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What is a Welding Defect?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A welding defect is any type of flaw in a welding job that compromises the use and function of the object that received the welding. Defects of this type can occur for a number of reasons, including the use of incorrect materials during the process, or the failure of the welders involved to perform the necessary tasks completely and efficiently. A welding defect may also take place due to the selection of the incorrect welding technique for a given job, or because of exterior conditions that prevent the weld from melding and hardening into place properly.

Cracks are one of the more common manifestations of a welding defect. The nature of the cracking may be due to several different circumstances. For example, arc strike cracking occurs when the location for the weld is struck by the welding rod but the contact is not sufficient to create a sold weld. Cold cracking may take place when the base metal receiving the weld is steel and amount of heat input during the welding process is not kept within an acceptable range. There are also a wide range of other types of cracks that may occur, including reheat, underbead, and crater cracking. Each of these issues can be successfully addressed in most situations, resulting in a strong weld that will hold up to a great deal of stress.

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At times, the origin of the welding defect will have to do with the failure of the welder to choose the right technique or tools to accomplish the task at hand. Different types of welding techniques are designed for use with various metals, calling for the use of certain welding rods as well as the right techniques to achieve the ideal weld. When the welder fails to make the right choice in terms of the type of weld, rod, and other equipment, the chances for a welding defect to occur are greatly enhanced.

The welding defect may also take place as a result of a failure to perform the selected technique properly. For example, lingering too long along the bead of the weld or moving too quickly along the bead line could both create an effect that weakens the result rather than establishing a durable seal between the welded sections. For this reason, skill along with the selection of the right equipment and the best technique for a specific job is important to avoiding the potential for defects and requiring that the work be performed a second time.

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