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  familiarize him or herself with the corresponding […]

Why You Must Have Welding Procedure Specifications

Our previous article discussed the importance of having a specification for weld quality.  In this article we’re talking about the importance of one of its basic components: Welding Procedure Specifications (WPSs). Many fabricators don’t have WPSs. They rely in the experience of their welders to select the right parameters.  As much as we want every […]

Importance of Implementing a Specification for Weld Quality

Understanding the basic components

If you have been reading our articles for some time you know how strongly we feel about having documented welding procedure specifications which have been qualified by testing or prequalified in conformance with code requirements. Yet when we recommend that these very important documents be developed and used in production we get a lot of […]

How to Weld Quenched and Tempered Steels

It is often incorrectly assumed that quenched and tempered (Q&T) steels are hard to weld or even completely unweldable.  This assumption is inaccurate as most Q&T steels have great weldability.  However, extreme care must be taken to prevent cracking or loss of certain mechanical properties.  A very common quenched and tempered steel is ASTM A514.  […]

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 […]