Welders create their own problems by exhibiting lack of confidence and not wearing their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). “Certification welds” should be better than “production welds” because the weld coupons are new, clean and the weld surfaces are smooth. The weld test booth is clean, lighted and a safe workplace. Welders tend to overlook the fact that their success in providing a satisfactory demonstration of their welding performance is important to all parties.
by, Dr. Jesse A. Grantham, Forensic Welding Engineer
The following article initiates a three-part series of topics for The Welding Leader (TWL) audience. There are many ways to write about “Weld Failures”. The perspectives presented in the following parts address different points of view of the Owner, Welds and the Forensic Welding Engineer.
Weld failures are the result of decisions and occasionally random accidents. A weld failure means a weld that does not meet the Owner’s expectations. Many weld failures are more related to company politics than welding metallurgy.
Every weld is the result of someone’s deliberate choices about design, materials, process and inspection. It is just that straight forward. When any one of these four key elements does not meet the Owner’s expectations, the costs for the project increase and welds unable to meet the Owner’s needs are considered failures.
What is a CWI?
Certified welding inspectors work in various industries related to construction. Furthermore, certified welding inspectors’ daily duties are filled with numerous responsibilities that are essential in maintaining the safety standards of in the construction industry. On the job site, certified welding inspectors ensure that all related construction activities follow specific guidelines, in accordance with city, state, and federal safety regulations. They also inspect plans, verify inspection and welding calibrations, and make sure that all welding materials are in proper condition for future projects. Additionally, welding inspectors inspect all welding equipment, such as regulators, cables, and welding machines.
During the construction phase, welding inspectors are responsible for monitoring heating values, ensuring the proper temperature controls are being used, and verifying that individuals maintain all compliance issues.
During my life, I welded, supervised welders, engineered welds and inspected welds in many industries. Some welds were acceptable and some welds were rejected. It is important to note these terms, “accept and reject”. Every person (company and personal) involved in the welding operation needs to perform their assigned duties (design, materials, processes, and compliance). When there is a weakness in any one of these functions, the “welder” gets blamed for a bad weld.“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. This is also true for welds.
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