of carbon and are typically categorized as low, medium or high carbon steels. Low carbon steels are those containing 0.30% carbon or less.  Medium carbon […]

6 Reasons Why Metal Fabricators Must Understand Metallurgy

Metal fabricators, or at least those in charge of welding operations, must have a sound understanding of metallurgy.  Metallurgy is the study of metals, their properties and their behaviors, especially when undergoing the welding process.  Below are 6 areas of fabrication for which an understanding of the metallurgical properties of metals is vital. Material Selection […]

Understanding Certificates of Conformance for Filler Metals

Manufacturers of welding consumables are required to provide certificates of conformance for all of their welding filler metals.  These certificates confirm that their consumables conform to the chemical and mechanical requirements determined by the American Welding Society for that specific filler metal.  Manufacturers are not required to test every single batch of product that they […]

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 […]

Importance of Weld Failure Analysis

Basic guidelines to troubleshoot weld failures

When a weld fails we don’t always know what caused it.  We may try something different and if it doesn’t fail the next time we adopt that as the new standard.  However, it is very important to know the root cause of weld failures.  If we don’t know what caused the failure how can we […]

What is Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT)?

What is it? Why is PWHT needed? How is PWHT done?

Have you heard of post weld heat treatment (PWHT)? Of course you have. If you are involved in welding you have definitely heard this term.  But what is PHWT? When is PWHT required?  What temperature should PWHT be done at?  Heat treating of materials can be a very complicated subject, but when it comes to […]

5 Methods to Determine Preheat Temperature

Preheat is used when a base material, due to its chemical composition, thickness or level or restraint, is susceptible to cold cracking (hydrogen induced cracking).  Knowing what temperature to preheat your base metal is sometimes a complicated matter.  You may hear people say “preheat to 300F to be safe.”  The reality is that 300F may […]

Troubleshooting Weld Cracking – The importance of crack location

One of the first steps in analyzing cracks to find their root cause and take corrective action is to categorize the cracks.  We categorize cracks based on three elements. Location Direction Timing In today’s article we discuss the importance of crack location when trying to determine what caused it.  What follows is an excerpt from […]

The Importance of Weld Repair Procedures

A repair procedure is necessary any time there is a defect in welding that must be corrected.  The repair procedure is not just a welding procedure specification, but rather a set of instructions and rules on how to repair different types of defects.  There is no standard format for a repair procedure, or a standard […]