Welding Industry Acronyms

If you are involved in the welding industry you are constantly surrounded by all sorts of acronyms.  Below is a list of the most commonly used abbreviations in our industry.

ABS         American Bureau of Shipping

AC          Alternating current

AlSl         American Iron and Steel Institute.

AL            Aluminium

AMP      Amperes (measure of current)

ANSI      American National Standard Institute.

Ar          Argon (inert shielding gas)

ASM      American Society for Metals.

ASME    American Society of Mechanical Engineering

ASTM    American Society for Testing and Materials.

AWS      American Welding Society.

BS           British Standard.

BV          Bureau Veritas (French classification institute)

BZ           Brazing

CE           Equipment with CE-markings fulfills the basic requirements of the Low Voltage and  Electromagnetic Compatibility Guideline.

CSA        Equipment with CSA-Test mark fulfills the requirements made in the relevant standards for Canada and the USA.

CO2        Carbon Dioxide

CTWD    Contact Tip to Work Distance

CWE       Certified Welding Educator

CWI        Certified Welding Inspector

CWB      Canadian Welding Bureau

DC          Direct Current

DCEN     Direct Current Electrode Negative polarity (DC-)

DCEP                     Direct Current Electrode Positive polarity (DC+)

DNV                       Det Norske  Veritas (Norwegian classification institute).

EN                          Euro Norm (The European Community for standardization has developed a nomenclature in welding)

ESO                        Electrical Stick Out

FCAW                    Flux Cored Arc Welding

FCAW-GS            Flux Cored Arc Welding – Gas Shielded

FCAW-SS             Flux Cored Arc Welding – Self Shielded

Ft-Lb                      Foot Pounds

GMAW                 Gas Metal Arc Welding

GMAW-P             Gas Metal Arc Welding Pulse (transfer)

GTAW                   Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

He                          Helium

In                            Inches

IPT                          Inter Pass Temperature

LR                           Lloyds Register of Shipping (British classification Society)

MAG                     Metal Active Gas (see also GMAW).

MIG                       Metal Inert Gas

mm                        Millimeter

MPa                       Mega Pascal

MT                         Magnetic Particle Testing

NDT                       Non Destructive Testing

NS                           Norwegian Standards Association.

NSFI                        Norwegian Research Institute for Ships.

O2                          Oxygen

PAW                      Plasma Arc Welding

PPM                      Parts Per Million

PQR                       Procedure Qualification Record

PWHT                    Post Weld Heat Treatment

RT                          Radiographic Testing (X-ray)

SAW                      Submerged Arc Welding

SMAW                  Shielded Metal Arc Welding (stick welding)

TIG                         Tungsten Inert Gas (See GTAW)

TS                           Travel Speed

UT                           Ultrasonic Testing

V                             Volts or Voltage

VT                            Visual Testing

WFS                       Wire Feed Speed

WPS                       Welding Procedure Specification


Did we leave out any commonly used acronyms? Do you have an acronym you need help with?

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13 thoughts on “Welding Industry Acronyms

  1. Noticed this on my review form can you tell me what the difference is, please. GMAW and GMAW-S. I understood the S is for short circuit but what is GMAW referring to?

    • It refers to all other GMAW modes of metal transfer (globular, spray, pulsed spray). However, keep in mind that GMAW can also refer to short circuit transfer as it is still a mode of Gas Metal Arc Welding.

    • IPM = inches per minute (used in welding travel speed and wire feed speed)
      PPE = Personal Protective Equipment (safety glasses, welding jackets, steel toe boots, respirators, welding gloves, welding hoods, etc.)