How To Inspect A Weld

Welding is one of the key skills needed to do any sort of repair work involving metal materials. A skilled welder can repair cracks to motor housings, metallize shafts, fix broken welds and mounting feet – basically anything that involves joining two pieces of metal together permanently. But with any skill, proficiency varies from person to person greatly. This is why you must have a thorough inspection protocol to insure proper welding techniques are used when fixing your equipment both for the success of the repair as well as safety for the employees.

Tip 1: Examine the Joint
A good practice when welding involves having a good and uniform gap between the two metals for the bead to be placed by the welder. If the gap is too big, it may result in a weak weld, especially at the edges of the two materials. If the gap is too small the weld may not properly penetrate the joint and not join the two pieces fully. Proper edge preparation is key to avoiding this type of error.

Tip 2 : Inspect the Bead
The bead, or the area where the metal is laid down, will tell you a lot about the quality of weld you are working with. The bead should be consistent in size and large enough to join the two pieces. It should not have overly large pools or irregular shapes as this could indicate large voids or bubbles inside the weld itself. It should not be too small as to cause too weak of a weld and not join the metal together properly. Also be on the look out for any cracks or discoloration that can be a sure indicator of a problem.

Tip 3: Check for Porosity
When inspecting a weld it is important that you also check for signed of porosity. Porosity in metal will have the look of basically have a bunch of tiny little holes or “pores” all throughout the surface. This can be a result of a improper mix of welding gases (or even being low in gas), too much moisture in the air or on the material or even holding the welding nozzle wrong.

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