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DESIGN AND

PLANNING
MANUAL
For
Cost-Effective Welding
International Standard Book Number: 0-87171-605-4

American Welding Society, 550 N.W. LeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33126

© 1999 by American Welding Society. All rights reserved


Printed in the United States of America

NOTE: Although care was taken in choosing and presenting the data in this guide, AWS cannot guarantee that it is error
free. Further, this guide is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the topic and therefore may not include all avail-
able information, including with respect to safety and health issues. By publishing this guide, AWS does not insure any-
one using the information it contains against any liability or injury to property or persons arising from that use.

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ii
Contents
Section Page No.

1 Primary Concepts of Weldability..................................................................................................................1

2 Accepting Metal Fabrication Projects ..........................................................................................................5

3 Production Welding Cost Analysis................................................................................................................9

4 Modular Construction..................................................................................................................................17

5 Welding Process Selection............................................................................................................................23

6 Primary Concepts of Welding Design.........................................................................................................33

7 Fatigue Considerations.................................................................................................................................45

8 Welding Safety Considerations ...................................................................................................................51

9 Weld Joint Design Considerations ..............................................................................................................57

10 Weld Distortion and Control .......................................................................................................................63

11 Checklist for Sound Welding Decisions ......................................................................................................71

12 Defects and Discontinuities of Welding ......................................................................................................75

13 Nondestructive Examination .......................................................................................................................93

14 Information for the Welder........................................................................................................................103

15 Fitting Aids..................................................................................................................................................109

16 Welding Metallurgy: Practical Aspects ....................................................................................................119

17 Arc Stud Welding........................................................................................................................................129

18 Thermal Spray Fundamentals...................................................................................................................133

iii
SECTION 1
Primary Concepts
of Weldability

Contents
Weldability ......................................................................................................................................................................... 2

Personnel Concerns about Fabrication Projects............................................................................................................. 2

Fundamentals of Welding Decisions ................................................................................................................................ 3

Coordination of Expertise................................................................................................................................................. 4

Education............................................................................................................................................................................ 4

The Welder, Technician, and Production Supervisor ..................................................................................................... 4

The 100% Quality Weld and Weld-Associated Failures ................................................................................................ 4

Weldability Can Be Determined by the Manufacturer .................................................................................................. 4

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ..................................................................................................................... 4

1
SECTION 1—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDABILITY

Section 1—Primary Concepts of Weldability

Weldability • From the customer:


Welding is used to make large and sometimes com- “Does the fabrication perform the intended service
plex structures from smaller and simpler metal compo- and will it last as long as intended?”
nents. In general, a weld is a localized coalescence of
metal that is used to join or repair metal components. “Is the fabrication completed within cost and on
Filler metal may or may not be added to the weld. The schedule?”
capacity and ability to join these metal components with
“Is it aesthetically pleasing?”
available resources help define the term weldability.
The definition of weldability is: “The capacity of a • From the engineer:
metal to be welded under the fabrication conditions im-
posed into a suitably designed structure, which will per- “Does the weld and its heat-affected zone meet the
form the intended service.” critical base metal requirements that are necessary
When the definition of weldability is reduced to for the intended service of the customer?”
its lowest common denominator, this definition is “it.” • From the manufacturer:
To ensure weldability, interaction of countless groups
and individuals with specific needs may be involved. For a “How much money does it cost to make the weld (i.e.,
project to reach a successful conclusion, these needs must what’s my profit)?”
be identified, clarified, and, when in conflict, resolved.
All metals may be considered weldable by the very “Are there any inspections or requirements associated
fact that they exist as metals. Depending on whether you with the weld that will prevent acceptance of my work?”
are the customer, the welder, the inspector, or the fabrica- “Am I subject to any liabilities if my fabrication is not
tor your definition of weldability may be different. Gen- completed on time or fails in service?”
erally, it is the suitability for service, cost, and weldment
aesthetics that determines weldability. With a fundamen- • From the welder:
tal understanding of welding and a knowledge of the re-
“Do I have clearly defined instructions (such as draw-
sources available, “lack of weldability” causing inservice
ings that specify weld size, joint design, material type,
failures, production failures, cost overruns, and schedule
material size, stress relief, and welding procedures)?”
delays may be avoided.
In common usage the term “weldability” is somewhat “Is there adequate weld joint access?”
ambiguous and about as varied as the people who use it.
The “degree” of weldability can be defined in terms of: “Is there adequate environmental protection?”
weld costs; the capacity of the fabrication to perform its
“Do I have the proper equipment to accomplish the
intended service; the ability of the weldment to meet fab-
work?”
rication acceptance standards; or the difficulty of joining
a material with a specific process. “Are the fabrication requirements achievable from the
standpoint of accessibility, position, distortion con-
Personnel Concerns about trol, weld size, inspection requirements and fabrica-
Fabrication Projects tion sequence?”

Major concerns about a fabrication project and its “Am I trained and qualified to perform the welding
weldability are expressed by those involved as follows: required?”

2
SECTION 1—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDABILITY

It is obvious, since the weldability of a metal inter- and how they can affect the safety of personnel and the
sects so many disciplines, that the solution to many weld- suitability of the part for service creates a desire by all in-
associated problems and the ultimate success of a project dividuals to follow requirements. Knowing the basics of
lies in a fabricator’s ability to coordinate its available welding engineering can prevent a company from exten-
expertise. sive rework or a customer’s refusal to accept a manufac-
There can be no question that people are still the most turer’s product.
important resource in the fabrication enterprise. Because
of this, it is recommended that a preacceptance bid re-
view group, including production as well as technical The Welder, Technician, and
personnel, be established to review projects prior to ac- Production Supervisor
ceptance. Formation of this group may be the single most
important action taken to ensure a successful and profit- The resolution of many welding problems requires
able completion for all parties involved. Unless the same much more than technical solutions. Welding problems
project is repeated over and over again, it is obvious that require practical solutions as well. For this reason, the
one person cannot resolve all the issues necessary for the practical expertise of the journeyman mechanic and his
project to be a success for all the participants. supervisor can never be overlooked. They are absolutely
essential if a company expects to remain profitable. It is
for this reason the use of welding engineering techni-
cians is quite common in larger companies. Technicians
Fundamentals of Welding Decisions frequently are trained individuals with journeymen pro-
One individual in a metals fabrication firm with a duction experience. A balance of welding engineers and
varying workload will find it difficult to make good welding engineering technicians is most desirable for re-
welding decisions for all of the firm’s needs. The com- solving most welding problems.
plexity of welding decisions is immense if the work var-
ies. If an individual makes enough welding decisions,
expertise will be required beyond that of filler metals, The 100% Quality Weld and Weld-
base metals, and welding processes. This expertise will
require a background in, and integration of the technical
Associated Failures
fields. Designers often mistakenly expect the welds they de-
sign to have properties that equal or exceed the desired
properties of the base metal. The major error in this logic
Coordination of Expertise is that the base metal and the weld metal do not perform
independently.
One person normally does not have expertise in all of Rarely does the weld improve the properties of the
the areas required to make sound welding decisions. It metal it joins. The base material, the weld, and the weld’s
will benefit a company to have a welding engineer to heat-affected zone are not homogeneous regions. They
handle the majority of the welding problems that will are, in effect, structural and metallurgical discontinuities
arise. However, this individual will find it necessary to within the weldment. This is due to the fact that the base
coordinate with other available expertise to make the best materials usually have undergone significant mechanical
decisions for the company. If a company is small, this and/or thermal treatments to optimize their properties,
may require hiring a part-time consultant. the weld usually performs its service in the as-cast condi-
tion, and the heat-affected zone has undergone widely
varying heating and cooling rates. In many cases a weld
Education joint lowers fatigue properties and lowers impact proper-
ties; in some cases a weld joint also lowers the tensile
There is no substitute for education of personnel in- and yield properties. However, large or complex struc-
volved in welding. Education is needed by the fabrica- tures must be welded with high joint efficiency, since
tion shop superintendents, the design engineers, the large monolithic cast or wrought structures cannot be
planners and estimators, the production supervisors, and made in most cases.
the welding mechanics. Each has different needs. Often, Since welds are usually located at changes of cross
a specification or procedural requirement will not be fol- sections (commonly associated with highly stressed
lowed unless there is an understanding of why the re- areas), the welds are often in areas where the structure
quirement is necessary. Understanding the importance of fails. These failures may be wrongly attributed to welds
preheats, postheat treatments, and filler metal selection that are perceived as inherently weak or flawed. These

3
SECTION 1—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDABILITY

failures are more likely caused by poor decisions on the • Recognize the cause of existing and potential produc-
part of engineers or company management due to a lack tion problems.
of knowledge or training.
Improperly selected joint designs, welding processes, • Properly utilize, coordinate, and develop cooperation of
locations of welds, and filler metals are frequently asso- available expertise to make sound welding decisions.
ciated with weld failures. The root cause of these types
Often weld-associated failures are caused by lack of
of failures is in the decision-making process and not in
knowledge about welding and its effect on the base mate-
the quality of the weld.
rials. These failures are wrongly viewed as resulting
from inherent weaknesses of welds. In most cases, with
Weldability Can Be Determined by proper utilization of available expertise, the failures
could have been avoided.
the Manufacturer
When a manufacturer designs and fabricates a weld-
ment, it can truly be said that the manufacturer deter- Bibliography/Recommended Reading
mines weldability. The manufacturer then controls most
of the variables that determine weldability. The weldabil-
List
ity of a metal, to a large extent, is determined by the Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding Technology
manufacturer’s ability to: (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.

4
SECTION 2
Accepting Metal
Fabrication Projects

Contents
Background ........................................................................................................................................................................ 6

Defining Special Projects .................................................................................................................................................. 6

Establish a Prebid Review Group (Before Accepting Special Projects) ....................................................................... 6

Establish a Detail Planning Group (Prior to Issuing Job Orders)................................................................................ 7

Summary ............................................................................................................................................................................ 7

5
SECTION 2—ACCEPTING METAL FABRICATION PROJECTS

Section 2—Accepting Metal Fabrication Projects

Background Special project should be defined as follows:

The critical question asked by a metals fabricator for a (1) Not a repetitive project, even though a company
completed project to be considered successful is: Did the may have procedures that are applicable to the work.
project make a profit and was it completed on time? This includes work that the company has accomplished
When large or small companies have repetitive work, before but has not done for a long period of time.
they are usually quite successful. They also know the pit- (2) Any type of field work that is away from the com-
falls. They know what their minimum bid should be and pany’s home office, and involves a significant number of
what delivery or schedule times can be met. They proba- man hours. Field work limits the company’s flexibility for
bly have experienced the normal day-to-day items that scheduling work accurately. In addition, field work limits
threaten their profit and the quality of their work. Know- the company’s ability to combine work activities for eco-
ing these pitfalls, they can make allowances for them. nomical use of materials, man hours and equipment.
However, for a company to be successful when it (3) Any project that requires many different disci-
accepts work that can be defined as a special project plines from the same company to accomplish its task.
(meaning a different type of work for the company), the (4) Unusual or complex work requirements (includ-
engineer, the fabricator, and the welder need a funda- ing inspections, paperwork, and records).
mental understanding of the weldability of metals and the
basics of sound welding decisions. During the accep-
tance of work, many decisions that seem innocuous to
welding end up jeopardizing the weldability of materials
and the service suitability of the completed weldment.
Establish a Prebid Review Group
(Before Accepting Special Projects)
Since a special project is a nonrepetitive project that
may include multiple workshops having new or unusual
Defining Special Projects requirements, the acceptance of such work should be re-
The critical first step for a company is the ability to recog- viewed by a small prebid review group before accepting
nize a special project. Nearly all special projects require high special projects. It cannot be expected that a single per-
up-front costs. There are increased costs in determining: son who plans and estimates jobs can assemble and un-
derstand all the technical, quality, material, and process
• Should the company bid on the project?
requirements of unusual work. When the structure of a
• What should the bid be?
company permits, it is recommended that the member-
• To what extent are production instructions required?
ship of the preacceptance bid review group consist of
• What are the costs to establish these instructions?
comptroller, planner and estimator, design, production
• How and when to monitor the work in production?
lead shop, and quality assurance representatives.
• Are the company resources adequate?
A comptroller or planner and estimator should over-
• Do company equipment and personnel capabilities ad-
see this group. The primary goal of the group should be
equately meet project requirements?
to assess the company’s limitations and capabilities in re-
• What additional training/equipment is required to
gard to technical, quality, and special process require-
meet project objectives?
ments before accepting work. The group should also
Resolving these issues should be accomplished with determine the limitations and conditions that should be
small review groups with specific tasks in mind. placed on the project for bid acceptance.

6
SECTION 2—ACCEPTING METAL FABRICATION PROJECTS

Sometimes accepting a job just to keep the workforce chaired by engineering. After the production work starts,
busy can cost you the company. The company’s limita- similar meetings should be held with the lead production
tions and capabilities should be determined in regard to shop chairing the meeting, to enable them to receive fast
technical, quality, and special process requirements be- and direct technical resolution to unexpected fabrication
fore accepting special projects. If deemed necessary problems.
from this determination, the company should place limi- Internal quality reviews or audits should be planned
tations and conditions on the bid acceptance, or not ac- for as work progresses. The first review should take place
cept the work. early in the project. This ensures that the work in-
To determine whether the company should bid or how structions are adequate to accomplish the work, that con-
much it is willing to bid, the prebid review group should tract requirements are clear to the workforce, and
evaluate the following items: the material that is to be received is correct. Trying to re-
cover from incorrect material after a job has commenced
• Quality requirements (establishment of special proce-
is almost impossible without the company experiencing
dures, i.e., quality manual).
large material and labor losses. Therefore, the prebid re-
• Inspection requirements.
view group should also be responsible for material acqui-
• Record requirements (degree of detail).
sition recommendations. Any project is slated for failure
• Material requirements certification—receipt inspection.
where material requisitions are made haphazardly. Mate-
• Material and labor losses in production (rework). rial must be ordered properly and receipt inspected accu-
• Cleanliness and shipping requirements. rately, if a project is to progress within the preestablished
• Special process requirements (mockup testing or schedules. Simple, clear and concise job order instruc-
control samples). tions should be provided in the following areas:
• Personnel availability and special qualifications.
• Special welding equipment and fixtures required. • Specification (material and fabrication).
• Health and environmental considerations. • Fabrication documents.
• Quality requirements (receipt inspection included).
• Records.
Establish a Detail Planning Group • Inspection requirements.
(Prior to Issuing Job Orders) • Special process controls.
After a special project is accepted, a planning group is
needed for detailing the job requirements to the produc-
tion workforce. This detailed planning effort is neces-
sary, because the work is nonrepetitive, may involve Summary
multiple trades, and may have different quality require-
ments than the company normally uses. The greatest po- If a project has been determined (by a company’s def-
tential for noncompliance and error is when the project inition) to be a special project, a prebid review group
is nonrepetitive and has extensive quality and technical should examine all the job requirements. This group will
requirements. This detailed planning group should be determine whether the company wants to make a bid on
headed up by a design engineer, if possible. the project and what considerations and limitations
Once a special project is accepted by a company, should be placed with the bid. The group should consist
resources must be expended in advance planning. Work of a designer, a planner and estimator, a production shop
instructions should be clear, concise, and when practical, leader or project leader, and a quality assurance expert.
they should be listed as line items with specific direc- After the project has been accepted, a planning review
tions and accountability. The referencing of general spec- group needs to be established to provide clear and con-
ifications should be avoided where contract requirements cise work instructions. Job orders should provide details
are obscure and can be easily missed. Establishing this in areas that would be expected to cause production and
group early helps resolve many critical issues that make record problems. Details concerning the receipt of mate-
a project a success. It also establishes early ownership in rial, quality assurance requirements, and production shop
the project by the participants. It is crucial that this group requirements must be provided.
has authority to make and implement decisions. Early in the production cycle, work instructions and
During the planning and engineering time of the receipt inspection of material should be audited, or at
project, weekly or biweekly meetings should be held to least reviewed. During production, work surveillances
discuss the impact of technical requirements on produc- should be made of workmanship, inspection, and records
tion with shop supervision. These meetings should be to ensure work instruction compliance.

7
SECTION 3
Production Welding
Cost Analysis

Contents

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 10

Review of Cost Estimating .............................................................................................................................................. 10

Welding Cost Variables ................................................................................................................................................... 11

Rework.............................................................................................................................................................................. 11

Fire Protection ................................................................................................................................................................. 11

How to Control Costs ...................................................................................................................................................... 11

Joint Designs .................................................................................................................................................................... 12

Automation/Mechanization of New or Existing Thermal Joining Processes ............................................................. 12

Records: Accountability for Accomplishment of Work and Inspections ................................................................... 13

Cost Considerations of Nondestructive Examination (NDE) ...................................................................................... 13

Summary .......................................................................................................................................................................... 14

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 14

9
SECTION 3—PRODUCTION WELDING COST ANALYSIS

Section 3—Production Welding Cost Analysis

Introduction of specific projects for a customer. As an example, this


includes any personnel assigned to a specific end use
The application of welding as a major fabrication pro- project. Particular attention should be considered not to
cess in United States industry began during the late exceed the estimated manhours/mandays for project
1930s. Prior to this time period, the welding process did accomplishment.
not play a significant role in production applications.
Welding was primarily utilized for small-scale fabrica-
tion, maintenance, or repair. Its use was accelerated by the Overhead Costs
military. The U.S. Navy required massive ship construc-
tion for deployment during World War II and the U.S. Overhead costs are those costs of indirect services, ma-
Army needed significant ordnance/weaponry equipment terials, or other expenses that cannot be specifically identi-
that could only be practically constructed by welding. fied to a productive effort/customer or do not result in direct
productive work. Such examples include paid vacations,
health insurance premiums, sick leave, electricity, water,
building construction or maintenance, and capital invest-
Review of Cost Estimating ments not tied to a specific customer.

There are several fundamental variables (costs) that


need to be considered prior to submitting a competitive Fixturing Costs
bid for a specific project, in terms of welding costs. For
purposes of this review, many of the following terms can Fixturing costs are expenditures for tools, jigs, or fix-
apply to repair welding or new construction applications. tures that are directly utilized in the manufacturing pro-
These cost estimates include material, direct labor, over- cess, which can be traced or charged to an end product.
head, fixturing, and welding. Definitions of these five ex-
penses are listed below.
Welding Costs
Material Costs As noted in the AWS Welding Handbook, costs for
welding basically include the same elements that are ap-
Material costs involve those materials (i.e., steel plate, plicable to manufacturing costs, i.e., labor, material, and
piping, or other hardware) that ultimately become part of overhead. However, there are other variables that need to
a finished product. These individual components can be be considered:
traced to the finished project, in terms of a unit of mea-
sure expended. Material costs also include consumables • Joint design type.
used during the manufacturing evolution. Required re- • Weld size.
ceipt inspection and traceability documentation should • Weld type.
also be included.
• Weld process.
• Electrode deposition efficiency.
Direct Labor • Special weld procedure development or verification of
Direct labor is a level of effort or services that can essential elements.
readily be charged or identified towards accomplishment • Heat and fire protection.

10
SECTION 3—PRODUCTION WELDING COST ANALYSIS

Welding Cost Variables If at all possible, it is preferable to accomplish the ma-


jority of welding fabrication in the shop vs. in the field.
There are a large number of welding variables that can For example, in one case history involving Cres piping,
affect the manufacturing costs. For example, the design the field reject rate was 420% over those joints welded in
engineer should be concerned with joint design, weld size the shop. For Monel®, the same reject criteria was 189%,
or type, and weld process. The welding supervisor should and 107% higher for carbon steel. The average among
be aware of the setup (field or shop), production welding these three materials welded in the field was 238%
time, finishing, and inspection costs. The welder holds a higher than the shop welds!
very key role. Prior to welding, he/she must be familiar The disparity between shop and field reject rates can
with the applicable weld procedure that lists variables be explained by reviewing the complexity behind field
such as type of shielding or required flow rates, welding conditions. In many situations, the welder will encounter
parameters (volts and amps), travel speed for auto- very tight space restrictions, which may require the aid of
mated/mechanized welding, preheat or interpass tempera- mirrors to complete the particular pipe weld. Other physi-
tures, and type of filler metals required. cal problems might include welding out-of-position, vs.
the normal horizontal-fixed or rolled position welds found
in shop welding. Some additional negative conditions
Rework may involve moisture or contamination in a piping sys-
tem, or a difficult configuration that restricts the flow of
The welder, in many instances, has major control over
the purging gas for piping welds.
the amount of rework. Since rework can be as high as
25% of the project costs, the existence or elimination of Another variable affecting welding reject rates/costs is
potential rework costs deserves a high degree of attention. the available skilled workforce. Promotion of experienced
personnel into management positions, retirements, etc.,
can cause an increase in the reject rates. Replacement of
skilled personnel with inexperienced welders can be one
Fire Protection source of higher reject rates/costs.
Currently, it is estimated that for every hour of actual Regardless of the location of the particular project,
welding time, a similar amount of time is required for re- job preplanning, definition of scope, and scheduling are
lated fire/heat protection. These costs may include the use essential. These should include an in-depth review of the
of “firewatch” personnel and the installation of flame re- applicable fabrication specifications, drawings, material
tardant material or cloth for protection from the welding, lists, work documentation requirements, and schedules.
or burning evolutions. Conduct meetings with the designer, shop supervisor,
Finally, the company owner/management is concerned and other technical support staff to determine the proper
with all of the above and additionally: utility/labor rates, direction. A strong preplanning effort will provide a solid
consumable costs, transportation, and overhead costs. It is project estimate regarding manufacturing costs and suc-
very apparent why welding costs make a significant mon- cessful job accomplishment. As an example of required
etary impact in the overall manufacturing costs. preplanning, determine what type of variables need to be
Now, the next obvious question is, “How can these evaluated prior to making decisions about utilization of a
costs be controlled, and yet provide assurances for quality particular welding process for a specific job. The AWS
weldments?” Has the designer given adequate thought to Welding Handbook offers the following criteria for
“fitness for use,” or has the component been overdesigned consideration:
which increases costs? The remaining portion of this sec-
tion will attempt to introduce answers/suggestions to aid • Type of welding operation to be performed.
in solving these questions. • A clear definition of what physically can and cannot
be done.
• Nature of the material to be joined. Is preheating or
How to Control Costs postweld heat treatment required?
Many weldments involve a combination of shop and • Joint geometry, thicknesses, and parts fitup/
field fabrication. It is critical to understand that differ- tolerances.
ences exist in job preplanning through project comple- • Weld quality requirements.
tion. For example, shop fabrication drawings are specific • Safety requirements: enclosures, shielding, scaffold-
in nature, whereas drawings for field installation or modi- ing, etc.
fications provide sectional views to show the location of • Location/orientation of fixturing (positioners, etc.) is
numerous components. important.

11
SECTION 3—PRODUCTION WELDING COST ANALYSIS

In his discussion about estimating welding costs, in sary down time to replace the spooled filler metal contain-
the Design of Weldments (published by the James F. Lin- ers during the welding operation. Also, ordering filler
coln Arc Welding Foundation), Omer W. Blodgett states metal in large quantities, whether it be covered or bare
the following: electrodes, decreases the basic costs per pound. Proper
planning regarding future needs of specific electrode
“The cost of welding is directly affected by the types, and their proper storage is required here.
amount of weld metal required. Very few people re-
alize the great increase in weld metal and cost that
results from a slight increase in weld size.”
Automation/Mechanization of New or
Existing Thermal Joining Processes
Joint Designs Another aspect of controlling manufacturing/welding
costs, although it involves long-range preplanning with
In a further representation of Mr. Blodgett’s words, it
the possibility of only long-term payback on investment,
has been shown that a decrease of 30° in joint design bev-
is the introduction of automation or mechanization of
els can result in a savings of almost 50%, which includes
new/existing thermal joining processes. However, before
the welding time, reduction in filler metal and distortion!
serious consideration is given to automate (i.e., use of
In the inverse scenario, an increase in fillet weld sizes by
robots), or to mechanize specific welding processes
a factor of 50% will require a significant increase in all
(GMAW, FCAW), it is critical that fabrication projects
the above factors. For example, an increase in fillet weld
exist to support its development. Purchase of complex
sizes from l/4 in. to 5/8 in. (using 1/4 in. as 100%) will
equipment is a large capital cost, not including associated
increase the labor costs by a factor of 500%! This does
operator training, engineering support, or maintenance. A
not include the potential problem of weldment distortion
projected return must exist. As an example, at one naval
due to the additional welding.
shipyard, after a successful development program involv-
Another factor involving design decisions, or joint de- ing a new welding process (Flux Core—Twisted wire),
sign selections, involves the decision of when to utilize specific production applications were identified. Utiliza-
fillet or groove welds. There is obviously a significant dif- tion of this new process resulted in major labor savings
ference between these designs, and equally so in costs. over the previous welding method in reduced joint design
Based on deposited filler metal costs alone, it is evident preparation, and increased welding deposition rate. The
that for 1/2 in. plate, fillet welds are the cheapest design savings can be realized on future thick section weldments.
per foot, but as the plate thickness increases up to three In addition to the variables previously mentioned dur-
inches, a 45° double bevel groove joint design becomes ing the preplanning section regarding the utilization of
the least expensive. The responsibility of the design engi- welding processes, other variables need to be evaluated
neer is very significant in controlling welding or manu- prior to making decisions on adapting or purchasing
facturing costs. automated welding equipment. Additional criteria for
Following a review of joint designs, another “tool” that consideration are:
needs to be evaluated is the applicable welding proce-
dure/process to support fabrication. A welding procedure • Processing speed of parts per unit of time.
provides the welding foreman/welder with the essential • Economic requirements: initial investment and opera-
welding elements including required gas shielding/flow tion costs, and payback period.
rates, welding current, applicable preheat/interpass tem- • Location of the automated equipment should be as
peratures, and type of filler metals required. A careful re- close to the prospective work as possible.
view of available procedures/processes will afford an
• The path between the work area and control unit
opportunity to determine costs, etc.
should be unobstructed.
When considering the filler metal selection, thought
should be given to using the largest diameter suitable for • Past experiences with similar automated equipment.
the joint design, without violating heat input require- • Efficient material handling and fixturing equipment
ments, to improve the electrode deposition rate. Also, it requirements are important with a new process and
should be noted when purchasing bare filler metal higher production rates.
(spools) for Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Flux • Part programming is a critical time aspect, as there is
Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), or Submerged Arc Welding a need for a flexible software system. The necessary
(SAW) processes, that the largest available spool pound- coordination between the welding and actual opera-
age be considered if filler metal types do not need to be tion of the automated equipment is important to
frequently changed. This will obviously avoid unneces- achieve the desired weld quality.

12
SECTION 3—PRODUCTION WELDING COST ANALYSIS

After review of the above criteria, one of the most cru- provides assurance that the quality level for the product or
cial decisions remains: is there a high degree of assurance weldment is being met for critical applications.
that utilization of the automated welding equipment or Specific definitions/applications of NDE are covered
new processes will bring about a positive rate of return on in another section, however, a brief overview of the six
the investment? available nondestructive inspection/testing methods in-
cludes the following: Visual Testing (VT), Eddy Current
(ET), Magnetic Particle (MT), Dye Penetrant (PT), Radio-
graphic (RT), and Ultrasonic Testing (UT).

Records: Accountability for


Accomplishment of Work Visual Testing
and Inspections For all weldments, VT is one of the best and most
economical inspections employed. It can be accom-
Maintaining accountability for accomplishment of plished quickly by qualified inspectors to verify pre or
work and inspection—nondestructive examination (NDE), post welding criteria including, but not limited to, ade-
receipt inspections, in-process, personnel qualifications, quate joint designs, weld size, appearance (contour,
etc., is a tremendous, but necessary overhead cost. cleanliness, etc.), or detection of surface flaws, (i.e., un-
Several commercial code or military codes or specifi- dercut, cracks, slag, etc.). The most significant disadvan-
cations that might be referenced on drawings or be tage with this method is that it cannot detect subsurface
included in the contract provisions, require that an exten- or minute surface indications. Visual inspection of each
sive quality control system for record origination/ weld layer can ensure quality, as it has been shown that if
retention be established. Some examples of these required an in-depth VT is accomplished, there can be a 35% de-
records include: crease in associated NDE inspections.

• Vendor certification of welding electrodes, or test re-


sults for compliance with the applicable specification/ Eddy Current Testing
receipt inspection requirements. ET is an electromagnetic inspection method in which
• Records that support test data for welding/NDE. small electrical currents are induced in a material. Flaws
• Records for welder/brazer/NDE operator qualifications. are detected by the interruption of these currents. This
method can be used on a wide range of electro con-
• In-process inspections or data collection (measure- ducting materials, though the depth of inspection on fer-
ments, etc.). rous materials is restricted to approximately 0.100 in. to
• Records of NDE inspections (ET, MT, PT, RT, UT, 0.200 in., depending on the frequency used. It is excel-
VT). lent for measuring plating thicknesses and can be used on
painted surfaces. This is ET’s main advantage over MT.
• Records of casting fabrication, plates, shapes or forg- The equipment for this technique is not expensive, easily
ings, and the applicable inspections. suitable for automation, and the labor costs are minimal.
• Verification of thermal joining surveillance inspections.

Magnetic Particle Testing


Before bidding on a project, a thorough review of the
required records, specified by the applicable fabrication MT can be accomplished only on ferrous materials.
documents, is necessary. The volume of required docu- This method is reasonably economical, and serves as an
mentation may involve hiring of additional staff, thus in- excellent tool in detecting indications on joint prepara-
creasing overhead costs. tions (including backgouged roots), root welding passes,
and finished weld surfaces. Magnetic particle is basically
a surface and slightly subsurface inspection process.
Cost Considerations of
Nondestructive Examination (NDE) Dye Penetrant Testing
The requirement to incorporate nondestructive testing There are two types of dye penetrants: liquid and fluo-
during the manufacturing or welding evolution is another rescent. Both types can only detect defects open to the
cost which has dramatic impact. Utilization of this type of surface, and can be used on nonferrous and ferrous mate-
testing has great potential for increasing costs, however, it rials. Dye penetrant inspection is relatively economical,

13
SECTION 3—PRODUCTION WELDING COST ANALYSIS

although more time consuming than MT. However, PT manent record as the radiograph, improved equipment
requires a better surface finish than MT for satisfactory provides computerized printouts for records.
inspection to be accomplished.

Summary
Radiographic Testing
With ever-shrinking budgets, and strong competition
Of the six NDE methods, radiographic inspection is from abroad, controlling costs in the public and private
the most expensive. This nondestructive method uses the industry is a major concern. As we have seen, there are
penetrating radiation of X-rays, or the gamma rays of a several variables to consider when welding and related
radioactive source, to penetrate a specific object to reveal nondestructive testing is involved. This section has at-
discontinuities. It is very labor intensive for the following tempted to describe some of the welding variables that
reasons: need to be considered. Table 3.1 is a condensed review. It
• High cost of equipment and film. is not intended to be all inclusive, rather a brief narrative
• Stringent controls of the radiation source. about some of the major subjects which should be re-
• Skilled personnel capable of producing exposed film. viewed. Table 3.2 is a check-off sheet of costs to remem-
• Required chemical processing of the exposed film. ber prior to the bid process.
• Trained personnel to review/interpret the film.
• Restriction of production efforts in the area of inspec-
tion, due to the presence of harmful radiation. Bibliography/Recommended Reading
This method can be used on most materials, and pro- List
vides a permanent record of most surface or internal de-
Blodgett, O. W. 1963. Design of Weldments. The James F.
fects or flaws. RT is widely utilized in inspection of pipe
Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.
and structural butt welds.
Boyer, H., ed. 1976. ASM Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Fun-
damentals of Quality Control and Quality Assurance.
Ultrasonic Inspection ASM International, Metals Park, Ohio.
One of the most versatile NDE methods is ultrasonic
Cary, H. 1997. Modern Welding Technology. Englewood
inspection. UT has several advantages including location
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
of internal flaws in components, and ability to be used on
most materials. However, in terms of ease of operation, it Cooper, N., Davis, W. J., and Pandjiris, A. K. 1968. Know
is fairly complex, and requires the interpretative skills of costs then weld. Welding Journal 47(7): 561–568.
trained technicians. In regard to cost, one individual can
Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding, sec. 12. 1973. The
operate the machine and interpret the ultrasound wave
Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio.
signals. This makes UT considerably less expensive than
RT. Because UT produces no radiation, inspection areas Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding Technology
need not be evacuated. Though unable to provide a per- (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.

14
SECTION 3—PRODUCTION WELDING COST ANALYSIS

Table 3.1
Review of Production Welding Costs

1. Job preplanning, definition of scope, and accurate scheduling are three critical and necessary steps that must be accomplished
prior to any project bid submittal or start of production.

2. Maintaining accountability of work accomplishments or inspections via the use of formal records is a necessary overhead cost
that must be factored into the bid.

3. If at all possible, it is preferable to accomplish the majority of fabrication or welding in the shop vs. in the field.

4. Increasing fillet weld sizes beyond what is required can be detrimental. Aside from raising the filler metal and labor costs, the
additional welding may contribute to serious distortion of the weldment.

5. Choosing the correct joint design for the particular plate thickness is very important. For example, for thicknesses over
1-1/2 in., the double bevel “T” joint design is more economical to employ than increasing the fillet weld size.

6. There are several factors that affect the efficient utilization of the many welding processes, i.e., deposition rates, joint geome-
try, fixturing, etc. Careful considerations must be made prior to utilizing a particular welding process or mode.

7. The selection of automated equipment requires a close review of several variables, including long-term preplanning and costs.
There must be a projected positive rate of return, which will justify the capital expenditures.

8. Fire/heat protection costs have significantly increased. It has been estimated that for every hour of welding time, an equal
amount of time is required for related fire/heat protection.

9. Weld procedure/personnel qualifications pose two problems. Both are expensive, and can require considerable time to accom-
plish. Early identification of specific needs is required.

10. Inexperienced welders or craftsman can affect the reject rates. Maintaining a skilled workforce should be a high priority.

11. Nondestructive testing during the manufacturing process has potential for increasing costs. However, it ensures that a quality
product is being produced, and may in the long run actually reduce costs.

12. The roles of the design engineer, welding engineer, supervisor, welder, etc., are all varied, with each being critical for success-
ful project accomplishment. Joint meetings to discuss particular attributes or suspected problem areas are necessary for uni-
fied direction. The results of these meetings will decrease costs and enhance the product quality.

15
SECTION 3—PRODUCTION WELDING COST ANALYSIS

Table 3.2
Checklist of Project/Welding Cost Variables

❒ Advance planning costs; i.e., meetings, accomplishment of tasking actions, etc.

❒ Costs of origination/distribution of funding or work standard documents.

❒ Cost of origination/distribution of pertinent engineering instructions or drawings for prefabrication support.

❒ Receipt inspection costs; i.e., issue instructions for base and filler metal inspections, etc.

❒ Weld procedure and welder performance qualification costs.

❒ Material and welding electrode costs.

❒ Special equipment purchases: welding machines, fixtures, etc.

❒ Inspection costs: in-process, nondestructive, and other, such as hydrostatic.

❒ Estimated rework costs.

❒ Formal record costs: origination, tracking, and retention.

❒ Possible post weld heat treatment costs.

❒ Costs for preparation prior to welding; i.e., base metal cleaning, joint designs, fitting, etc.

❒ Rigging or crane costs in the movement of the materials during and after the weldments are completed.

❒ Labor costs associated with welding, machining, casting or forging fabrications.

❒ Distortion control costs during in-process welding, etc.

❒ Fire/heat protection costs (including labor) associated with welding/burning.

❒ Final cleaning, preservation, and shipping costs.

❒ Surveillance and audit costs.

❒ Supervision (labor) costs.

❒ Overhead costs (vacation, electric power, medical insurance, etc.) associated with labor and operation of the required equip-
ment for the fabrication of weldments.

16
SECTION 4
Modular
Construction

Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 18

Productivity Value ........................................................................................................................................................... 18

Dimensional Accuracy (Process Control) ...................................................................................................................... 19

Preoutfitting—A Major Advantage ............................................................................................................................... 20

Designing for Zone and Preoutfitting Construction ..................................................................................................... 21

Summary .......................................................................................................................................................................... 21

17
SECTION 4—MODULAR CONSTRUCTION

Section 4—Modular Construction

Introduction Optimizing Resources


Modular construction or block construction was a nat- By designing and planning for the zone work, the
ural evolution of large structures. It became advanta- scheduling of people and material is optimized. The
geous for structures to be assembled in small blocks amount of time lost for material movement and relocation
followed by joining these small blocks together until the of people is minimized. A crew of craftsmen can com-
entire structure was completed. This method of construc- plete a work package that may include portions of multi-
tion offered new opportunities to the outfitting trades. ple systems within a zone, prior to shifting to a new zone.
The assemblies could be turned over so work was at a
more convenient physical location and much of the weld-
ing could be flat position work. Also, machinery and Productivity Value
electrical components could be packaged in a less expen- The efficiency of a work package can be defined by a
sive shop environment and landed on the block, reducing “productivity value” which is a function of:
the field assembly time. This concept initiated the move-
ment of the design and planning functions toward the • Time.
zone outfitting approach. By implementing zone meth- • Resources.
ods, the blocks could be preoutfitted prior to erection and • Quality.
joining of additional blocks. These three variables must be balanced to obtain an
Implementation of modular construction encompasses optimum productivity value. Each of the variables is a
more than just assembly and fabrication work, it requires function of the other two and therefore must be consid-
the engineering design and production work scheduling ered together.
to be an integral part.
Trial and Error Evaluation
System Approach
Productivity value is a unitless term that cannot be
Traditional methods used a systems approach to con- formulated mathematically. Rather, it is an expression
struction. For example, an entire pipe system would be that can be used to evaluate performance by comparison.
designed, planned, and scheduled for production without Each work package process and operation can be evalu-
consideration of the other systems that would be fabri- ated by trial and error, until the optimum level of produc-
cated during the same time and in the same location. The tivity is determined. This may require changes in work
systems method enables designers, material personnel, package definition until the proper balance of time, re-
and planners to rapidly define the production of an entire sources, and quality is achieved. This process should be
system. repeated periodically to reevaluate the productivity
value. As methods change or schedules are readjusted,
Modular Construction the variable balance may be shifted and the optimum
conditions may no longer be present.
In modular construction it is essential to change from A proper review of a specific zone project must in-
the systems concept to a zone concept to optimize pro- clude the prior and following operations after the specific
ductivity. The structure and its systems are converted into zone function is complete. The processes should be eval-
zones. These zones define work packages that define a uated in relation to resources, time, and quality. The prior
quantity of work to be accomplished within boundaries. process must be included, as it establishes a baseline

18
SECTION 4—MODULAR CONSTRUCTION

condition for the measured operation. Variations in con- system components are located by measurements from
ditions from the prior process or operation will affect the the nearest structure in lieu of the more traditional com-
productivity variables. Similarly, the following operation partment or ship centerline. In addition, forcing struc-
will be impacted by optimizing the evaluated process. tural block dimensional control, this now requires the
The quality value is a good example of the effect of matching blocks to consider the alignment of the distrib-
one operation on the other process steps. Each process- utive systems (i.e., electrical systems) in addition to the
ing operation must result in a satisfactory consistent level structural members.
of quality being passed to the following operation. Deviations from nominal values can become cumula-
Changes in the quality variable will skew the balance of tive and the larger block connections must be monitored
the three productivity value components and cause less- for dimensional accuracy to ensure proper alignment. In
than-optimum conditions. Starting with a poor-quality some cases, this will force the use of less than the tradi-
product prompts the allocation of additional resources to tional tolerances. Process control is necessary to ensure
meet schedule requirements; or when resources are not that a zone approach to outfitting is successful.
available, additional time is used to compensate for cor-
rection of quality deficiencies. Basically, each operation
Accuracy Control Program
of the production process will provide a final product to
the following operation. This process provides identi- An important tool for controlling process perfor-
fiable responsibility and accountability to individuals mance in structural fabrication is an accuracy control
completing incrementally completed segments. This program. With the use of statistical process controls,
customer-supplier relationship must be measured and variations in process parameters can be identified and the
controlled to maintain an optimum productivity value. causes evaluated.
Two of the more common methods of displaying the
data for accuracy control measurements are the histo-
Dimensional Accuracy (Process Control) gram and the process control chart. Each of these meth-
Successful preoutfitting is greatly dependent on struc- ods utilizes basic statistical analysis.
tural dimensional accuracy. Proper implementation of
these advanced concepts requires all structural members (1) Histogram. Figure 4.1 is a typical histogram. The
and platforms to be within predetermined tolerances. The data shown represent a series of actual measurements

Figure 4.1—Typical Histogram

19
SECTION 4—MODULAR CONSTRUCTION

taken over a period of time. By collecting the data in the sure that productivity is being improved and the effects
histogram format, the variations in the process can be on baseline performance can be determined.
collected and displayed to provide a meaningful analysis. An accuracy control program provides essential infor-
The histogram can be used to approximate a “bell mation for successful implementation of modular con-
curve.” The bell curve is a standard statistical representa- struction. When sequencing work by zones, it is essential
tion of predictable variations in a process. By utilizing that the systems continuing from one zone to another
the bell curve, normal process inconsistencies can be properly align at the boundaries. The structure must be
estimated and a process can be evaluated to determine accurate and within predefined tolerances to ensure that
the frequency and magnitude of deviation from perfor- the matching systems in two zones are within dimen-
mance to established tolerances. sional tolerances to allow for proper connections.

(2) Process Control Charts. The process control


chart shown in Figure 4.2 is another tool that is used to
measure the performance of a continuous process. The Preoutfitting—A Major Advantage
chart is used to monitor an operation by comparing mea-
sured accuracy to the accuracy predicted by statistical One of the most important benefits of modular con-
methods. The variation between the upper and lower con- struction methods is the opportunity to implement pre-
trol limits are normal and are expected. Excursions be- outfitting work. The objective of this approach is to
yond the limits are unusual and should be investigated to minimize the outfitting work after erection. Very thor-
determine the cause. Adjustments in the process can actu- ough planning and scheduling is required to optimize this
ally move the upper and lower control limits under con- effort. When outfitting does not follow zone preoutfitting
trolled conditions, thus redefining normal performance. concepts, the result may be the erection of empty steel
assemblies, which then require the more expensive con-
Other similar types of charts can be used to assist in ventional methods of installing the distributive systems.
monitoring process performance with statistical controls.
These methods are valuable tools for management deci-
sions. By implementing a control program, process per-
Scheduling and Improved Work Environment
formance can be measured numerically and decisions no Production defines several objectives of this planning
longer need to be based solely on management impres- effort. By advance planning, much of the fitting and
sions. Changes in each process can be measured to en- welding operations can be scheduled to allow flat

Figure 4.2—Process Control Chart

20
SECTION 4—MODULAR CONSTRUCTION

position welding and horizontal fillets. As this position- and zone approach to design. For example, with a zone
ing will allow greater use of mechanized and semi- approach to design, systems arrangement drawings can
automatic welding processes, labor will be reduced and be eliminated. Also, material lists can be generated to
productivity will be increased. Additionally, the quality support the zone construction method.
of the work will be enhanced. Advancements in the use of computer-aided design
By early zone planning, components can be identified (CAD) will soon permit a design to be made with the tra-
so that different types of work can be scheduled and kept ditional systems approach and then be converted to a
separate at the earliest manufacturing operation. This zone configuration. This will maintain the advantages of
will simplify the manning and scheduling problems asso- a system design methodology. From this base, the CAD
ciated with multiple-operation manufacturing. programming will enable a designer to define zones of a
Another objective is to schedule work in uncongested structure and the applicable portions of each system will
and more efficient work locations, rather than having op- be broken down into these zones. This will gain the ben-
erators perform their tasks in enclosed, high or narrow efits of a zone design concept without a large amount of
sites. Quality and productivity will be enhanced by this duplication of effort.
planning effort which incorporates important production
personnel needs to accomplish their work efficiently.
The time span for a production zone work package
can be reduced by scheduling multiple tasks, which are Summary
not in conflict with each other, to be performed at the To reap the benefits of this construction method,
same time. This objective must consider work area space changes in many areas must be considered:
allowances to ensure that craftsmen have sufficient room
to perform their tasks without interfering with other • The design effort must support a zone approach.
work. Similarly, compatible tasks can be scheduled to be • Planning must be directed toward a zone work pack-
performed in unison, and considerations of conflicting age that is producible, to ensure the proper balance of
efforts must be discouraged. For example, it is not effi- the key variables (time, resources, and quality).
cient to have a blast or paint operation being performed • An accuracy control program must be implemented to
in the same zone as a pipe-fitting operation. adequately monitor the fabrication process to ensure
that the blocks and distributive systems align properly.

Designing for Zone and Preoutfitting Some of the benefits of preoutfitting include:
Construction (1) A higher percentage of shop fabrication and
assembly.
Effective use of modular construction must incorpo- (2) Less congestion and worker interference for
rate design efforts that enhance zone definition for mate- structure installation.
rial and production planning. Design by system has value (3) Reduction in lost material.
in defining the capability of each functional individual
(4) Less on-site rigging and material handling.
system and in demonstrating the location and path of the
(5) Less on-site cleaning and reduction in fire
distributive systems. However, the optimum base of zone
hazards.
planning and work packages requires a zone approach to
(6) Improved working conditions on the assemblies.
design.
Implementation of preoutfitting will not be optimized If properly implemented, preoutfitting and modular
without the corollary design package. As stated in the construction will be cost effective and improve quality
introduction, there are differences between the systems and productivity.

21
SECTION 5
Welding Process
Selection

Contents
Common Welding Processes ........................................................................................................................................... 24

Process Selection .............................................................................................................................................................. 24

SMAW............................................................................................................................................................................... 26

GMAW .............................................................................................................................................................................. 27

FCAW ............................................................................................................................................................................... 28

SAW................................................................................................................................................................................... 29

GTAW ............................................................................................................................................................................... 30

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 32

23
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

Section 5—Welding Process Selection

Common Welding Processes cess the weld metal composition is an alloy combination
of filler metal and remelted base metal. Weld metal com-
The most common welding processes used in industry position varies with each process. It is difficult to predict
involve arc welding. The electric arc is a very effective weld metal composition since many elements are diluted
and portable heat source for melting most metals quickly. when crossing the welding arc.
When the base metal and filler metal become molten, Figures 5.1–5.5 describe the most common welding
they mix together then solidify to produce one solid processes and summarize their advantages and limitations.
piece. Most welding processes utilize a consumable elec-
trode, which conducts the welding current and melts as it
is continuously fed into the arc and deposited into the Process Selection
joint. The most common manual arc welding process is
When selecting a welding process for a specific appli-
the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) process (see
cation, several factors that affect productivity and weld
Figure 5.1), in which a fixed length of electrode is hand
quality must be balanced. This can become a compli-
fed into the joint. Typical semi-automatic arc welding
cated decision, due to the number of conflicting advan-
processes include the Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
tages and disadvantages which each process possesses in
process (see Figure 5.2) and the Flux Cored Arc Welding
each situation.
(FCAW) process (see Figure 5.3), which automatically
Productivity is usually a very important consideration
feed a spooled electrode filler wire into the joint while
on most jobs. The deposition rate is a significant part of
the welder manipulates the torch manually. The Sub-
this factor. Each process can be ranked in terms of its dep-
merged Arc Welding (SAW) process (see Figure 5.4) is
osition rate in pounds of weld metal deposited per hour.
an automatic process whereby both filler wire and travel
However, there are other factors that must be considered.
speed are controlled by the machine which runs along a
For example, it usually takes time for a shop to become
preset track. The Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
familiar with a new welding process, new equipment, or
process (see Figure 5.5) uses a nonconsumable tungsten
even a new brand of filler metal. Until adequate training
electrode to establish an arc in the weld joint, and typi-
and acceptance by the shop personnel are accomplished,
cally, a separate hand-held filler wire is melted in the arc
the actual productivity rate will be less than the average.
and deposited in the joint.
Reject rates also have a significant impact on actual pro-
The molten weld pool created with all arc processes ductivity, since a considerable amount of time is required
must be shielded from oxidation and contamination dur- to remove defective weld metal, replace it, and reinspect
ing the welding process. SMAW electrodes have a thick it. Therefore, many factors must be taken into account be-
dry flux coating, which creates a gas shield and also pro- fore determining which is the best process for a specific
vides many of the alloying elements to the weld. The application. Process selection must be made by someone
SAW process obtains shielding and alloying with a simi- who is very familiar not only with the various processes,
lar type of dry flux in a granular form that covers the but more importantly with the shop’s capabilities and the
welding arc and molten pool. Spooled FCAW electrodes job requirements. As a minimum, the following items
also use a dry flux contained in the center of a tubular should be considered prior to selecting a welding process.
wire and typically obtain additional shielding from an
inert gas shield similar to the GMAW process. Both
Base Metal Type
GMAW and GTAW utilize inert shielding gases that flow
around the molten weld pool, while all alloying elements Some processes are better suited to certain base mate-
are supplied by the wire electrode alone. For each pro- rials than others. The maximum heat input must be

24
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

limited on some types of materials, i.e., quenched, tem- Availability of Equipment


pered, age-hardened, and other heat-treated or cold-
worked materials. Processes that derive their advantage Most large welding shops have access to the welding
from high productivity and high heat input may be lim- equipment required for the processes discussed. There are
ited for these applications. times, however, when new equipment must be evaluated to
determine if the increased productivity or versatility would
Joint Design and Thickness offset the initial cost and training.

As the section thickness increases, welding productiv-


ity becomes more important. If possible, the process selec-
tion should reflect this. The length of the weld must also Fabrication and Inspection Standards
be taken into account, since a higher-productivity process Most welding and inspection is governed by welding
may not realize this advantage—particularly if the opera-
standards that often limit the use of some processes on
tor has to frequently stop the process to set up for the next
certain materials, and also may limit the maximum heat
pass, as would be necessary with a small repair. Since
input used to ensure that specific mechanical properties
some processes require more access to the joint root to
are met. A high-productivity process such as SAW would
avoid lack of fusion defects, the selection of some pro-
lose much of its advantage if the heat input were re-
cesses may also require a joint design change.
stricted down to the range achievable by GMAW.
Table 5.1 is a general comparison guide for the most
Welding Position
commonly used processes in the industry, relative to
The weld joint position plays a very important part some of the factors discussed above. While some of the
when selecting a process, since many processes are lim- ratings are subjective, they do provide a general compar-
ited to only a few positions. Whenever possible, the joint ison for many applications.
should be in the flat position, since the highest productiv- It can be seen from this chart that many variables must
ity and weld quality are attained when welding is accom- be taken into account when selecting the best welding
plished in this position. Since most repair work is done process for a given job. In practice, it takes experience to
on large weldments that cannot be repositioned and ac- identify and accurately weigh all of the variables in-
cess to the joint is limited, use of high-productivity pro- volved. Some factors, such as the attitude and perception
cesses and filler materials is limited. of shop employees toward a new process or procedure
The four basic welding positions are: flat, horizontal, change, may be more difficult to analyze than others.
vertical, and overhead, as shown in Figure 5.6.
Another factor complicating process selection is the
rapid change brought on by the computer age, which is
Environmental Conditions taking place in the electrical power sources used for arc
Wind and rain are the two field conditions that typi- welding. It takes a considerable amount of study to take
cally affect welding. It takes very little wind to disturb the full advantage of the wide variety of machines available
gas shield that is critical for high-quality GMAW and today and all of the functions each one is capable of per-
GTAW welding. This restricts their use outside of shel- forming. The GMAW and FCAW processes are probably
tered containments. The SMAW and FCAW processes the most influenced by these advances, in the form of
can also be affected by wind, but to a lesser degree. No “synergic” power sources that manipulate the waveform of
process is tolerant of direct rain. Proper placement of the welding current through complex electrical circuits.
tarps, dams, or other temporary containments can rectify These advanced machines automatically adjust all of the
this situation. Due to the many problems associated with waveform parameters to optimize the mode of metal trans-
welding outside (i.e., being exposed to the elements or fer across the arc with simple operator controls. Since pro-
cramped inside of a structure), shop prefabrication is rec- ductivity and weld quality are greatly affected by many
ommended where practical. Studies have shown that re- aspects of the metal transfer across the arc, these machines
ject rates for field welding increased from 100% to offer a significant advantage over the previous generations
greater than 400% over those for shop welding. of power sources.

25
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

SMAW
Shielded metal arc welding is a manual arc welding
process. A covered electrode is used to deposit the filler
metal and supply shielding to the molten weld pool. The
12-in. to 18-in. long electrode has a dry flux coating that
decomposes in the arc to form a gas shield and a solid
slag covering on the cooled weld deposit. The flux coat-
ing often provides alloying and deoxidizing elements.

Advantages Limitations

All-position capability. Higher potential for weld contamination than for other
processes.
Many alloys are weldable.
Welding is frequently interrupted due to the short, fixed
Thick sections are weldable. length of electrodes.

Excellent for field and repair work. The process creates spatter and smoke fumes and leaves
a slag that must be removed before the next layer can be
Equipment is simple, low cost, low maintenance, and is deposited.
easy to set up.
Not suitable for thin material but is suitable for thin-wall
Good accessibility in space-restricted areas. repairs on thick material.

Arc visibility is good. Poor usability for aluminum and most bronzes.

The process is fairly tolerant of environmental conditions. Special electrode care is required since most flux coat-
ings absorb moisture.
Electrode travel, which helps to control heat input, is
required. Foreign material exclusion for nuclear applications is
poor.

Severe arc blow can be a problem when using direct


current (dc)

Figure 5.1—Shielded Metal Arc Welding

26
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

GMAW
Gas metal arc welding is a semiautomatic or auto-
matic process. A small-diameter, continuous consumable
electrode is melted in the arc and deposited in the joint.
Shielding is provided by a gas that flows through the
weld torch. Depending on the amperage and wave form
used, four modes of metal transfer are possible: short cir-
cuiting, globular, pulsed spray, and spray transfer.

Advantages Limitations

High-quality welds. Gas shielding is easily disturbed during field work.

High deposit rates (three times that of SMAW). Handling gas bottles for field work can be expensive.

Most metals are weldable. Equipment is complicated and expensive.

Minimal stub loss. Flash burns easily obtained.

All-position welding with some GMAW processes. Excessive weld spatter with CO2, shielding.

No slag removal and minimum interpass cleaning. Not used for thin metals except with pulsed spray and
short-circuit transfer welding.
Easily adapted to robotics.
Limited accessibility.
Good weld puddle visibility.
Spray transfer limited to the flat position.

Restriction on the use of short circuiting transfer welding.

Figure 5.2—Gas Metal Arc Welding

27
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

FCAW
Flux cored arc welding uses equipment
similar to GMAW. The main difference is
that the electrode is a tubular wire with a
flux core. Some electrodes provide ade-
quate shielding with the flux core alone,
but others require the addition of gas
shielding.

Advantages Limitations

Large single-pass fillets possible. Large amounts of smoke and fumes.

Tolerant of mill scale. Weld spatter can clog nozzles.

Self-shielded process is good for field work. Self-shielded process has lower-quality welds than exter-
nal gas shielded.
High deposition rates possible.
Flash burns easily obtained.
All-position welding possible.
Slag coating must be removed between layers.
Less joint preparation required than for SMAW and
GTAW. The flux core is susceptible to moisture pickup, which
may cause porosity and worm tracks.
Good penetration with gas shielding.
Equipment is bulky, and accessibility can be a problem.

Equipment is complicated and expensive.

Figure 5.3—Flux Cored Arc Welding

28
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

SAW
Submerged arc welding is very similar to
GMAW except the weld pool is shielded,
deoxidized, and alloyed with a granulated
flux that melts in the arc. The flux is fed
through a hopper and a guide tube and de-
posited in the joint ahead of the welding arc.
Two or more electrode wires can be used in
tandem or metal powders can be added to in-
crease deposition rate to obtain optimum me-
chanical properties.

Advantages Limitations

High deposition rates. Welding positions limited to flat and horizontal.

Excellent weld quality. Limited to ferrous metals and high-nickel alloys (no age-
hardenable alloys).
No flash burns.
Best suited to long welds and thick sections.
Less angular weld distortion.
Special care required for the flux, since it absorbs mois-
Weld appearance excellent. ture easily.

Maintenance relatively low. Slag and unfused flux must be removed.

Smoke and fume quantities are low. High toughness properties are hard to obtain.

Penetration is excellent. Joint fit-up and design are critical to penetration control.

Less weld joint preparation.

Figure 5.4—Submerged Arc Welding

29
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

GTAW DIRECTION O WELDING


C CP
Gas tungsten arc welding is a gas shielded manual or ELECTRODE
automatic process that uses a nonconsumable tungsten LED

electrode to establish the arc. The filler metal is added to TORC


OD
the weld pool separately. Shielding of the weld pool and
SIELDING GS IN
electrode is provided by predominately inert gases. Au- COLLET OD
togenous welding (no filler wire added) is possible with GS NOLE
some materials. NONCONSLE TNGSTEN
ELECTRODE

GS SIELD
ILLER ETL

OLTEN RC SOLIDIIED
WELD ETL WELD ETL

Advantages Limitations

Excellent arc visibility. Lower deposition rates compared to SAW, GMAW, or


SMAW.
Precise filler metal placement.
High-amperage, water-cooled torches are heavier and
The best undercut control. bulkier than air-cooled torches.

Wide range of thicknesses can be welded. Both hands must be used to hold the torch and filler wire,
which limits accessibility.
Very clean welds can be achieved with no significant slag,
spatter, or smoke. Shielding gas is easily disturbed by gusts of wind.

Excellent weld quality on most metals. Flash burns are easily obtained.

Amperage can be controlled by remote foot or hand Very limited for outdoor field work.
switches.
Difficult to monitor heat input.
The process can be used either manual or automatic.

All-position welding possible.

Filler metal is not always required.

Figure 5.5—Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

30
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

Figure 5.6—Four Primary Welding Positions

Table 5.1
Process Comparison Chart
Process SMAW GTAW GMAW FCAW SAW

Quality Good Excellent Excellent Good Excellent

Deposition Rate Fair Poor Good Good Excellent

Field Work Excellent Poor Fair Excellent Poor

Equipment Maintenance Low Low Medium Medium Medium

Smoke/Fumes High Low Medium High Very Low

Heat Input Control Excellent Poor Good Good Satisfactory

Arc Visibility and Filler Metal Placement Good Excellent Satisfactory Satisfactory Poor

Variety of Metals Weldable Satisfactory Excellent Good Good Fair

31
SECTION 5—WELDING PROCESS SELECTION

Bibliography/Recommended Reading ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Shielded


Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) (PHB-7). Miami, Fla.:
List American Welding Society.
American Welding Society. Recommended Practices for
———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Gas Metal Arc
Gas Metal Arc Welding (C5.6). Miami, Fla.: American
Welding (GMAW) and Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
Welding Society.
(PHB-4). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
———. Recommended Practices for Gas Tungsten Arc ———. Welding Processes and Practices (WPP). Miami,
Welding (C5.5). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society. Fla.: American Welding Society.
———. Recommended Practices for Laser Beam Weld- ———. Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 2, Welding Pro-
ing, Cutting, and Drilling (C7.2). Miami, Fla.: Ameri- cesses (WHB-2.8). Miami, Fla.: American Welding
can Welding Society. Society.

32
SECTION 6
Primary Concepts
of Welding Design

Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 34
What the Designer Should Know about Welding ......................................................................................................... 34
Service Requirements...................................................................................................................................................... 34
Base Metal Selection........................................................................................................................................................ 35
Welds Create a Discontinuity in the Base Material...................................................................................................... 35
Weld vs. Base Metal Properties ...................................................................................................................................... 35
Welds Rarely Improve upon Base Metal Properties .................................................................................................... 35
Keep Weldment Designs Simple ..................................................................................................................................... 35
Standardize Component Welding Design...................................................................................................................... 35
Minimize the Number of Welds...................................................................................................................................... 35
Location of Welds ............................................................................................................................................................ 36
Weld Deposit Mechanical Properties ............................................................................................................................. 36
Joint Designs—Amount and Type of Weld ................................................................................................................... 36
Partial Penetration Welds ............................................................................................................................................... 36
Full Penetration Welds .................................................................................................................................................... 38
Fillet Welds....................................................................................................................................................................... 39
Design Considerations for Change of Cross Sections................................................................................................... 39
Residual Stress—Fact or Fiction? .................................................................................................................................. 40
Summary for Improved Fabrication Design ................................................................................................................. 40
Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 43

33
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

Section 6—Primary Concepts of Welding Design

Introduction Service Requirements


Inexperienced engineers frequently believe that if Service requirements are the first item that must be
their design can be conveyed to paper as a drawing, it can clear in the designer’s mind before making welding de-
be welded. Welding is the most common means of join- sign decisions. Welding decisions will be less than fully
ing two pieces of metal, but it requires special consider- adequate without clear definition of the service require-
ation if it is to be done economically. What appears to be ments, and the weldment may be subject to premature,
a good design on a computer or drawing board may be a in-service failures.
disaster when it hits the production floor if the fabrica- Service requirements may be very simple or quite
tion requirements are not properly considered. Using complex. Weldments experience high and low tempera-
quenched and tempered steel in a complex design for tures, high pressures and stresses, corrosive environ-
strength-to-weight savings may appear to provide cost ments, and fatigue and impact loading. Often more than
savings. However it may be more expensive to fabricate one of these conditions is involved simultaneously.
than heavier section mild steel. The designer should consider only the service require-
The term “designer” is used in this section to address ments that make the weldment (the combination of weld,
any engineer, technician, draftsman, or other person issu- HAZ and base metal) suitable for the expected service.
ing instructions regarding metal fabrication require- Some of the service requirements the designer may con-
ments. These individuals are engineering type employees sider are:
with cognizance of structural, machinery, piping, and • Tensile, compressive, and shear stresses and strains.
pressure vessel fabrication. The intent of this section is
• Corrosion resistance.
not to provide detailed welding design information but to
• Erosion resistance.
provide basic welding design concepts. Recommended
• Abrasion resistance.
reading is provided at the end of this manual for more de-
• Impact resistance (stress and temperature dependent).
tailed information on welding design specifics.
• Creep strength.
• Temperature (high and low temperature).
• Fatigue resistance.
What the Designer Should Know • Aesthetics (color match, anodizing, appearance).
About Welding
It is rare that a designer would be concerned with
Welding design must not be based on isolating the more than a few of these service requirements for a spe-
weld alone. The designer must understand how the weld cific design.
and the heat-affected zone (HAZ) next to the weld will It is poor practice to seek to achieve certain properties
affect the structure’s service. Many factors influence the from a weldment, based upon the material’s ability to
effect of the weld on a structure’s performance including achieve these properties, even though the properties are
the filler metal type, the welding process and parameters, not related to the service. If a quenched and tempered
and how and where the filler metal is placed in the struc- material is used for its strength-to-weight ratio proper-
ture. It is essential for the design engineer to review the ties, and impact loading is not of concern, the designer
actual production site prior to and during fabrication, and should not impose requirements of impact properties just
to review the finished product. This provides some prac- because the material used has the ability to achieve high
tical perspective to weld design that would be missed if impact resistance. If 300 Series stainless steel is used
the designer were primarily an analytical type. because of its high-temperature yield and oxidation

34
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

resistance, as required in steam boilers, the designer • Allowable stress.


should not be concerned about weld sensitization of the • High-temperature service.
base metal during fabrication. In many cases, boiler com- • Impact loading.
ponents will operate in the sensitizing temperature range • Fatigue loading.
in service anyway. • Leak tightness.
• Corrosion resistance.

Base Metal Selection


Welds Rarely Improve upon
Weldments should be made from the most economical Base Metal Properties
and readily weldable base metals available that are suit-
able for in-service requirements. Mild steel is much less As compared to base metals, welds will cause the
expensive to purchase and to fabricate than the quenched weldment to have:
and tempered steel alloys or the heat-treatable steels and • Lower fatigue resistance than the base metal.
will usually require considerably less rework. Steels de- • Lower impact properties than the base metal.
signed for special applications frequently require pre-
• Higher residual stress than the base metal.
heat, and interpass temperature controls during welding,
and sometimes stress relief. Special electrodes and elec- The weld is a discontinuity which is both a geometric
trode care may also be required. Since fabrication is and metallurgical notch that decreases the suitability for
much more expensive with quenched and tempered service below that of the base metal alone.
steels, special consideration should be given to their use.
From a design prospective, in some instances,
quenched and tempered steels offer little advantage. Fa- Keep Weldment Designs Simple
tigue stress ranges are not improved with these steels,
only the maximum allowable fatigue stress or static loads. Weldment design should be kept as simple as possible.
If complete reversal of service stress is expected, these Weldments that involve multiple crossing of stiffeners on
steels offer little advantage for fatigue. These steels also the same plane, multiple intersecting “I” beams, or com-
have lower buckling stability for similar cross sections of plex patterns of stress flow should be minimized. Com-
mild steel, because they are typically used for higher plex designs are expensive to fabricate and can lose
loads and will most likely require additional stiffening. serviceability, due to high residual stress and distortion.
Complex designs also limit welding access and may cause
the inability to meet post-weld inspection requirements.

Welds Create a Discontinuity


in the Base Material Standardize Component Welding
The designer always must keep in mind that a weld
Design
does not create a monolithic structure that has uniform Standardization of design is necessary for automation
properties throughout. Welds do not act the same as the and mass production of similar items. Standardization
base metal and they have different properties. Welds are, also reduces engineering analysis time and may include
in fact, a discontinuity (a stress riser) in the structure— complete foundations, stiffeners, pad eyes, weld joint de-
caused by their metallurgical, chemical, and mechanical signs, or even the size and shape of structural members.
property differences. Because welds are different than Unique welding processes, specialty items, varied mem-
the base metal, they must be given special design consid- ber size, and different materials are not economical in
eration. terms of fabrication or engineering time to analyze each
structure. Standard design details will simplify fabrica-
tion and reduce costs.
Weld vs. Base Metal Properties
Welds are used to join base metals because they are
economical, have high joint efficiencies, and reliability
Minimize the Number of Welds
relative to other fabrication processes. Service areas Welding and its related processing is one of the most
where welds can perform favorably toward base metals expensive operations in fabrication. Shaping plate by
are: pressing or breaking is usually preferable to welding one

35
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

or more pieces of plate together. Reducing the number of than the welding filler metal specification requirements.
component parts by improving the design or purchasing In production the weld metal properties are dependent
standard shapes is usually more economical than welding. upon the base metal chemistry, how much it has been di-
luted into the weld metal, and the rate of weld metal
cooling. The cooling rate of the weld can also affect the
Location of Welds mechanical properties of the weld and the heat-affected
zone. The cooling rate can be drastically affected by base
From a design point of view, a structure’s ability to metal type and thickness, the amount of weld deposit, the
carry service loads is only as good as the weakest part of technique used to deposit the filler metal, and the temper-
the structure. In most cases, the weakest link is the weld ature of the base metal prior to each weld pass (i.e., the
deposit and the localized effects on the structure (espe- preheat and interpass temperature). In general the de-
cially for fatigue applications). The allowable loads that signer should use the lowest possible yield strength filler
welds are permitted to carry are determined in many in- metal compatible with the design.
stances by a standard or code to which the item is fabri- Designers will frequently use filler metals that pro-
cated. Examples of such controlling codes are the AWS duce a deposit that exceeds base metal properties. Often
D1.1, Structural Welding Code—Steel, and the American these higher-strength deposits, in combination with the
Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Code. base metal HAZ, result in the weldment having:
Welds should be located according to the cost of mak-
ing the weldment, inspection requirements and the ser- • Decreased fatigue resistance.
vice requirements. • Decreased impact resistance.
Because welds represent a metallurgical notch and are • Increased distortion.
stress risers, welds should be kept in the lowest stressed • Increased base metal cracking.
areas as practical. When fatigue, impact, or creep is a pri- • Increased amounts of residual stress.
mary concern, the welds should be placed in low-stressed • Increased costs.
areas.
When possible, the designer should arrange for the
welds to be made in the flat position. The most economi- Joint Designs—Amount and Type of
cal, fastest and highest-quality weld is achieved in the
flat position with standard welding processes. Flat posi-
Weld
tion welding with simple designs allows high deposition The type and direction of loading of the weldment
rate mechanized, semiautomatic, or automatic welding will determine the type and amount of weld. The least
processes at substantial cost and time savings. amount of weld should be used to meet the necessary de-
The location of welds should always provide the sign service requirements. Specific weld joint design se-
welder easy and open access. The most costly welds to lection is discussed by another section of this manual.
make are predominately those where proper welding ac- However, it will suffice to say the primary reasons for se-
cess has not been provided for by the designer. If welding lecting a joint design are to provide the desired service
access is difficult, then Nondestructive Examination requirements (i.e., the ability to accommodate service
(NDE) will usually be difficult, as will any necessary fol- stress/strain and corrosion) and to accommodate welder
low up repairs. Snipes or “rat holes” should be as large as accessibility.
practical to provide access for welding and NDE. There are many other secondary factors that affect
Designs should avoid welding across flanges under joint design selection, such as available processes and
tension as drastic reductions to allowable service loads skill levels, cost, aesthetics, environmental conditions,
are imposed by most codes. system status, base metal thickness and properties, loca-
Avoid welds on edges of members subject to tensile tion of the weld, position of the weld, the number of
fatigue. Edges of members subject to tensile loads usu- welds, the schedule of the project, etc.
ally experience higher loads than the rest of the member
and, since a weld acts as a stress riser, premature failure
of a component could occur due to unanticipated loads. Partial Penetration Welds
A partial penetration weld is a weld that intentionally
Weld Deposit Mechanical Properties does not completely penetrate through the thickness of a
joint (see Figure 6.1). Partial penetration welds can often
The as-deposited mechanical properties of a weld in a be used for tension, compression, and shear stresses that
fabrication should always be considered to be different act parallel to the longitudinal axis of a weld and for

36
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

(1/2)

1/2
Figure 6.1—Partial Joint Penetration with(1/2)
Joint Geometry Optional

1/2
1 1/4

WELD CROSS SECTION SYMBOL

(1/2)
1/2

3/4

WELD CROSS SECTION SYMBOL

1 1/8

(1/2)
1/2 (1/2)
1/2

WELD CROSS SECTION SYMBOL

(1/2)

1/2

WELD CROSS SECTION SYMBOL

Figure 6.1—Partial Joint Penetration with Joint Geometry Optional

37
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

compression loads normal to a weld (see Figure 6.2). Full Penetration Welds
Making full penetration welds on very thick material for
these types of loads can cause higher residual stress than
A full penetration weld penetrates through the thick-
the anticipated service loads. In some cases, particularly
ness of a joint (see Figure 6.3). Groove welds are used on
on heavy sections, weld failures will be experienced dur-
butts, corners, and tees. Full penetration welds should be
ing fabrication before service loads are imposed. Often
used only where required by the design service require-
welds that are subject to shear stresses can be designed to
be 50% efficient, thereby allowing partial penetration ments. Services involving high shock, high temperatures,
joint designs or lower-strength welds to be used. axial or bending cyclic loading (fatigue), and pressure
vessels often require full penetration welds. Full penetra-
Welding defects that are placed in compression or
tion welds are expensive, often cause the largest distor-
shear while in service are much less critical than those
tion and have high residual stress. However, they are
placed in tension by service loads. In a practical sense,
permitted the highest allowable stresses for design ser-
partial penetration welds have crack starters and continu-
vice by all codes.
ous lack of fusion conditions at their roots. Open roots of
partial penetration welds may be subject to crevice corro- Full penetration welds on heavy sections require spe-
sion. They should not be used in corrosive environments cial joint design consideration to minimize residual stress
unless the metal is resistant to crevice corrosion. These and the possibility of cracking and lamellar tearing (see
joints have poor resistance to fatigue and impact loading, Figure 6.4). Mild steel structural plate has low ductility
and they should not be used when the weld roots are sub- through its thickness and it cannot accommodate high
ject to transverse cyclic tension or bending tension loads. through thickness strains. Lamellar tearing and cracking
Partial penetration welds are less expensive and cause of the base metal adjacent to the weld is a common result
less distortion than full penetration welds. of poor welding joint details on heavy structural steels.

Figure 6.2—Compression and Tension Loads for Partial Penetration Welds

38
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

NOTE OVERLAP

NOTE OVERLAP OF 1/8


1/4 3/8
1/4 1/4

3/8 1/4 3/8


3/8

Figure 6.3—Full Penetration Groove Welds

Fillet Welds penetration, the actual mechanical properties of the weld


deposit and HAZ, the amount of weld reinforcement, and
Fillet welds are generally triangular in cross section the actual failure path. These varying conditions lead to
and are used to join two relatively perpendicular sec- some conservative positions by design engineers. How-
tions. Small fillet welds result in low residual stress and ever, it is extremely rare that fillet welds result in service
weld distortion. A 5/16-in. fillet weld can be readily failures unless unanticipated service fatigue or impact
achieved in one pass. loads are experienced. Great care should be taken by de-
Larger fillets will require a minimum of three passes, signers in not applying liberal safety factors and over-
which greatly increases the cost of welding. If possible, it sizing fillet welds. Oversize fillet welds are very expen-
is better to keep the fillet size down to one pass and sive and can result in excessive distortion, welding time,
extend the length of the weld to achieve joint efficiency. filler metal, and possibly the need for flame straighten-
The smallest typical production welds are generally ing. Fillet weld sizing formulas and tables can be found
1/8-in. fillet welds, because a 1/16-in. fillet weld is nearly in AWS D1.1, Structural Welding Code—Steel, or see
impossible to produce. Since fillet welds are used prima- AWS Design Handbook for Calculating Fillet Weld Size.
rily in shear, they are unlikely to propagate weld defects
into failures except under fatigue service applications.
Intermittent fillet welds and continuous fillet welds
made from one side only should be avoided where fa- Design Considerations for Change of
tigue, corrosion, or debris and contamination traps are a
concern.
Cross Sections
One of the common mistakes of engineers is that they One of the fundamental errors made by design engi-
will frequently increase the fillet weld by one size neers is not allowing for stress and strain to take place
(1/16 in.) above their calculated values to play it safe. It through gradual changes of the cross section. Failures
also is not uncommon for production personnel to be commonly occur as a result of thermal and/or mechanical
conservative and go oversize due to increased attention fatigue associated with rapid changes of the cross section.
being given to visual inspection. Increasing fillet weld Changes of the cross section must be gradual in both the
sizes by two sizes (1/8 in.) has the potential of increasing weld metal and the base metal when fatigue is of primary
welding time, distortion, and cost of filler metals by concern (see Figures 6.5 and 6.6). It is preferable to have
more than 100%. changes in the cross section take place in the base metal
Fillet weld sizing is not strictly based on engineering instead of in the weld metal through a weld joint. It should
calculations that are backed up by extensive laboratory also be noted that, in general, those items that affect fa-
tests. The various codes and standards each have differ- tigue life are also of concern if impact loading is expected.
ent requirements based on different theories and assump- Some common design practices allow tapered sections or
tions. Laboratory tests and calculations can also vary by changes of cross section to be a 2:1 ratio. However, a 4:1
the selection of the welding process, the depth of weld ratio is considered to be the most desirable.

39
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

sidual stresses caused by welds? Yes! Residual stresses


as high as the yield point do exist in weldments. The ef-
fects of residual stress can be seen in distorted weld-
ments, and fractured welds and base metal. This metal
fracturing can take place during fabrication or in service.
Without stress relief, localized areas of yield point resid-
ual stress are common and should be expected. One way
to allow for this residual stress in the design is by placing
welds in low-service stressed areas. Some items that can
minimize residual stress and metal fracture:
• Use low-yield strength base metals.
• Use low-yield strength filler metals with high ductility.
• Use the minimum weld size or the least amount of
weld metal consistent with the design requirements.
• Avoid the use of notches, sharp corners, or rapid
changes of cross section (stress risers).
• Peen the welds lightly during the welding process.
• Prestress the weld joints prior to welding.
• Avoid full penetration welds on heavy wall structural
assemblies (jumbo sections).
• In general, observing preheating and interpass tem-
perature for a quenched and tempered metal or
quench-hardened material will lower residual stresses.
• Stress relieve the weldment.
• Sequencing the weld by back stepping, balancing the
weld around the neutral axis or welding toward rigidity.
• Avoid joint designs that cause high residual stress
through the plate thickness. Joint details, when practi-
cal, should have the welds placed across the plate
ends (through the plate thickness) on heavy sections.

Summary for Improved Fabrication


Design
(1) Only consider service requirements that make the
weldment suitable for service.
(2) Welds are geometric and metallurgical notches in
base metal.
(3) Welds in base metal frequently cause the design-
allowable stresses for fatigue to drop.
(4) Welds can raise the residual stress in base metals
to the yield point.
(5) Keep weldment design simple. The weld is usu-
Figure 6.4—Weld Configurations that ally easier and less expensive to make.
May Cause Lamellar Tearing (6) Avoid welding when practical. Use standard
shape material or use castings. Reduce component parts
or the number of plates.
Residual Stress—Fact or Fiction? (7) The weld and heat-affected zone are usually the
weakest link in a weldment design. The weld is a stress
What every welder knows as a fact of life, the inexpe- riser that is preloaded by residual stress.
rienced design engineer questions. Do welding residual (8) When practical, keep welds in low-service stress
stresses exist and do they affect welding design? Are re- areas.

40
41

SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN


Figure 6.5—Design Considerations for a Change of Cross Section (Tubular)
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

Figure 6.6—Design Considerations for a Change of Cross Section (Nontubular)

42
SECTION 6—PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF WELDING DESIGN

(9) Design for prefabricating the material in the shop (20) Use partial penetration welds for joints subject to
when practical. axial tension and compression loads.
(10) Use flat position welding. It’s cheaper, faster and (21) Do not use partial penetration welds when the
usually higher quality. weld root is subject to cyclic tension or impact loads.
(11) Avoid designs that require welding across tension (22) Base metal stiffness does not increase with in-
flanges. creasing yield strength. Additional stiffeners may need to
(12) Avoid corner welds or edge welds that are subject be added to a structure which uses high-strength material
to tensile fatigue. in order to decrease plate or section thickness.
(13) “As deposited” welds will have mechanical prop-
erties that are different from their specifications due to
base metal dilution. Bibliography/Recommended Reading
(14) Use the lowest yield strength filler metal compat- List
ible with the design. This reduces costs, residual stress,
American Welding Society. Design Handbook for Calcu-
distortion, and cracking.
lating Fillet Weld Sizes (FWSH). Miami, Fla.: Ameri-
(15) Use the least amount of weld metal necessary to
can Welding Society.
meet design requirements. A 1/8-in. fillet is typically the
smallest practical fillet size. ———. Structural Welding Code—Reinforcing Steel
(16) Use partial penetration welds in lieu of full pene- (D1.4). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
tration when the design permits (i.e., all compression
———. Structural Welding Code—Sheet Steel (D1.3).
loads, tension and shear loads that act parallel to the axis
Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
of the weld).
(17) Use full penetration welds only when required by ———. Structural Welding Code—Stainless Steel (D1.6).
the service requirements. Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
(18) Use fillet welds when practical. Use single pass
———. Structural Welding Code—Steel (D1.1). Miami,
fillet welds where possible (5/16-in. to 3/8-in. maximum
Fla.: American Welding Society.
leg sizes depending on the welding process). Some stan-
dards require a two-layer minimum for leak tightness if ———. Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding
they are to be used for fluid containment. Technology (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American Weld-
(19) Balance welding about the neutral axis. ing Society.

43
SECTION 7
Fatigue
Considerations

Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 46

Loading ............................................................................................................................................................................. 46

Stress Concentrations...................................................................................................................................................... 46

Crack Initiation Sites ...................................................................................................................................................... 46

Inspection ......................................................................................................................................................................... 48

Code Allowables and Actual In-Service Fatigue Life................................................................................................... 48

Repair of Fatigue Cracks ................................................................................................................................................ 48

Surface Finishing to Improve Fatigue Life ................................................................................................................... 48

Peening.............................................................................................................................................................................. 48

Surface Shape and its Effect on Fatigue ........................................................................................................................ 48

Grinding ........................................................................................................................................................................... 49

Base Metal and Weld Metal Changes in Cross Section................................................................................................ 49

Thermal Fatigue .............................................................................................................................................................. 49

Checklist for Fatigue Considerations............................................................................................................................. 50

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 50

45
SECTION 7—FATIGUE CONSIDERATIONS

Section 7—Fatigue Considerations

Introduction caused by welding. The residual stresses become redis-


tributed under the influence of cyclic loading and cracks
Component failures result predominately from fa- propagate out of the tensile residual stress field.
tigue, corrosion and wear, or a combination of fatigue
and corrosion (corrosion fatigue). A large percentage of
failures are directly related to fatigue. Welded structures
that are subjected to repeated fluctuating loads (cyclic)
Stress Concentrations
are candidates for fatigue failure at strain levels well Fatigue cracks only initiate at stress concentrations.
below their yield strength. Many structures can sustain When they do occur in service on weld-fabricated struc-
static service loads forever, but under cyclic conditions tures, they are usually associated with welds and their
the structure may fail in a short period of time, with an heat-affected zones. Welds and their heat-affected zones
average load no greater than the static condition. Essen- are, by definition, discontinuities and stress risers. Welds
tial elements of fatigue are fluctuating loads with a ten- that have been deposited for repair, buildup, or cladding
sion component, a stress concentration, and localized must be considered stress concentration areas that may
plastic strain. Failures are associated with a permanent be subject to fatigue failure. As soon as a fatigue crack is
physical change in the metal at and near the stress con- initiated, the crack itself becomes the primary stress con-
centration (crack tip). centration factor.
Progressed fatigue cracks have caused catastrophic
failures, where the members have lost their ability to
Loading carry stress because of loss of load-carrying cross sec-
tion. In some cases, members fail cataclysmically due to
Fatigue loads are cyclic in nature. The loads may be overload and/or brittle failure during their final stages of
induced by cyclic mechanical forces, temperature varia- cracking (unless the stress and/or the cyclic loading is
tions, pressure fluctuations, vibration from machinery or reduced).
a combination of these loads. Under some circumstances,
environmentally corrosive conditions may increase the
fatigue crack propagation rate. The fluctuating fatigue
loads must have a tension component but may reverse Crack Initiation Sites
even into compression loading. Crack initiation sites are typically at weld-base metal
Loads may also be placed on a component by fluctu- interface surfaces located along the toes of fillet welds or
ating bending loads, or rotational bending as is common edges of butt welds (see Figure 7.1). Also, hard rough
in pump turbines, and electrical motor shafts. Varied flame-cut edges that have not been dressed by grinding
loads of tension or tension and compression may cause are subject to fatigue. In addition, weld termination sites
failure in fatigue in a matter of a few thousand cycles, are common locations for failures. Few welds experience
well below a load that would cause yielding. In bending fatigue crack growth from the roots of fillet welds, or
and torsional fatigue, surface discontinuities are most from the roots of partial penetration groove welds. How-
significant since the maximum tensile loading is at the ever, partial penetration welds with insufficient throat
surface. thickness will typically fail through the center of the
The fluctuating service fatigue load can be purely weld and the crack will not progress into the base metal.
compressive in nature and still cause crack initiation. It is also uncommon that fatigue cracks initiate from in-
This occurs in regions of high tensile residual stress ternal weld defects. However, defects that are large in

46
SECTION 7—FATIGUE CONSIDERATIONS

Figure 7.1—Cracks

47
SECTION 7—FATIGUE CONSIDERATIONS

area, typically associated with lack of fusion, cracks or loading, the rate of loading, or the number of cycles
slag, open to or very close to a weld surface, are most should be examined. Welds should be kept in low-
likely to progress into cracks if undesirable loading is stressed areas. Reverse cyclic loading (tension-compres-
present. Fatigue crack growth from the toes of welds will sion) should be avoided. High-yield base metals have lit-
typically progress from the edge of the weld and through tle advantage if reverse cyclic loading is experienced.
the heat-affected zone (HAZ) into the base metal at right
angles to the fluctuating primary stress in the weldment.
By proper examination of fatigue fracture surfaces, it
can be determined where the failure initiation sites were,
Surface Finishing to Improve Fatigue
and the direction and amount of primary stress. Life
Since surface shapes can directly affect fatigue life, it
is necessary to know how surface conditioning can im-
Inspection prove fatigue life. A simple example of this is that a
Fatigue cracks are difficult to find during the early finely finished smooth machined plate or shaft will have
stage of growth since they are tight and exhibit no defor- an improved fatigue performance (number of cycles and
mation. Visual inspection is of limited value during this stress limit) over base metal with mill scale. Also, plates
stage of crack growth. The magnetic particle (MT), pene- or shafts with mill scale will have considerably better fa-
trant (PT), and eddy current (ET) tests would be the best tigue resistance than the same base metal that has been
inspection processes for discovering fatigue cracks. subject to surface pitting by corrosion.

Code Allowables and Actual Peening


In-Service Fatigue Life Light peening of a surface, if accomplished properly,
There are codes, such as the American Welding Soci- will provide a smoother surface than the as-welded con-
ety’s D1.1, Structural Welding Code—Steel, that desig- dition, it will lower the residual stress in the weld joint,
nate certain allowable cyclic loads based on the type of and place the surface of the weld under light compres-
weld, the location of the weld, and the direction of load- sion which will increase fatigue life. Improvements as
ing. It should be noted that some codes, such as the AWS high as 20% in the fatigue stress range or the number of
D1.1, provide no advantage in the allowable stress ranges cycles can be achieved with proper peening. Some stan-
for high-strength steels in fatigue applications other than dards do not permit peening of the last layer of a weld
permitting higher maximum allowables for static or dead because finished inspections may not be able to be prop-
loads. To obtain actual fatigue life data, it must be deter- erly accomplished. However, for fatigue applications it is
mined by testing with controlled mockups, or the actual critical that peening not be limited to internal weld
component. (The airline industry manufacturers subject passes. Fatigue cracks most commonly progress from the
complete airplane fuselages and wing assemblies to fa- surfaces of components and peak service and residual
tigue testing.) stresses are on the base and weld metal surfaces. Peening
of these surfaces is essential to improving fatigue life. If
necessary to facilitate subsequent inspections, light con-
Repair of Fatigue Cracks tour grinding of the peened surface may be accomplished
to facilitate subsequent inspections.
Since fatigue failures are common in machinery ser-
vice, the repair of such cracks and their prognosis for
success needs to be discussed. Repairs should com-
pletely remove the fatigue crack. Peen each weld layer to Surface Shape and its Effect on
minimize tensile residual stress loads. Finish welds Fatigue
should be contour ground to a smooth finish. Weld rein-
forcement should be kept to a minimum. Any major The surface shape of a component is critical to its fa-
abrupt changes in the cross section in the weld or the ad- tigue life. All as-welded surface shapes result in stress
jacent base metal area should be avoided. The final sur- risers or stress concentrations. That means that the stress
face condition should be inspected and proven free of in the component in these as-welded surface areas is
linear discontinuities. The original condition that initi- higher than the nominal cross-sectional stress of the
ated the fatigue crack must be changed. A reduction of component, just because of a change of shape.

48
SECTION 7—FATIGUE CONSIDERATIONS

The following weld geometry attributes are stress ris- gles is very beneficial for improving the fatigue life of a
ers that directly lead to a lower fatigue life (see Figure component. In every case, fatigue life should be expected
7.2). to be improved over the as-welded condition by proper
It is important to realize that the only thing that is grinding. Grinding that is properly accomplished can im-
being addressed here is the shape of the surface and not prove fatigue performance by at least 20%. However,
differences due to a weld deposit being present, such as grinding should not leave gouges or heavy grind marks.
residual stress or different mechanical properties. Reduc- Also, removal of weld reinforcement to nearly zero with-
tion in fatigue life due to these surface conditions would out creating a noticeable angle between the reinforce-
be present regardless of whether a weld were present or ment and the base metal improves fatigue life. Contour
not. If all base metal fatigue samples are machined into grinding of welds should be performed prior to stress re-
different shapes, such as increasing amounts of rein- lief on components, such as pressure vessels. Since con-
forcement or increasing re-entrant angles or machined in touring of welds is very expensive, and in some cases it
simulated weld ripples, the fatigue life will be decreased. is more expensive than making the weld, it should only
For example, if simulated undercut is machined into the be accomplished for critical applications, or where
surface of a plate it will reduce the fatigue life of the known service problems exist.
plate even though a weld is not present.

Base Metal and Weld Metal Changes


Grinding in Cross Section
Contour grinding of welds and the adjacent base
metal to remove undercut, excessive weld reinforcement, Improper change in cross section is one of the most
weld ripples, weld defects and sharp weld re-entrant an- common causes of reduced fatigue life. Abrupt changes
in the cross section (stress concentrations) must be
avoided or minimized for improved fatigue resistances.
Poor transitions in thicknesses cause higher local cyclic
fatigue stresses, and consequently, lower fatigue life.
These localized stresses and strains can be induced in the
component by different sources. Fatigue is often experi-
enced due to differential thermal expansion or vibration
of structural and machinery components. Piping system
fatigue failures are often caused by vibration of nearby
machinery components, not allowing systems to freely
expand during heating periods, or improperly installed
pipe hangers that were used to support service loads and
dampen the number of fatigue cycles.

Thermal Fatigue
When a component is comprised of thick and thin sec-
tions and is subject to transient changes in temperatures,
high thermal strains can easily develop at abrupt changes
of the cross section without considering other external
loads. During the heat-up cycle the thin material will heat
up much more rapidly than the thick sections. The hot
thin sections must thermally expand, but will be re-
strained by the thicker cooler sections. During the cool-
down cycle, the thinner sections will cool-down much
more rapidly than the thick sections, causing high ther-
mal strains, again due to differences in temperature. Fur-
ther, thermal strains can be induced as a result of the
Figure 7.2—Surface Geometry Effects difference in thermal conductivity between materials
on Fatigue Life used in a given joint configuration.

49
SECTION 7—FATIGUE CONSIDERATIONS

Checklist for Fatigue Considerations (13) Continuous fillet welds have better fatigue perfor-
mance than intermittent fillet welds.
(1) Keep welds in low-stressed areas. (14) Full penetration welds have better fatigue perfor-
(2) Keep the maximum stress and the number of mance than partial penetration welds.
cycles as low as is practical. (15) Avoid the use of welds on external cor-
(3) Avoid reverse cycles (tension and compression). ners or plate edges when practical for critical fatigue
(4) Avoid rapid or abrupt changes in cross-sectional applications.
thicknesses especially in weld-associated areas.
(16) Avoid welding transverse to primary tension fa-
(5) Keep weld reinforcement and re-entrant angles to
tigue stress (i.e., across tension flanges of beams).
a minimum.
(17) Flame-cut edges on heat-treatable base metal
(6) Contour grinding or peening will improve fatigue
should be ground to a smooth surface to remove peak
performance.
hardness residual/stresses and stress concentrations.
(7) Keep components painted; it improves fatigue
(18) Avoid forced alignment of flanged joints and
performance and minimizes surface corrosion.
weld joints, as this may result in fatigue cracks adjacent
(8) Reverse thermal strains are common in piping and
to welds during service.
machinery components where abrupt changes of thick-
ness are present or components’ piping systems are not
allowed to freely expand. These internal loads can be re-
duced by providing gradual changes in cross sections, Bibliography/Recommended Reading
flexible supports, sliding foundations or bends in piping List
systems to allow gradual strain distributions over larger
areas. American Welding Society. Structural Welding Code—
(9) When repairing a fatigue crack, be sure the crack Steel (D1.1). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
is completely removed. Contour grind the weld and in- ———. Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding
spect the weld for critical applications. Technology (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American
(10) Unless the stress pattern, the rate of loading, the Welding Society.
number of cycles, or the basic design is changed, re-
paired fatigue cracks will redevelop (usually at a more Fatigue Assessment of Welded Joints Using Local Ap-
rapid rate). proaches. England: Abington Publishing. (Available
(11) Avoid the use of doubler or cover plates where through AWS.)
fatigue considerations are critical.
Fatigue Strength of Welded Structures, 2nd ed. England:
(12) For dissimilar metal welds involving thermal Abington Publishing. (Available through AWS.)
fatigue applications, the filler metal should have a ther-
mal expansion rate approximately midway between the Proceedings of the International Conference on Fatigue.
two base metals selected. Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.

50
SECTION 8
Welding Safety
Considerations

Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 52

Design................................................................................................................................................................................ 52

Production ........................................................................................................................................................................ 53

Respiratory Protection and Ventilation ......................................................................................................................... 53

Use of Inert Gases ............................................................................................................................................................ 54

Planning for Safety .......................................................................................................................................................... 54

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 55

51
SECTION 8—WELDING SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Section 8—Welding Safety Considerations

Introduction • Can the assembled unit be lifted and transported to the


installation site?
The purpose of this section is to provide the designer, • Joint design as related to accessibility.
planner, or mechanic with insights into potentially • Fabrication processes.
hazardous conditions that commonly exist in production
• Materials.
and work environments, but unfortunately are often
overlooked. All too often, hazardous conditions are • Process safety.
present and overlooked or not properly considered. This All of the above are important aspects of a well-
results in unnecessary risk to personnel, equipment, and formulated plan. While these items do not directly ad-
product. dress safety, it can be seen that several of the items will
It can be said, with reasonable certainty, that no de- greatly impact the safety of the production personnel per-
signer, planner, production superintendent, or mechanic forming the specified task.
ever plans to have an accident. Accidents are, by defini- The designer must use knowledge and experience to
tion, unplanned occurrences, sometimes resulting in loss weigh production techniques against worker safety re-
of life, serious collateral damage, or both. quirements. For example, are the weld joint design and
The information provided and discussed in the follow- component configuration consistent with the intended
ing pages is not intended to address all of the potential weld process, i.e., will a joint’s backside accessibility be
hazards associated with welding fabrication, or the sub- in a tank, with a single access at the top of the tank, jeop-
sequent safety precautions necessary to resolve every po- ardizing a welder’s safety by asphyxiation due to lack of
tential problem. This reference guide is intended to oxygen? This resulting from the plan-specified weld pro-
stimulate the imagination of everyone, from the designer cess, “gas metal arc” welding which incorporates an inert
to the mechanic, to look for potential hazards and elimi- shielding gas. It cannot be assumed by the designer that
nate them before an accident occurs and it becomes a production personnel will take this type of potential haz-
costly lesson learned the hard way. ard into consideration before starting work.
Safety, as related to welding fabrication, must be con- There are many industry publications available that
sidered from three specific points of view: design, plan- cover industry-associated health and safety hazards, e.g.,
ning, and production fabrication. Each area has specific AWS Z49.1, Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Pro-
responsibilities and concerns and will be looked at indi- cesses, and AWS Effects of Welding on Health I–X.
vidually in this section. These and other industry reference materials can be valu-
able sources of information if your organization is not
fabricating under some other safety standard, such as
those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administra-
Design tion (OSHA).
Safety during the design phase is usually not a field The following are specific areas that designers should
that is given independent consideration. Safety is usually consider prior to issue of plans and instructions:
limited to general areas of consideration, and more often
(1) Design and lay out welds which will allow for ad-
than not, related to production capabilities and costs,
equate and safe welder accessibility.
more than safety, such as:
(2) Design assemblies so that fabrication welds can
• Can the component be handled or positioned for be performed in areas where adequate ventilation can be
fabrication? provided.

52
SECTION 8—WELDING SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

(3) Provide direction on plans and instructions where found that the majority of fires have been caused by
known fire and safety hazards exist, i.e., tanks which portable equipment. Permanent weld stations are
have contained or presently contain flammable or health- made fire safe.
hazardous material and air-tight compartments or voids
• Do not weld on tanks that contain or have contained
which have been closed for long periods of time.
combustible material or liquids unless they have been
(4) Design assemblies to utilize automated systems
inerted according to IAW local instructions.
wherever possible.
• Do not weld when material or personnel are improp-
erly supported or staged.

Production • Do not weld with equipment that is improperly insu-


lated or has broken electrical insulation.
While safety is everyone’s concern, the ultimate re-
sponsibility for a welder’s safety is the welder who is • Do not oxyfuel cut, weld, or carbon arc gouge on
performing the work. Without a thorough understanding bulkheads or walls without stationing a fire watch or
of the risks and the initiative to eliminate potentially haz- taking appropriate precautions to protect against fire
ardous conditions in the interest of their own and their on the opposite side. Equipment and machinery in the
fellow worker’s safety, injurious and costly accidents area must also be protected.
will occur. • Do not enter a previously sealed void without check-
Training that instructs the welder on the types of ing the atmosphere for the presence of oxygen and po-
safety hazards which exist in his/her particular work en- tentially harmful gases.
vironment and even more important, how to spot unsafe
conditions under various circumstances, whether related • Do not weld in a tank or void without adequate venti-
specifically to welding or some other trade, must be pro- lation and especially when using processes such as
vided. As the safe working environment ethic becomes gas tungsten and gas metal arc welding that employ
intrinsic to all workers, supervisors, planners and design inert gases.
personnel, accidents and losses will be greatly reduced. NOTE: All inert gases will displace air.
The following is a listing of many common hazardous
conditions and practices that have caused and will con- • Do not weld or grind without appropriate eye and skin
tinue to cause lost time, serious injury, and death. protection.

CAUTION • Do not weld or oxyfuel weld/cut in an oxygen-


enriched environment, as the potential fire hazard is
• Do not forget that argon, carbon dioxide, mapp, pro- greatly increased.
pane, and natural gas are heavier than air and will
flood a space if stored inside a room or compartment.
Always store in a well-ventilated area. Never store
leaky cylinders indoors. Respiratory Protection and
• Do not dip a hot electrode holder in water to cool it
Ventilation
off. • The respiratory health hazards associated with weld-
• Do not assume that because power sources are low ing operations evolve largely from the inhalation of
voltage they are not dangerous. A welder should avoid the gases, dusts and metal fumes produced. Whether
standing on wet floors and never touch the bare metal respiratory damage occurs during welding will de-
parts of an electrode holder with any exposed skin or pend on the use of precautionary measures that are in-
wet covering on their body. The danger of electrical dicated by an evaluation of the hazards involved. With
shock is particularly present in hot weather where the only a few, relatively simple precautions, the chance
welder may be wet from perspiration. of respiratory damage can be eliminated.
• The single most important factor influencing the
• Do not weld while standing in water without properly
amount of fumes inhaled by a welder is governed by
insulated footwear.
the welder himself, by the position of his head with
• Do not transport arc welding cables coiled around the respect to the plume of the fumes.
shoulders when the conductors are carrying power.
• The nature of any toxic materials to which a welder is
• Do not weld in areas that are not fire safe, especially if exposed will depend on the type of welding process,
the work can be moved to a safe location. It has been filler and base metal, presence of contamination on

53
SECTION 8—WELDING SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

the base metal or the presence of volatile solvents in Use of Inert Gases
the air.
Due to the serious nature of the potential hazards as-
• Zinc and magnesium oxide inhalation. sociated with the use of inert and other gas mixtures re-
quired during welding, additional emphasis is warranted.
— Toxicity produces chills, fevers, nausea four to The use of nonflammable (inert) gases within structural
eight hours after exposure. enclosures, piping systems, etc., creates a potential per-
— Toxicity disappears almost invariably, within 24 sonnel hazard. The inherent danger in the use of inert
hours. gases is that sufficient quantities may be released into an
occupied compartment or space to reduce the oxygen
• Copper fumes toxicity. content of the atmosphere below that required to support
human life.
— Toxicity symptoms similar to zinc and magnesium Inert gases are used in many production methods in
except it is more severe, longer lasting and is pre- the building and repair of ships, argon (Ar) for purging
cipitated by less exposure. piping systems, nitrogen (N 2 ) for drying air piping,
• Nickel (1 mg per cubic meter), cobalt (0.1 mg per cubic helium (He) for some types of welding and carbon diox-
meter), and mercury (0.1 mg per cubic meter) are: ide (CO 2 ) for inerting tanks containing flammables, to
name a few.
— Strongly suspected of causing a chemical pneu- An atmosphere deficient in oxygen (O2) usually gives
monitis which may have severe or even fatal little or no warning, particularly if the gas that has dis-
results. placed the oxygen is odorless. A trained observer may
notice an increase in pulse or breathing rate in time to es-
• Cadmium oxide and beryllium oxide. cape; however, the average individual may fail to recog-
— These oxides produce severe fume pneumonitis. nize the lack of oxygen until he is too confused and weak
to save himself, especially when a considerable distance
— They are extremely dangerous. must be traveled to reach fresh air.
To minimize the hazards, the use of inert gas must be
• Iron and aluminum apparently do not cause a metal closely controlled. Positive exhaust systems must be in
fume fever although inhalation of very large amounts operation to reduce the possibility of an inert gas
of iron fumes for a period of years may cause a condi- buildup, should accidental leakage occur. Low areas
tion known as siderosis, a deposit of iron in the lungs. where heavier gases tend to accumulate require special
• Materials coated, even accidentally, with toxic materi- attention. In addition to general ventilation requirements
als such as lead, cadmium, mercury or paints contain- to reduce this hazard, local exhaust ventilation should be
ing toxic materials produce what is probably the installed in such a manner as to exhaust the inert gas.
greatest health hazard in welding or cutting. Any such Each opening from which the inert gas is flowing must
coatings should be removed prior to welding, or rigid have individual ventilation.
ventilation control measures should be established. Personnel using and/or having access to inert gas should
receive additional training about its potential hazards and
Welding on materials containing lead, or other toxic the appropriate methods for handling and working with it.
materials such as high-lead bronze, may produce a harm-
ful exposure, depending largely on the amount of such
material present and the amount of metal melted. Pro- Planning for Safety
fessional safety advice should be consulted prior to It is often the case during the planning and funding
welding. phase of a project, that safety is assumed to be a normal
Welding on materials containing Beryllium may pro- work practice and is just another unaccounted for ex-
duce an extremely dangerous condition. No such welding pense of completing a project. This can be a dangerous
should be undertaken until complete control of fumes has approach to doing business. This attitude or lack of
been provided. awareness of what is required to ensure the safety of the
Welding on tanks, pipelines or containers of any sort workers places an unnecessary burden on those produc-
from which the contents have not been completely re- tion people trying to meet the schedules. Not properly
moved may introduce a serious hazard by volatilization identifying and subsequently funding safety require-
or decomposition of the residue. This is particularly ments may cause production personnel, in their efforts to
true when halogenated materials or plating solutions are complete a job in a timely, cost-effective manner, to
involved. overlook serious safety considerations. Safe working

54
SECTION 8—WELDING SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

conditions for your personnel are not an incidental part ———. Arc Welding Safely (AWS). Miami, Fla.: Ameri-
or expense of doing business. Staging, eye, ear, ventila- can Welding Society.
tion, respiration, skin, and fire protection add consider-
able cost to a job and must not be overlooked. ———. Effects of Welding on Health, vols. I-X (EWH).
Successful completion of any complicated task Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
requires thoughtful coordination of assets and per-
sonnel—usually from a variety of trades. The same
———. Fire Safety in Welding and Cutting (FSW). Miami,
can be said for thorough planning and funding of that
Fla.: American Welding Society.
task prior to the start of a complex job. Without careful
coordination between design, planning, and production
personnel, a costly lesson to be learned would be in the ———. Lens Shade Selector (F2.2). Miami, Fla.: Ameri-
making. Areas that require special safety considerations can Welding Society.
may be overlooked, resulting in a potential loss of both
human and material resources. ———. Safe Practices (SP). Miami, Fla.: American
Welding Society.

Bibliography/Recommended Reading ———. Safety and Health Fact Sheets (SHF), 2nd ed.
List Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
American Welding Society. A Sampling Strategy Guide
for Evaluating Contaminants in the Welding Environ- ———. Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes
ment (F1.3). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society. (Z49.1). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.

55
SECTION 9
Weld Joint Design
Considerations

Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 58

Design................................................................................................................................................................................ 58

Weld Joint Design Considerations ................................................................................................................................. 58

Accessibility...................................................................................................................................................................... 59

Environmental Conditions .............................................................................................................................................. 60

Temperature Control....................................................................................................................................................... 60

Base/Filler Material......................................................................................................................................................... 60

Pipe Welding Considerations.......................................................................................................................................... 60

Summary .......................................................................................................................................................................... 61

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 61

57
SECTION 9—WELD JOINT DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

Section 9—Weld Joint Design Considerations

Introduction Weld Joint Design Considerations


Manufacture/assembly of most products requires When selecting welded joint designs, the following
joining of component parts. When welding is used for items need to be considered.
joining, the assembly is called a weldment. As in any as-
sembly process, the basic objective of a weldment design Application
is to perform the intended function of the product with
minimum fabrication costs. What is the function of the weldment? Generally all
fabrication is covered by a standard or code that is in-
voked by the customer. Standards/codes have specific
sections that define/clarify structural welding, piping
Design systems, pressure vessels, machinery components, tur-
During the conceptual design phase, the design en- bine components, etc. Information is also given for
gineer needs to review items such as the fabrication allowable joint designs/limitations, required nondestruc-
standard/code being invoked, operating condition/envi- tive tests, and the acceptance standards that have to be
ronment, material selection, assembly techniques, re- met.
quired inspections and maintenance/repair. The design
engineer should have basic knowledge or seek consulta- Cost
tion from related engineering and production personnel
The designer should keep in mind that variables in
in the following areas:
joint design, material type, welding process, nondestruc-
(1) Mechanical and physical properties of base met- tive testing, and fabrication sequence have an effect on
als and weld metals. cost. During the initial design/planning stage, meetings
(2) Weldability of metals and the effect of their should be held to review the projected fabrication with
strengthening mechanisms (alloyed, cold worked, age related engineering, funding, and production personnel
hardened, heat treated). who will be involved with the work. Preplanning helps
(3) Welding processes (advantages and limitations). minimize fabrication cost. Items to discuss at these meet-
ings should include:
(4) Preparation and fabrication of welded joints.
(5) Thermal effects of welding, cutting, gouging, and (1) Review of the fabrication standard/code require-
grinding. ments including weld type and size, and nondestructive
(6) Effects of restraint, stress concentrations and testing.
residual stress. (2) Review of possible base materials.
(7) Distortion control, prevention and cause. (3) Review of assembly sequence including weld
(8) Nondestructive examination methods and the ap- joint accessibility and position.
plicable acceptance standards. (4) Review of possible weld joint designs and welding
(9) Applicable welding and safety codes/standards. processes with consideration to mechanized processes.
(5) Welder and procedure qualification requirements.
(10) Assembly and erection methods.
(6) Post weld stress relief and machining.
(11) The proper use of welding symbols and terms.
(7) Alternate fabrication methods.
The AWS Welding Handbooks are a good source of (8) Staffing and equipment requirements.
information on material properties and welding. (9) Documentation of job performance.

58
SECTION 9—WELD JOINT DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

Welding Processes lack of penetration or weld surface roughness should all


be avoided to maximize fatigue life. Weld reinforcement
When selecting a weld joint design, it is necessary to sized to the members being joined will increase fatigue
consider what welding processes are to be used. Will the life. Welds are often designed as full penetration and fil-
welding be accomplished in the field or in the shop? let welds designed as continuous instead of intermittent
Each welding process has its limitations. Gas Tungsten in order to maximize fatigue life.
Arc Welding (GTAW) should not be used on heavy struc-
tural sections, but rather on piping or sheet metal. Sub- Impact Resistance
merged Arc Welding (SAW) will only be used in the flat
or horizontal position preferably in a shop-type environ- Impact loading may result from any sudden applica-
ment. If weld deposition rates are of concern in the field tion of a load. During impact loading, a member is re-
then the Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) process quired to absorb energy rapidly. Designs that are
should be considered rather then Shielded Metal Arc susceptible to fatigue failures are often also subject to
Welding (SMAW). Joint access and position may deter- impact failure. The weld and base material should be
mine which welding process can be used. This in turn de- ductile and have suitable impact resistance at the lowest
termines the weld joint design. possible service temperature. Weld joints subject to im-
pact loading will gain increased resistance by design in-
Corrosion Resistance corporating many of the guidelines used for “Fatigue
Resistance.”
What type of service (operating media such as high-
temperature steam, seawater, acidic fluids, etc.) will the Distortion Control
joint experience? Weld joints with backing strips or
backing rings and partial penetration joints with open There are a number of distortion origins during the
roots will be subject to crevice corrosion and should not manufacture of structural sections and piping systems.
be used in the above-mentioned service without specific Distortion is primarily due to restricted expansion when
consideration. the heat of welding is applied. With preplanning, distor-
tion can be kept to a minimum. Design factors of distor-
Joint Efficiency tion control include:

Joint efficiency is the ability of the weld joint to trans- (1) Minimize welding by using standard shapes.
fer stresses between the members being welded and the (2) Use partial-penetration joints when design
weldment. Weld joint efficiency requirements will, to a permits.
large extent, determine what type of weld joints are (3) Balance welding around the neutral axis. Use
needed. Welds joints can be put into two groups, full double “V” or “U” joints so that welds can be balanced
penetration and partial penetration. A full-penetration by welding alternately on either side of the plate.
joint has fusion through the entire cross section of the (4) Weld toward restraint.
weld. A partial-penetration joint allows an unfused area (5) Do not use excessive force to align joints for fit
within the joint cross section, and the weld does not com- up.
pletely penetrate the joint thickness. Keep in mind that (6) Preplace or preposition weld joints to accommo-
joint efficiency is not totally equated with weld size, but date weld joint shrinkage.
is largely dependent on factors including weld metal (7) Prestress weld joints to off set weld shrinkage.
properties and stress transfer. (8) Peen welds.
(9) Use processes that use the minimum total heat
Fatigue Resistance input to fabricate the joint.
(10) Use the least amount of total weld metal consis-
When designing a weld joint, fatigue resistance must tent with adequate design.
be considered. Any abrupt change in cross section or di- (11) Use subassemblies to accommodate distortion
rection along the path of stress flow will reduce the fa- shrinkage.
tigue life. To increase fatigue life, sharp corners should
be replaced with smooth transitions, simple butt joints
should be used instead of lap or “T” joints, and changes
in cross section should include a minimum 4:1 taper into
Accessibility
or out of a weld joint. Smoothly ground weld reinforce- Joint accessibility for the welder needs to be taken
ment will also increase the fatigue life. Weld discontinui- into consideration when issuing design instructions and
ties such as excessive reinforcement, undercut, overlap, drawings for assembly in the shop or field. Is the job new

59
SECTION 9—WELD JOINT DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

construction or repair? Can component subassemblies be (4) What physical and chemical properties need to be
accomplished in the shop? Shop assembly increases ac- considered?
cessibility by permitting plates to be turned, and piping (5) What material types and thicknesses are available?
to be rolled. To assist in making sound design/planning (6) Are dissimilar metals to be joined? (Some filler
decisions, the design engineer should visit and review the metals are extremely crack sensitive depending on the
job site prior to issuing work instructions. base metal/filler metal combination.)
Fabricated components, throughout their life span,
may have to be weld repaired. The designer should keep
Environmental Conditions this in mind for weldability and welding access in the
A job site and work condition review will assist in se- field. Components that will be weld repaired or replaced
lection of weld process and associated joint design. Ad- often should be designed for ease of welder access and
verse weather conditions and contaminates such as water, ease of weldability (i.e., process to be used, base material
paint, and oil in or near an existing weld joint are factors type, and joint design).
to consider when designing new weld joints, or specify-
ing repairs and welding processes. Windy conditions re-
quire additional sheltering if a gas-shielded welding Pipe Welding Considerations
process is selected.
Pipe Joint Design
Design criteria for welded pipe joints are set forth in
Temperature Control specifications. These criteria are dependent upon the
Heat transfer from the welding process into the weld piping system. The designer is guided in selection of a
and the adjacent base metal can cause damage to compo- particular joint design by one or more of the following
nents. When welding a component with finished ma- factors:
chined surfaces control of temperatures before, during (1) Contractual requirements.
and after welding has to be addressed so as to keep dis- (2) System application (pressure, temperature, corro-
tortion of those surfaces to an acceptable level. There sion, erosion, etc.).
may be paint that needs to be protected on the inaccessi- (3) Piping material.
ble backside of a component that requires weld repair. (4) Piping wall thickness.
Material thickness and maximum temperature the paint (5) Specifications.
can withstand have to be known before welding. A (6) Classification of joint (i.e., consumable insert,
mock-up of the job may have to be done. backing ring, socket, or square butt).
O-ring seating surfaces located near weld repair areas (7) Availability of fittings.
require heat input control for distortion protection. Some (8) Welding accessibility for butt or socket joints vary
considerations for controlling heat to a desired area can with location. Butt welds usually require greater working
be done by preheat and interpass temperature restric- space.
tions, limiting length of weld bead, joint design, size of (9) Butt weld joints are more difficult and generally
welding electrode, number of weld passes, and forced more expensive to make than socket welds.
cooling (air or water). (10) Butt weld fittings may be joined directly to one
another, requiring only one joint.
(11) A length of pipe between two socket fittings re-
Base/Filler Material quires two weld joints.
Base metal and filler material selection can determine A piping designer should take into consideration that
what weld joints can be used. When choosing base/filler any joint in any piping system could be subject to failure
materials the designer has to be aware of conditions that under a given combination of adverse circumstances, and
may affect the final selection such as: must therefore be accessible for repair. Designers must
also consider that repairs may be necessary in the field
(1) Is the project new construction, rework, or repair? and not under ideal conditions. Consequently, whenever
(2) What is the form of the base material (wrought, a welded joint can be eliminated in design, it automati-
forged, or cast)? cally eliminates a source of possible future failure. This
(3) What service environment will the material be could be done by designing bends instead of welded
subjected to? joints into a given piping system.

60
SECTION 9—WELD JOINT DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

Summary Bibliography/Recommended Reading


List
When designing weldments, the design engineer American Welding Society. Standard Symbols for Weld-
needs to know the properties of the materials selected, ing, Brazing, and Nondestructive Examination
the service requirements of the weldments, and the fun- (A2.4). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
damentals of the fabrication processes.
———. Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding
Engineers designing welded components need to Technology (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American
know basic mathematical formulas for calculating forces Welding Society.
and their effects. The calculations need direct application Blodgett, O. W., Design of Weldments. The James F. Lin-
to the specific weld joint design that is selected for join- coln Arc Welding Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.
ing component parts.
Cary, H. 1997. Modern Welding Technology. Englewood
Weldment design should always be based on the thin- Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc. (Available through AWS.)
ner member being joined. The minimum amount of weld Metals Handbook, 9th ed. vol. 6, Welding, Brazing, and
metal should be used while maintaining weld joint Soldering. American Society for Metals, Metals
strength requirements. Park, Ohio.

61
SECTION 10
Weld Distortion
and Control

Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 64

Mechanisms of Weld Distortion ..................................................................................................................................... 64

Theoretical Shortening under Ideal Conditions ........................................................................................................... 65

Metal Properties Affecting Distortion ........................................................................................................................... 65

Considerations for Minimization of Weld Distortion................................................................................................... 66

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 69

63
SECTION 10—WELD DISTORTION AND CONTROL

Section 10—Weld Distortion and Control

Introduction
UNWELDED PLATE
Control of distortion during fabrication is essential.
Weld distortion is evident on practically all weldments. It
is readily visible on thin plate and sheet metal when
welded. In addition to lowering stress-carrying capabili-
ties, distortion can make it extremely difficult to fit sub- ARC IS STRUCK
assembly parts together to complete a fabrication. Weld
distortion can be extremely expensive to correct and it is
easier to prevent than to correct for critical applications.
Fabrication distortion is caused by:
HEATED PORTION
• Volumetric shrinkage of molten metal solidifying to EXPANDS
ambient temperature.
• Thermal shortening of metal adjacent to a weld.
• Filler metal with higher yield strengths than their base
metals. ARC IS
EXTINGUISHED
The metallurgical and mechanical properties of the
base metal greatly influence the degree of distortion ex-
perienced. Because of their different mechanical and
CONTRACTING
metallurgical properties, different base metals exhibit SHAPE WITH
varying amounts of distortion for the same amount of COOLING
heat input. The following base metals are listed in order
of increasing distortion problems: HY-100, HY-80, high-
strength steel, mild steel, Monel®, copper-nickel and 300 RESOLIDIFIED
Series stainless steel. WITH RESIDUAL
STRESS

Mechanisms of Weld Distortion


We l d M e t a l S o l i d i fi c a t i o n S h r i n k a g e Figure 10.1—Shrinkage in a Weld Caused
(Shortening) by Expansion and Contraction

Figure 10.1 exhibits the primary distortion mecha-


nism involved when a weld is deposited in a grooved will cause the adjacent base material to distort and to
plate. The weld that is deposited in the plate will de- have high residual stress at ambient temperature.
crease in volume about two percent during solidification
and cooling to ambient temperature. If the solidified Distortion of Metal Adjacent to a Weld Due
weld metal could be removed from the base metal it to Heat Input
would have a shorter length than the base metal length it
was deposited upon. Since the yield strength of the weld Another mechanism by which weld distortion oper-
deposit is invariably higher than the base metal, the weld ates is that the metal (which includes previously depos-

64
SECTION 10—WELD DISTORTION AND CONTROL

ited weld metal) adjacent to the weld is heated under cation can result in distortion. It should be noted that as
restricted expansion (compression). The metal is only the temperature increases, the strain to cause yielding
free to thermally expand and plastically deform in the (permanent deformation) decreases. As one inch of base
through thickness dimension of the base metal (perpen- metal is heated, it must thermally expand (volumetri-
dicular to the weld surface). The end result is that the cally) to accommodate this increased energy; and since it
nonuniformly heated area adjacent to a weld is generally cannot thermally expand in its length because of restraint
thicker, narrower in width, and shorter in length than (ideal), the metal experiences compressive strains.
base metal outside the heated area (see Figure 10.1). At low temperatures these strains are elastic (no per-
manent deformation). As the temperature is increased,
Restricted Expansion during Heating Cycle the compressive strains become so high that they reach
When base metal is heated in a plate by a single pass the compressive yield strain of the base metal, and any
of weld metal, the base metal being heated adjacent to increased temperature results in plastic deformation. By
the weld thermally expands as the temperature rises subtracting the yield strain curve from the thermal ex-
while the base metal a short distance away from this pansion curve, the resulting curve represents the perma-
heated area is much cooler. The cooler base metal re- nent deformation (shortening) of the one-inch length of
strains thermal expansion in the plane of the plate. This base metal after it has been subjected to temperatures
places the heated area adjacent to the weld under high higher than approximately 180°F.
compressive strain. The yield strain of the base metal By developing these curves for different base metals
being heated decreases with increasing temperature from published data and then comparing them, increased
while that of the adjacent cooler base metal remains information can be gained as to what temperatures are
stronger due to its lower temperature. As the adjacent necessary to initiate deformation under ideal conditions
metal continues to be heated to higher temperatures as a with single axial restraint. Under ideal conditions very
result of thermal conduction from the deposited weld, it small changes of temperature are required to reach base
reaches yield point. The heated area adjacent to the weld metal yield points and to cause plastic flow.
yields (or plastically flows) perpendicular to the plate or
weld surfaces (see Figure 10.1).
Metal Properties Affecting Distortion
Cooling Cycle
Each component brings its own manufacturing history
As the heated area adjacent to the weld cools off, the of residual stress to the fabrication assembly. Castings
area that is plastically deformed is always at a lower tem- have solidification stresses, and plates are stressed by
perature than the center of the weld. This causes retained rolling and cooling operations. Each metal’s properties
increased thickening or deformation that was formed (thermal expansion, thermal conductivity, elasticity,
during the heating cycle in this peripheral weld area. yield strength, its structural shape) influence the severity
During the cooling cycle, the periphery area (this may be of manufacturing stresses and resultant weld distortion.
previously deposited weld metal or the base metal) has a
higher yield strength than the weld, due to its lower tem- Thermal Expansion
perature. The average thickness at ambient temperature
of this plastically flowed area is greater than it was prior The coefficient of thermal expansion is used to ex-
to heating. This thickening can only be accommodated press the amount of expansion and contraction of metal
by shortening of dimensions in the plane of the base with temperature change. The higher the coefficient, the
metal. In other words, the thermally upset base and weld more expansion and contraction is predicted for a given
metal now have a shorter length and shorter width in the temperature change. 300 Series stainless steel, copper-
plane of the plate. The end result of this shortening in nickel, and Monel® all have high thermal expansion rates
width and length and increased thickness is high elastic and this, in conjunction with relatively low yield strains,
and plastic deformation of the weld and the base metal makes them subject to considerable distortion.
adjacent to the weld metal. This results in weld distortion
and high residual stress. Thermal Conductivity
Metals with low thermal conductivity will experience
Theoretical Shortening under Ideal increased distortion due to a greater temperature gradient
between the weld and base metal. The reason for this is
Conditions that when weld metal is deposited, the base metal cannot
The nonuniform heating and cooling of the weld conduct the heat of welding away rapidly and a large
metal and the surrounding base metal during weld fabri- difference in temperature is created in a narrow zone,

65
SECTION 10—WELD DISTORTION AND CONTROL

causing large thermal expansion in this localized area. • A double “V” groove requires less welding than a sin-
Plastic flow occurs in this restricted expansion area, re- gle “V” in the same plate thickness and will help bal-
sulting in distortion. Stainless steel has much lower ther- ance angular distortion.
mal conductivity than mild steel and this is partially why • Use partial penetration joints whenever possible.
it is much more susceptible to distortion than mild steel.
• Use smallest weld size possible to meet the strength
requirements. Oversized welds increase distortion.
Modulus of Elasticity
• Use flanged corners instead of welded corners.
Modulus of elasticity is a measure of the stiffness of a • Use intermittent welds to reduce welding where prac-
metal. A material with a higher modulus is more resistant tical (see Figure 10.2).
to distortion, since increased stress is required to strain or
stretch the material. However, it should be noted that the Balance Welding
mild steel and most alloy steels have nearly the same
modulus of elasticity. Weld in a sequence that offsets one shrinkage stress
against a previously deposited weld on the opposite side
Yield Strength/Strain (see Figure 10.3). However, the resultant shrinkage of the
second weld will not equal the distortion of the first weld.
Yield strength or yield strain is an indication of the Distortion is best controlled by welding both sides simul-
metal’s resistance to permanent deformation. A lower taneously such as double fillet welds where practical.
yield strength filler metal accommodates some of the dy-
namic weld joint stresses by stretching rather than creat-
Joint Design
ing distortion. Conversely, base metals with high yield
strain are less susceptible to distortion due to their in- Joint designs should have minimum root openings and
creased strength. bevel angles, yet provide adequate joint access for good
fusion for the welding process used. Joint designs need
Manufacturing Residual Stresses to be selected that will balance welding (see Figure
10.4).
Components have their own residual stress patterns
that can affect the resultant distortion of the finished
product after welding. Because of different cooling pat- Restraint
terns, castings, plate, and shapes have varying residual Reduce distortion by restraining assemblies in fixtures
stress patterns that directly affect distortion. For exam- or to other assemblies. When practical weld toward max-
ple, the flanges of rolled I-beams are typically under ten- imum restraint; weld away from edges; weld toward the
sion, while the webs are under compression, because centroid or the center of gravity when practical.
during manufacture the thinner cross section of the webs
cool first followed by the flanges. The cooling and short-
Neutral Axis
ening of the flanges place the webs under compression.
Position weld joints at a neutral axis to provide less
leverage for shrinkage forces, or balance welding around
Considerations for Minimization of the neutral axis.
Weld Distortion
Structural Tacks
Minimize Welding Structural tacks help force the welds to deform rather
Avoid welding when practical. Use standard shapes or than distorting the base metal. Structural tacks are usu-
rolled sections, use castings or break/roll material into ally a minimum of two inches long and are often two lay-
different shapes rather than welding several pieces ers thick. These tacks will restrain the root opening from
together. closing during welding and will help force the root weld
pass to deform instead of pulling the plates together. It
• Minimize root openings and bevel angles of full pene- should be kept in mind that any restraint that can be
tration joints. However, adequate access for the weld- placed on hot weld metal will be very effective, due to its
ing process and operator must be provided. low yield strength at high temperatures. The structural
• A “J” or “U” groove requires less welding than a tacks need to be thick enough so that they cannot be
bevel or “V” groove and will result in less distortion fused through by subsequent passes, as this will reduce
of thicker metals. some of their effectiveness.

66
SECTION 10—WELD DISTORTION AND CONTROL

Figure 10.2—Fillet Weld Applications

67
SECTION 10—WELD DISTORTION AND CONTROL

welded. This will counteract weld and base-metal short-


ening and reduce weld distortion. The two interference
fit examples show how it may be used to maintain critical
inside dimensions and circularity when adding length to
or repair welding a finished machine part.

Preset
Figure 10.3—Sequence Welds
Alignment of the joint is set up out of position to
allow for anticipated shrinkage during welding to bring
the assembly to the desired position (see Figure 10.6).
Use mockup test assemblies to estimate amount of preset
necessary as the amount of preset will vary with each
welding process and the parameters used.
α

Overwelding
Weld convexity increases shrinkage but does not in-
crease strength. Use intermittent welds or partial penetra-
tion welds where practical. Do not oversize fillet welds.
Excessive distortion can result from oversizing small fil-
β let welds by one size on thin material.

Weld Process Selection


Figure 10.4—Joint Designs
The greater the total heat input by conventional weld-
to Minimize Distortion
ing processes the greater the distortion. Weld process se-
lection should consider weld deposition, amperage, and
travel speed. Use of largest suitable electrode is fre-
quently recommended as transverse weld stresses are
somewhat cumulative and distortion can be increased by
Fit Up multiple passes.
Proper edge preparation with joint alignment and
minimum root openings decrease welding and result in Prefabrication
less weld distortion. Do not use excessive force to align Welds made in the flat position or with joint rotation
joints for welding. High residual stress will be induced allow use of larger electrodes and deeper-penetrating
into the weld joint resulting in weld distortion. weld processes with less joint preparation. The result is
less weld distortion.
Backstep Welding
Backstep welding uses the restraint of a previously
Subassemblies
deposited weld to minimize the tendency of the two Fabrication of subassemblies provides additional dis-
plates from pulling together as the welding progresses. tortion control, since each subassembly can be adjusted for
distortion before being matched to another subassembly.
Controlled Wandering (Backstep) Weld
Peening
A backstep weld is used in wandering sequence.
Welds made in short segments, distributed along the Weld shrinkage may be counteracted by peening,
length of the joint, cause less distortion than continuous which stretches the weld in the area peened. Peening is
welding (see Figure 10.5). most effective at higher temperatures. A blunt tool
should be used to plastically deform (stretch) the weld
after slag is removed. However, a root bead should only
Prestressing and Interference Fits
be peened lightly or not at all because of the danger of
Prestressing surfaces to be welded by bending or by causing a root crack. Peening marks should be removed
interference fits develops tensile stresses on surfaces to be from the final weld surface if they are expected to inter-

68
SECTION 10—WELD DISTORTION AND CONTROL

OGRESS
N OF WELD PR 4
DIRECTIO 3
2
1

Figure 10.5—Controlled Wandering (Backstep) Weld

added to the load stress may exceed the material’s yield


strength. Stress relief after welding reduces residual
stress of fabrication. Stress relief, properly accom-
plished, is essential for components that are to receive in-
tricate machining to close tolerances. Without stress
relief, the component will “walk” or move during the
machining of the weld deposit (removing the weld de-
posit changes the residual stress pattern) and the part
may be lost as scrap when finished.

Figure 10.6—Presetting for


Fillet and Butt Welds
Bibliography/Recommended Reading
List
fere with final inspection. Peening marks may act as
stress risers if peening is not accomplished properly. American Welding Society. Welding Handbook, 8th ed.,
vol. 1, Welding Technology (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.:
Stress Relief American Welding Society.

The shrinkage of a cooling weld applies stress to the ———. Welding Processes and Practices (WPP). Miami,
weld metal and surrounding base metal. These stresses Fla.: American Welding Society.

69
SECTION 11
Checklist for
Sound Welding
Decisions

Contents
The Intended Service Requirements.............................................................................................................................. 72

Base and Weld Metal Properties .................................................................................................................................... 72

Fabrication Conditions Imposed .................................................................................................................................... 73

71
SECTION 11—CHECKLIST FOR SOUND WELDING DECISIONS

Section 11—Checklist for Sound Welding Decisions

No item has a greater effect on weldability than ❒ Tensile and compressive stresses and strains (axial/
the common everyday decisions made by the designer, bending).
welding engineer, shop supervisor, and the journeyman ❒ Corrosion resistance.
mechanic. ❒ Erosion resistance.
Before making a welding decision, there are three ❒ Abrasion resistance.
basic areas that should receive consideration: ❒ Impact resistance (stress and temperature dependent).
❒ Creep resistance.
• The intended service requirements. ❒ Temperature (high- or low-temperature physical
• The base metal and weld metal properties. properties).
• The fabrication conditions imposed. ❒ Fatigue resistance (thermal and mechanical).
❒ Aesthetics (color match, anodizing, and appearance).
As an aid, to make sure you have checked items that
can affect weldability, a Sound Welding Decisions
Checklist is provided in this section. This list is not all Base and Weld Metal Properties
inclusive and may be added to depending upon the indi-
vidual’s specific experience. However, it is a list of spe-
cific areas that deserve attention in avoiding the majority
Welding Engineering Cognizance
of serious welding problems. The effects on the HAZ and weld metal properties
Once a problem or potential problem area is identi- due to the maximum welding temperature reached
fied, it should be referred to or coordinated with the per- and the rate of change of temperature are of pri-
son having technical cognizance, i.e., the designer, mary importance. They can result in weld defects,
welding engineer, or the production supervisor. It should metallurgical notches and drastic changes in base
be noted that: metal properties.

• The design engineer is most knowledgeable about the


❒ Base metal chemical composition.
intended service of requirements.
❒ Diluted weld metal properties.
• The welding engineer is most knowledgeable about ❒ Tensile/yield strength.
the weld metal. ❒ Elongation/ductility.
• The production supervisor and mechanic are most ❒ Quench hardenability properties.
knowledgeable about the imposed fabrication condi- ❒ Work hardening properties.
tions (environment). ❒ Age-hardening properties.
❒ Susceptibility to hot cracking.
❒ Solubility of gases (porosity, embrittlement, and
The Intended Service Requirements cracking).
❒ Homogeneity/soundness (coring, loose structure,
and lamellar tearing).
Design Cognizance ❒ Sensitization to corrosion and corrosion cracking.
Will the weld and heat-affected zone (HAZ) provide ❒ Grain size.
the desired service? Consider only those service re- ❒ Refractory oxide formation.
quirements that make the weldment fit for use. ❒ Conductivity (thermal).
❒ Viscosity or fluidity.

72
SECTION 11—CHECKLIST FOR SOUND WELDING DECISIONS

❒ Thermal expansion (yield strength vs. temperature ❒ Number of welds.


and restraint). ❒ Weld shrinkage.
❒ Machinability. ❒ Distortion control, prestress, structural tacks, back
setting, and peening.
❒ Weldment design (joint design, weldment geometry,
Fabrication Conditions Imposed material selection, weld sizes, and equipment
maintenance).
Production Supervisor’s Cognizance ❒ Cleanliness.
❒ Weld location (accessibility, restrictions, position,
The actual welding environment and welding re- shop vs. field).
sources will often determine the success or failure ❒ Weld sequence (shop controlled).
of a welding project. ❒ Weather or atmosphere.
❒ Purging requirements.
❒ Skilled, qualified mechanics (experience and good ❒ Thermal stress developed Restraint Safety of men
morale). and equipment.
❒ Schedule. ❒ Quality control evaluations (defects vs. failures
❒ Available equipment, materials, and facilities. and cost to meet NDE).
❒ Welding process characteristics. ❒ Weld procedure (various welding parameters).

73
SECTION 12
Defects and Discontinuities
of Welding
Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 76
Weld Acceptance Standards ........................................................................................................................................... 76
The Cause of Welding Defects ........................................................................................................................................ 76
Weld Discontinuities ........................................................................................................................................................ 77
Cracking ........................................................................................................................................................................... 77
Delayed Cracking—Hydrogen Embrittlement ............................................................................................................. 83
Techniques for Allowing Hydrogen to Escape from Welds.......................................................................................... 84
Minimizing the Available Amount of Hydrogen to the Weld Deposit......................................................................... 84
Welding Processes and their Available Hydrogen ........................................................................................................ 84
Summary of Rules to Minimize Hydrogen Embrittlement Cracking ........................................................................ 85
Slag Inclusions ................................................................................................................................................................. 85
Lack of Fusion or Incomplete Fusion ............................................................................................................................ 85
Lack of Penetration ......................................................................................................................................................... 86
Porosity ............................................................................................................................................................................. 87
Undercut (Including Root Undercut) ............................................................................................................................ 88
Tungsten Inclusions ......................................................................................................................................................... 88
Arc Strikes........................................................................................................................................................................ 89
Spatter .............................................................................................................................................................................. 90
Crater Pit.......................................................................................................................................................................... 90
Burn-Through .................................................................................................................................................................. 91
Incomplete Insert Melting .............................................................................................................................................. 91
Root Centerline Crease ................................................................................................................................................... 91
Melt-Through................................................................................................................................................................... 91
Oxidation .......................................................................................................................................................................... 91
Root Concavity................................................................................................................................................................. 91
Root Convexity................................................................................................................................................................. 92
Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................... 92

75
SECTION 12—
DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Section 12—Defects and Discontinuities of Welding

Introduction Personnel Skill and Experience


Weld discontinuities are unintentional conditions that The operator’s manual skill and knowledge with spe-
occur during the welding process and result in undesir- cific materials and processes can greatly reduce weld re-
able conditions in the weld or the adjacent base metal. If ject rates.
weld discontinuities are expected to be detrimental to the
service, they must be evaluated. All unintentional weld Welding Process Characteristics
conditions that could possibly affect the weld’s service,
and that are caused by the welding process, are called Each welding process has specific characteristics that
discontinuities. Those discontinuities that do not meet make it more susceptible to a certain type of weld dis-
the acceptance standards imposed by the owner/engineer continuity such as:
or are reasonably expected to have detrimental effects on • SAW—Solidification centerline cracking.
service are call defects. • GMAW—(short arc)—Lack of fusion.
• SMAW—Starting porosity.
Weld Acceptance Standards • GTAW—Tungsten inclusions.

Weld acceptance standards are usually written for the Base Metal Selection and Properties
worst case. They may not be reasonable in all cases. En-
gineering evaluation and judgement may be necessary to The specific properties of a base metal can make it
prevent unnecessary expenditures of resources to repair a much more prone than other base metals to certain weld
defect that would not affect the service of a weldment. defects such as:
The designer/owner that imposes acceptance standards • Quench and tempered and heat-treatable steels are
should always keep in mind that in some cases a weld re- very susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement and de-
pair just to meet acceptance standards may cause a com- layed cracking of the weld and the heat-affected zone
ponent to become less useful, or in some cases useless. A (HAZ).
pore of porosity that does not meet the acceptance stan- • Tin bronzes are susceptible to intergranular cracking
dard and is deep within a casting wall would frequently (hot shortness).
be better left as found rather than attempting repair. The • Copper-nickel alloys are prone to incomplete fusion
reason for this is that when the casting is repaired, it will and porosity.
have: a nonuniform metallurgical structure (cast metal
• Inconel ® alloys are subject to oxide inclusions, and
has been replaced with weld metal); high residual stress;
centerline cracking on concave bead shapes.
lower fatigue performance; micro shrinkage in the adja-
• Aluminum alloys are susceptible to porosity and in-
cent cast metal may develop into micro casting tears; se-
complete fusion.
rious distortion problems may develop; and frequently,
• Mild steel is very susceptible to lamellar tearing in
corrosion resistance properties are lowered.
heavy sections with high through thickness stresses.

The Cause of Welding Defects Welding Environment


There are many specific causes of welding discontinu- The welding environment probably has a greater in-
ities, however they can be generally categorized in the fluence on the total number of weld rejects than any
following groups: other condition. The greatest influence is whether the

76
SECTION 12—
DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

weld is made in the field or the shop. Some field environ- Cause
mental conditions that increase weld rejects are:
Cracking occurs when the metal under stress exhausts
• Out of position welding. its ductility and does not have the ability to elastically or
• Restricted access welds. plastically flow without fracturing.
• Mirror welds.
• Wind, rain, cold, etc. Service Impact
• Wet systems to purge.
Cracking is one on the most serious discontinuities,
since it usually requires the least amount of energy to
progress into a failure. Any cracking that exists transverse
Weld Discontinuities to primary stress in fatigue or is subject to impact loading
The common discontinuities found on completed must be considered hazardous, unless the base material is
welds are: specifically designed for energy absorption under these
types of conditions. However, because a crack is present
• Crater cracks.
or exists does not mean that the weldment is unsuitable
• Face cracks. for service. When cracks are left in service they must be
• Heat-affected zone cracks. evaluated for suitability based upon orientation, location,
• Lamellar tears. loading and the base metal properties.
• Longitudinal cracks.
• Root cracks. Hot Cracking
• Root surface cracks.
• Throat cracks. This cracking occurs at elevated temperatures and
• Toe cracks. generally travels in grain boundaries between the grains
• Transverse cracks. of crystalline metal. If fracture surfaces are exposed to
• Underbead cracks. air during hot cracking they frequently will exhibit tem-
• Weld interface cracks. per colors. Hot cracking is most common in bronze and
• Weld metal cracks. brass alloys, copper-nickels and base metals that are high
• Lamination. in elements such as lead, tin, zinc, phosphorous, and sul-
fur. Welds that experience galvanize (zinc) contamina-
For the location of the above-listed discontinuities in tion or are made on free machining metals are also
weld joints and the associated base metal, see Table 12.1 subject to hot cracking.
and Figures 12.1–12.6.
Solidification Cracking
This cracking mechanism is commonly witnessed in
Cracking deep penetrating welds which may have long solidifying
surfaces that have a chevron shape as is often seen with
Definition submerged arc, flux cored arc and electroslag welding. It
A linear rupture of base and/or weld metal. It has a is generally caused by insufficient liquid weld metal nec-
high length-to-width ratio and is characterized by a sharp essary to accommodate a restrained, contracting volume
tip. of solidifying weld metal. When grain growths from each
side of a weld are nearly parallel to each other, as in deep
Shape penetrating welds, they close off a finite amount of liquid
metal to accommodate weld metal shrinkage or contrac-
Usually a tight linear separation of metal that can be tion (see Figure 12.8). The last metal to freeze will most
very short (microscopic) to very long indications extend- likely be higher than the rest of the weld in low melting
ing the full length of a weld. constituents like sulfur, phosphorous, tin, lead, or zinc,
which also increases its crack susceptibility.
Location
Crater Cracking
Cracking takes place in the weld, the weld-base metal
fusion line or the weld heat-affected zone (HAZ). Weld- The craters that appear at weld bead termination sites
ments of age hardened or brittle metal may sometimes are common areas of cracking (see Figure 12.9). This
crack several inches away from the weld. Figure 12.7 weld metal is the most rapidly cooled metal of the entire
exhibits potential crack locations. weld. It is being cooled in all directions after the welding

77
SECTION 12—
DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Table 12.1—Fusion Weld Discontinuity Types


Discontinuity
Type of Discontinuity Identification Appearing in Figure Number Location* Remarks

Porosity
Uniformly scattered 1a 12.2, 12.6 W Weld only as discussed herein

Cluster 1b 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.5, 12.6 W Weld only as discussed herein

Linear 1c 12.2, 12.6 W Weld only as discussed herein

Piping 1d 12.1, 12.2, 12.6 W Weld only as discussed herein

Inclusions
Slag 2a 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 W

Incomplete fusion 3 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5 W At joint boundaries or between passes

Inadequate joint 4 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5 W Root of weld preparation
penetration

Undercut 5 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 HAZ Junction of weld and base metal at
surface

Underfill 6 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.5 W Outer surface of joint preparation

Overlap 7 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 W/HAZ Junction of weld and base metal at
surface

Laminations 8 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 BM Base metal, generally near
midthickness of section

Delamination 9 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 BM Base metal, generally near
midthickness of section

Seams and laps 10 12.1, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 BM Base metal surface, almost always
longitudinal

Lamellar tears 11 12.3, 12.5 BM Base metal, near weld HAZ

Cracks (includes hot


cracks and cold cracks)
Longitudinal 12a 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 W, HAZ, Weld or base metal adjacent to weld
BM fusion boundary

Transverse 12b 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 W, HAZ, Weld may propagate into HAZ and base
BM metal

Crater 12c 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 W Weld, at point where arc is terminated

Throat 12d 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 W Weld axis

Toe 12e 12.1, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 HAZ Junction between face of weld and base
metal

Root 12f 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 W Weld metal, at root

Underbead and 12g 12.1, 12.2, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 HAZ Base metal, in HAZ
heat-affected zone

Fissures W Weld metal

*W—weld, BM—base metal, HAZ—weld heat-affected zone

78
SECTION 12—
DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Figure 12.1—Double-V-Groove Weld in Butt Joint


(See Table 12.1)

Figure 12.2—Single-Bevel-Groove Weld in Butt Joint


(See Table 12.1)

79
SECTION 12—
DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Figure 12.3—Welds in Corner Joint


(See Table 12.1)

Figure 12.4—Double Fillet Weld in Lap Joint


(See Table 12.1)

80
SECTION 12—
DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Figure 12.5—Combined Groove and Fillet Welds in T-Joint (See Table 12.1)

Figure 12.6—Single Pass Fillet Welds in T-Joint (See Table 12.1)

81
SECTION 12—
DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

LEGEND O OT SUF ACE C AC


1 C ATE C AC T O AT C AC
2 1 1 2 FACE C AC TOE C AC
2 1 E ATA FFECTED 1 T ANS E SE C AC
O NE C AC 11 UNDE EAD C AC
LAE LLA TEA 12 WELD INTEF ACE C AC
LONGITUDINAL C AC 1 WELD E TAL C AC
1 O OT C AC

1
11 12
1
1 2 1

Figure 12.7—Potential Weld Crack Locations

arc is withdrawn and does not have the arc as a source of


heat to slow its cooling rate. The weld crater solidifies
from its perimeter toward its center, making all of its
shrinkage strains away from the crater center. Weld bead
termination sites are usually concave in shape (a high
stress profile) and are very prone to cracking. Metals most
likely to crater crack have wide solidification ranges, low
ductility at high temperatures, or are subject to low melt-
ing temperature segregates. Aluminum, copper-nickel, In-
conel® , Monel® , AISI 4130, and AISI 4140 are quite
susceptible to crater cracks, which is a form of hot crack-
ing. For Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), welding
current decay should be used to help reduce the shrinkage
stress while continuing to fill the crater to create a flat or
slightly convex bead termination site. By reducing (de-
caying) the current before extinguishing the arc the actual
Figure 12.8—Solidification crater size that must solidify is much reduced in diameter.
Cracking Mechanism Thin, concave welds (like weld craters) have high suscep-
tibility to centerline cracking (see Figure 12.10).

Figure 12.10—Typical Centerline Cracks


Figure 12.9—Typical Crater Cracks Due to Thin Concave Bead Shapes

82
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Cold Cracking
Cold cracking generally occurs below 400°F. Marten-
sitic base metals are subject to high stresses and have a
microstructure that is susceptible to low-temperature
cracking. Cold cracks are predominately transgranular,
occurring across metal grains, while hot cracking usually
occurs between grains or interdendritically.

Lamellar Tearing
Some mild steel base metals are subject to cracking
adjacent to welds due to their inability to withstand high
through-thickness stresses, because their through-thick-
ness ductility is low. This low ductility is the result of
non-metallic inclusions that developed during the initial
pouring of the ingot to make the material. These inclu-
sions are in the form of oxides, silicates, sulfides, etc.
When the plates are rolled, some of these inclusions are
rolled out into thin, lamellar plate inclusions lying paral-
lel to the plate surface at different depths throughout the
thickness of the material. When high through-thickness
stresses are placed on the plate by welding, cracking oc-
curs by shearing from one inclusion in the plate to an-
other inclusion within the base metal. This cracking
pattern has a stair-step appearance in the base metal (see
Figure 12.11). Corner welds that involve welding across
the end of both members and butt welded joints, mini-
mize through-thickness strains and are most desirable be-
cause in some applications they place the metal under
through-thickness compression. TEE welds are examples
of unavoidable through-thickness stresses. In these cases,
the most successful remedy is clad welding the plate in
the area of the groove’s reinforcement fillet or fillet weld
or peen each weld pass.
Recommendations to prevent lamellar tearing are:
(1) Select weld joints that minimize through-thickness
stresses.
(2) Peen all weld layers.
(3) Keep weld sizes down.
(4) Use low-strength filler metals.
(5) Use thin plate (less than one half inch).
(6) Provide for slight root openings under “T” welds.
(7) Select fine-grain steels with stabilized inclusions
than cannot be rolled out into lamellar inclusions.
Figure 12.11—Examples of
Lamellar Tearing
Delayed Cracking—Hydrogen
Embrittlement
The presence of hydrogen can develop tremendous presence and the effects of hydrogen during welding can
stress when present in welds and their heat-affected cause cracking of the base metal (under-bead cracking)
zones in low-alloy steels (heat treatable) such as HY-80, or weld metal immediately or several days after the weld
HY-100, AISI-4130, AISI-8630, and AISI-4340. The was completed. Thus comes the term delayed cracking.

83
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

The presence of hydrogen causes a drastically localized 200°F minimum preheats and interpass temperatures are
loss of ductility in ferritic welds and their heat-affected not suitable for all base metals.
zones. Classical cracks are transverse across the weld de-
posit. Hydrogen may also contribute to other types of Hold the Weld at Interpass Temperature
cracks such as longitudinal cracks and localized cluster
cracks depending on the restraint and environmental con-
after Welding
ditions. Techniques and procedures that a welder must The weld and the adjacent base metal should be held
use to minimize cracks are: near the maximum interpass temperature for at least one
(1) Minimize the amount of hydrogen available to the hour after welding; and on heavy sections, 24 hours is
molten weld metal. highly desirable to permit hydrogen to diffuse from the
weld without developing cracks.
(2) Allow hydrogen to escape from the weld and the
HAZ.

Minimizing the Available Amount of


Techniques for Allowing Hydrogen to Hydrogen to the Weld Deposit
Escape from Welds Welds should be made with the lowest hydrogen con-
tent materials available. Weld electrodes must be kept
Deposit Thin Beads clean, dry and properly stored in a heated, vented oven
when not in use. Welds should be made only on clean
Thin weld passes allow hydrogen to escape much and dry base metals. All sources of hydrogen should be
more rapidly than thick weld beads, because the hydro- minimized.
gen has less distance to travel. The time required for hy-
drogen gas diffusion is a square relationship of the weld (1) Water, rain water, condensed water from torches,
pass thickness. Therefore doubling the weld pass thick- and the atmosphere are all sources of hydrogen.
ness quadruples the time for hydrogen to escape from the (2) Combined water in electrode coatings and fluxes
weld. are sources of hydrogen. Only baking will drive off com-
bined water. Many coatings are hydroscopic and will au-
Time Delay between Deposition of Succes- tomatically absorb moisture out of the air.
sive Weld Passes (3) Paint, grease pencils, oils, wood, paper, shop dirt,
and tape are all potential sources of hydrogen.
Hydrogen escapes most rapidly immediately after a
weld is deposited, probably because of the amount of hy-
drogen present and the elevated temperature of the weld
deposit. It is much more effective to provide hydrogen Welding Processes and their Available
diffusion time between each weld pass than to deposit Hydrogen
several layers of weld metal and then allow time for hy-
drogen to escape. Hydrogen escapes much slower from Of the commonly used welding processes, gas metal
heavy weld buildups. arc welding (GMAW) has a lower amount of hydrogen
available than do the shielded metal arc, flux cored arc or
Closely Control the Preheat and Interpass submerged arc welding. Since SMAW consumes its hy-
droscopic coating during the welding process, higher
Temperature
amounts of hydrogen are available to the molten weld
Maintaining the preheat and interpass temperatures puddle. Flux cored arc welding, like SMAW, has a flux
increases the diffusion of hydrogen from the weld. It is that is consumed in the welding process that may intro-
essential that the preheat soaks completely through the duce hydrogen to the molten weld puddle. Of the arc
base metal thickness. Rapid cooling of the weld deposit welding processes that utilize flux, submerged arc weld-
makes it much more susceptible to cracking. It has been ing requires the greatest amount of concern because of its
reported that at temperatures above 200°F hydrogen em- high flux usage. SAW consumes approximately a pound
brittlement cracking is unlikely to occur. This means that and a half of flux for each pound of weld metal depos-
a minimum preheat temperature of 200°F during welding ited. Also, its weld passes are generally thicker than the
will minimize the possibility of hydrogen-induced crack- other processes, which makes it more difficult for hydro-
ing and also accelerate the removal of hydrogen. However, gen to escape.

84
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Summary of Rules to Minimize ing, paper, wood, grease, and paint will all contribute to
slag formation if they are allowed to contaminate the
Hydrogen Embrittlement Cracking weld joint.
(1) Good housekeeping and proper handling of weld-
ing materials. Cause
(2) Use thin weld beads.
(3) Allow time for hydrogen to escape between weld By far the most common reason for slag inclusions is
passes. incomplete de-slagging of the previous weld layer, leav-
(4) Maintain interpass temperature for up to 24 hours ing slag at sharp re-entrant angles and at the edges of
after welding. weld beads. When an SMAW deposit is made, slag may
(5) Use welding processes that will minimize the tightly adhere to both the start and stop areas, leading to
amount of available hydrogen. slag inclusions. Slag entrapments can be caused by a
number of reasons: lack of operator skill; amperage too
low; improperly prepared weld joints; improper back
gouging; erratic progression; weave too wide; electrode
Slag Inclusions too large; and improper bead placement. There is also a
common misconception by welders that tightly adhering
Definition slag, which is difficult to remove, can be burned out by
A slag inclusion is a non-metallic solid inclusion the next pass by turning up the amperage. This practice is
trapped within weld metal, between weld passes, or be- extremely risky, unreliable, and should not be attempted.
tween the weld metal and the base metal.
Service Impact
Shape Most acceptance standards allow some slag to be con-
Slag inclusions are usually elongated globular shapes. tained within weld deposits but it is limited in size and
However, slag can be found in stringers and in thin or frequency. It is not considered nearly as severe a defect
very thick layers. Slag inclusions can be microscopic in as a crack, since slag is usually globular in shape. It is
size or very much larger, extending through the entire more closely allied to porosity in its effects on service,
thickness of a weld or across a complete layer of weld (as except that slag, when its area becomes significant or its
can be found in submerged arc welds). shape is not globular, will probably affect fatigue perfor-
mance to a greater degree than porosity.
Location
The most common area for slag entrapment is in the Lack of Fusion or Incomplete Fusion
first layer and between the root layer and the second
layer. Slag is also found at sharp re-entrant angles be-
tween weld passes and between weld passes and the base
Definition
metal. Overhead welding is most prone to slag inclusions, This condition exists when there is incomplete fusion
due to the quick freezing slag of smaller weld beads. between the weld metal and a preceding weld deposit or
the weld metal and base metal (fusion that is less than
Sources of Slag complete). Frequently, incomplete fusion appears as
metal-to-metal contact with a thin line between beads
The major source of slag is the flux and electrode
with no metallurgical bonding.
coating used in SMAW, FCAW, and SAW processes.
However, GMAW and GTAW processes may contain
slag inclusions due to metal and silicon oxides. As the Shape
amount of oxygen increases in GMAW shielding gases, On weld cross sections, lack of fusion is usually a
the amount of slag produced increases. Slag can also curved line. On a radiographic image, lack of fusion will
occur with GTAW process, when the molten end of the frequently appear to have a straight portion with a curved
filler metal is removed from the shielding gas and oxides end (a tail).
are formed. The oxides are introduced into the weld pud-
dle when the filler metal is added. Another source of slag Location
is the base metals themselves, since nonmetallic oxides
and nitrides are available to form slag from these materi- Lack of fusion occurs between weld passes, or be-
als. Shop dirt in the form of oxides of burning and goug- tween weld passes and the base metal (see Figure 12.12).

85
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

INCO LETE
FUSION

INCO LETE FUSION

INCO LETE FUSION

INCO LETE FUSION INCO LETE FUSION C

Figure 12.12—Lack of Fusion Locations

Cause Table 12.2—Melting Temperature


The most common cause of incomplete fusion is inad- Comparison Chart—Base Metal
equate welding heat (amperage/current). The heat input vs. Refractory Oxide
from welding must be great enough to melt the base
metal and to allow sufficient time for thin surface oxides Melting Melting
to be removed. Other causes of incomplete fusion are im- Temperature Temperature
Metal (°F) Oxide (°F)
proper travel speeds (too fast or too slow), insufficient
electrode size, improper joint design selection, improper Aluminum 1100 Al2O3 3659
electrode or torch manipulation, improper surface clean-
ing, and improper removal of refractory oxides. Monel® 2400 NiO 3614
Refractory oxides melt at much higher temperatures Inconel® 2525 Cr2O3 4109
than their base metals and are a major cause of incom-
plete fusion, particularly in high-nickel or aluminum al- Titanium 3137 TiO2 3344
loys. The only oxide that melts at a lower temperature
than its metal constituent is iron oxide. Also some filler
metals are alloyed with elements that form refractory ox-
ides, such as: titanium, aluminum, nickel, magnesium
any lack of fusion. Lack of fusion is considered a serious
and chromium. Base metals that readily form refractory
defect when it is open to the surface of a joint. In general,
oxides are: aluminum, Inconel®, copper-nickel, Monel®,
lack of fusion is considered a higher stress concentration
and K-Monel® (see Table 12.2).
factor than slag, due to its linear shape and sharper edges.
Removal of Oxides
Wire brushing has little effect on the removal of
refractory oxides for most metals except aluminum. In
Lack of Penetration
most instances grinding, pickling, or machining is used Definition
to remove oxides. When welding K-Monel® light grind-
ing is frequently required between each layer or every Unintentional, incomplete penetration of a weld
other layer of weld metal. through the thickness of a weld joint.

Service Impact Shape and Location


Some acceptance standards permit lack of fusion in Lack of penetration is the unfused or unpenetrated
welds. However, other acceptance standards do not permit portion of a weld joint (see Figure 12.13).

86
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

INCO LETE O INT E NET ATION INCO LETE O INT E NET ATION

Figure 12.13—Incomplete Penetration

Cause
Lack of penetration is most commonly caused by im-
proper weld joint selection for the weld process used, or
the use of improper welding parameters such as: welding
amperage too low, improper travel speeds, improper po-
larity, improper filler metal selection, improper filler
metal manipulation, or improper backgouging. Another
error is sometimes just forgetting to weld the opposite
side of a weld joint. Weld joint designs must be properly
selected for the base metal, filler metal, and welding pro-
cess used. The welding arc penetration and the weld pud-
dle fluidity depend on these conditions. Unlike mild
steel, low-alloy steels, and stainless steels, high-nickel
and copper alloys do not spread or wet easily.
Figure 12.14—Locations of Porosity
Service Impact
Few codes permit lack of penetration when a full pen-
etration weld is required. Lack of penetration is a very se-
rious discontinuity when fatigue is involved (particularly
when the axis of the discontinuity is transverse to primary Location
stress). Lack of penetration has resulted in a large per-
Porosity is always located within the weld deposit.
centage of service failures involving ship hulls, piping
Lack of visual porosity on a weld surface is not an indi-
systems, pressure vessels, and machinery components.
cation of a porosity-free weld.
Lack of fusion that is totally enclosed within a weld is not
nearly as hazardous as lack of penetration open to a joint
surface (i.e., a one-sided joint weld). However, when Cause
properly selected for service, partial penetration joints
welded from one side are desirable joint designs. Porosity is caused when there is not enough time for
the gas bubble to escape the molten weld metal before
the puddle solidifies. Porosity can be formed by any vol-
Porosity atile material being trapped within molten metal; gas
evolving out of the weld from elements that were in solu-
Definition tion at a higher temperature; the reduction of metal ox-
ides or nitrides; chemical reactions that create sulfur
Porosity is a void or gas pocket contained within a dioxide or carbon monoxide gas; and entrapment of
weld. The gas is entrapped within the weld during the so- shielding gas. In some metals like aluminum, gaseous el-
lidification process (see Figure 12.14). ements (most likely hydrogen) will come out of solution
near the solidifying dendrites growing into the liquid
Shape metal. The liquid metal cannot keep the element in
The most common shape is spherical; however, poros- solution as the puddle cools and solidifies, so the element
ity can be elongated and extend from one weld pass into collects into a gas pocket. Hydrogen is 20 times more
another. soluble in molten aluminum than in solid aluminum.

87
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Sources of porosity include:


• Moisture in electrode coatings or fluxes.
UNDERCUT
• Shop dirt contamination of the weld joint.
• Paint. UNDERCUT
• Oil.
UNDERCUT
• Rust (oxides and nitrides).
• Free machining constituents of metals such as sulfur
OVERLAP OVERLAP
or selenium.
• Excessive welding arc lengths that aspirate atmo-
spheric gas.
• Inadequate purging of equipment that uses external
shielding gases.
• Excessive amperage that will disrupt the shielding gas.
• Poorly maintained equipment. Figure 12.15—Undercut
• Travel speeds that are too high or too low, etc.
Porosity can come from so many sources that it is
sometimes difficult to identify the contributing source that undercut would contribute to a weld-associated fail-
and resolve the problem. ure other than for critical fatigue applications. The thin-
There is a common misconception among welders ner the base metal, the more likely it is that undercut may
that porosity can be burned out by the following pass, affect the service of the weldment.
however, this technique rarely works.

Service Impact Tungsten Inclusions


Nearly every acceptance standard permits some po-
rosity to be present within a weld. Although welds have Definition
been removed from service with extensive amounts of
Particles of tungsten in a weld or in the adjacent base
porosity, it is very rare to find porosity leading to service
metal surface deposited from the electrode used in the
failures, particularly if the amount of porosity is within
gas tungsten arc welding process (see Figure 12.16).
acceptance standard limits.
Shape
Undercut (Including Root Undercut) The tungsten inclusions may appear as globular
shapes or as splintered or flaked pieces. The inclusions
Definition, Shape and Location may occur in clusters or widely distributed particles. The
size of the inclusions may range from several thou-
Undercut is an intermittent or continuous narrow sandths of an inch to pieces larger than the tungsten elec-
groove, immediately adjacent to a weld toe, that has been trode diameter.
melted into the base metal and not subsequently filled by
weld metal. Undercut is always a groove that is left Location
below the adjacent base metal surface. Undercut may be
on either or both faces of a weld, even if the weld was Inclusions can be located completely within the weld
made from only one side (see Figure 12.15). deposit, on the weld surface, or on the adjacent base
metal surface. They most frequently occur at arc starts.
Service Impact
Cause
Undercut has a direct effect on weld performance in
fatigue loading of critical applications. Acceptance stan- Tungsten inclusions may be caused by excessive am-
dards typically specify that undercut shall not exceed perage for the size of tungsten, dipping the tungsten in
1/64 in.; however, some standards allow undercut to the weld puddle, touching the tungsten with the filler
1/32 in. deep or 10% of the thickness of the base metal, metal, improperly ground tungsten, linear ruptures in the
whichever is less. Other codes may state only that the tungsten as received from the manufacturer, tungsten
welds are to be reasonably free from undercut. It is rare stickout too long, or inadequate shielding gas flow.

88
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Figure 12.16—Tungsten Inclusions

Alternating current (ac) requires larger tungsten diam- Shape


eter than does direct current (dc) straight polarity because
of higher electrode heat input. A tungsten diameter in- It appears as a localized disturbance of the metal sur-
crease of 0.001 in. is recommended for every 1.25 amps face and exists as a single spot or multiple spots, usually
of alternating current. Usually one size larger tungsten is with some alignment (see Figure 12.17). Convexity and
recommended for a-c welding than is used for the same undercutting may exist with the arc strikes. Small fis-
amperage range with dc. sures (cracks) and porosity may also exist.

Note: Tungsten inclusions cannot be burned out of a Location


weld by increasing welding current and rewelding over
the area. Tungsten melts at 6120°F, which is more than Arc strikes may be found on the finished weld or base
3000°F higher than the melting temperatures of most metal surface. Arc strikes made in weld joints or on inte-
common metals. Tungsten inclusions must be removed by rior weld passes that will be welded over are usually not
grinding or machining.

Service Impact
Tungsten is considered to have a similar effect on ser-
vice as porosity. Service failures associated with tungsten
are rare, even where the amounts on tungsten exceeded
the acceptance standard. Tungsten inclusions are usually
accepted to the same standard as porosity.

Arc Strikes
Definition
An arc strike is caused by unintentional melting or
heating of a finished weld or base metal surface by an
electric current. It results in a localized weld and heat-
affected zone (HAZ). Figure 12.17—Arc Strikes

89
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

of concern. However, if the arc strikes are extensive, light


grinding of the surface may be advisable.

Cause
Arc strikes may be caused by improper manipulation
of the electrode, loose ground clamps, and low amperage
that causes sticking and dragging of the welding elec-
trode. Even magnetic particle inspection prods can cause
arc strikes, if improperly used.

Service Impact
Arc strikes are critical on heat-treatable steels. An arc
strike area creates a hardened weld and HAZ due to the
extremely rapid quenching caused by the surrounding
metal. Arc strikes should not be permitted on high-speed Figure 12.18—Spatter
rotating shafts particularly if they are made of quench-
hardenable steel. Some standards may require that all arc
strikes and associated HAZ be removed by grinding.
Arc strike protection of the base metal adjacent to the
weld joint is a good practice and should be maintained
for critical applications. Service Impact
Excessive spatter could mask a defect during weld in-
spections and in those areas it must be removed. Some
Spatter standards exclude the presence of weld spatter. Spatter
should be considered similar to arc strikes for highly
hardenable heat-treatable metals that are subject to severe
Definition fatigue loads, such as high-speed rotating shafts.
Globular metal particles that are ejected from the
welding arc area. Weld spatter does not form an inten-
tional part of the weld.
Crater Pit
Shape
Spatter is usually spherical or globular in shape.
Definition, Shape, and Location
A crater pit is usually a circular-shaped depression. It
is a cavity that extends down into a weld at its termina-
Location
tion site (weld stop).
Weld spatter may or may not attach or weld itself to
the existing weld or the adjacent base metal (see Figure
12.18). Cause
Crater pits are caused by a volumetric contraction of
Cause molten metal during solidification and lack of filler metal
to fill the void. It is usually the result of abruptly remov-
The most frequent causes of weld spatter include: ex- ing the welding arc or not using current decay with
cessive welding current; arc length too long; or short cir- GTAW. It may be minimized by gradually reducing the
cuiting the welding arc causing a high surge of welding weld current (current decay) at the weld stop, increasing
current that will expel weld spatter. Some spatter is nor- the travel speed, gradually withdrawing the welding arc,
mal with most welding processes except submerged arc or adding additional filler metal at the termination site of
welding and gas tungsten arc welding. GTAW welds.

90
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

Service Impact Root Centerline Crease


Unless crater pits have cracks or other associated weld An intermittent or continuous shallow linear groove
defects, they are not expected to cause in-service failures. (centerline crease) concavity formed by distortion or up-
Crater pits are not addressed by most acceptance standards. setting of the root surface by subsequent weld passes.

Burn-Through Melt-Through
A root surface or base metal irregularity on a consum-
A void or hole fused and extending into the surface on
able insert or closed root full penetration joint resulting
the back side of a consumable insert weld, a backing
in fusion completely through a localized region without
strap weld, or open root weld. Droplets of metal may
development of a void or opening. The melt-through may
stick out from this burn-through area.
or may not be associated with the weld root.

Incomplete Insert Melting Oxidation


Incomplete melting of the consumable insert either Root surface oxidation results from partial or com-
with or without the fusion between the insert and the plete lack of purge of atmospheric gases and moisture
base metal along one or both sides of the consumable in- from heated or molten weld metal on the root surface of a
sert (see Figure 12.19). weld joint (see Figure 12.20). This condition may be in
the form of a slight oxidation, a heavy black scale, or an
extremely rough crinkled appearance. Similar conditions
result on the weld face when drafts of air displace the arc
shielding gas and permit oxidation.

Root Concavity
A root surface depression or concavity that may be
ORIGINAL INSERT due to gravity (weld segment in the overhead position),
NOT MELTED surface tension, or too high of an internal purge pressure
on the molten metal. Also, distortion caused by subse-
quent weld passes can cause concavity of the root pass. It
is controlled by using the proper joint design, the correct

INSERT NOT
COMPLETELY MELTED

WELD JOINT INSERT


COMPLETELY MELTED

Figure 12.19—Incomplete Melting Figure 12.20—Oxidation

91
SECTION 12—DEFECTS AND DISCONTINUITIES OF WELDING

size consumable insert, and proper welding parameters


(i.e., amperage, travel speed, and purge pressure).

Root Convexity
Root weld reinforcement (convexity) that is beyond
the base metal surface which may be due to gravity (weld
segment in the flat position), surface tension, or low in-
ternal purge pressure effects on molten metal (see Figure
12.21). Also, distortion caused by subsequent weld passes
can cause convexity of the root pass. It is controlled by
using the proper joint design, the correct size consum-
able insert, and proper welding parameters (i.e., amper-
age, travel speed, and purge pressure).
Figure 12.21—Convexity
References/Recommended Reading
List
American Welding Society. Guide for Nondestructive In- ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Visual In-
spection of Welds (B1.10). Miami, Fla.: American spection and Weld Discontinuities (PHB-2). Miami,
Welding Society. Fla.: American Welding Society.

———. Guide for Visual Inspection of Welds (B1.11). ———. Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding
Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society. Technology (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American Weld-
ing Society.
———. Practical Reference Guide for Radiographic In-
spection Acceptance Criteria (PRG). Miami, Fla.: ———. Welding Inspection (WI-80). Miami, Fla.: Amer-
American Welding Society. ican Welding Society.
———. Standard Methods for Mechanical Testing of ———. Welding Inspection Technology (WIT). Miami,
Welds (B4.0). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society. Fla.: American Welding Society.

92
SECTION 13
Nondestructive
Examination

Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 94

When Should NDE Be Performed?................................................................................................................................ 94

Nondestructive Examination Methods .......................................................................................................................... 94

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................. 102

93
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

Section 13—Nondestructive Examination

Introduction repair, base metal defect repair, and other repair welding
should be inspected prior to welding. A nondestructive
The field of Nondestructive Examination (NDE) pro- test of the repair area and surrounding material can be
vides methods to measure or detect soundness criteria used to determine the extent of defects and ensure part
placed on material by design requirements. soundness before repair welding begins.
NDE gathers this information through testing, in such
a way as to not adversely affect the serviceability of the Finished Product Inspection
material; hence, the term nondestructive testing.
Quality cannot be inspected into a material; however, With the proper selection and application of various
NDE can ensure that the material has acquired quality at- NDE methods, NDE can provide overall quality assur-
tributes. The proper selection and application of NDE to ance of the finished product.
key phases of fabrication or assembly can save time, ma-
terial, and money, as well as provide assurance that de-
In-Service Inspection
sign requirements are met. Maintenance inspection can be scheduled to meet the
service needs of a product. Monitoring of known and
suspected wear and stress areas with NDE can determine
When Should NDE be Performed? the frequency of service required.
When to perform an inspection can be as important as
selecting an NDE method. After a designer has com-
pleted the selection of materials and determined an as- Nondestructive Test Methods
sembly design, it becomes the fabricator’s responsibility There is a wide variety of NDE methods available to-
to meet those requirements. To do this, inspection mile day. More than one may be used on the same weldment.
markers are essential. The various test methods do not necessarily compete
with each other. For detailed military requirements see
Receipt Inspection
MIL-STD-271 and MIL-STD-278. The following sec-
Raw materials that meet specification requirements tions present a brief overview of major NDE methods.
are essential for high-quality fabrication. Various NDE
methods often provide a quick and relatively inexpensive Visual Inspection Testing (VT)
way to verify the material’s properties or identification.
VT provides important information about weld con-
When material problems or discrepancies are caught at
formance and practical quality control. VT uses trained
this stage, rather than during fabrication or in service,
observation and attention to requirements as the primary
savings of time and money can be immense.
inspection criteria. Although visual inspection is exclu-
sively a surface application, experience and training can
In-Process Inspection
reveal discontinuities such as surface porosity and some
During fabrication, visual inspection of the joint de- types of surface cracks, weld bead contour and rough-
signs, weld preparations, and the deposited weld metal ness, bead placement, residual slag and oxide films, un-
provides evidence of a quality product. In-process in- dercut, joint misalignment, and other indicators of
spection ensures that quality is built into an assembly and potential inferior quality. Adequate lighting, cleaning of
can reduce final inspection requirements. Welding appli- inspection area, and specific inspection standards are re-
cations that involve weld buildup for corrosion or wear quired to effectively ensure quality. See Table 13.1.

94
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

developer is applied, the dye that bleeds out of the dis-


Table 13.1 continuities provides a visible indication of the flaw.
Visual Inspection Testing PT is typically used to inspect forgings, castings, ex-
Advantages Disadvantages trusions, and weldments of most solid, nonporous mate-
rials. The surface being inspected must be sufficiently
Best method for detecting weld Limited to surface and smooth to allow removal of excess dye without over
bead contour and roughness, weld alignment attributes. cleaning the test surface. If open to the inspection sur-
bead placement, residual slag, face, all weld and base metal defects can be detected in-
undercut, and joint misalignment. No easily recordable
permanent record. cluding cracks, lack of bond, cold shuts, edge lamination,
Minimal equipment required. shrinkage areas, laps, and open porosity. The portability
Cannot reliably detect of PT materials make them an ideal tool for field inspec-
Very fast and economical to use. some types of surface tion. See Table 13.2.
cracks.
Results are obtained immediately. Precleaning
Does not interfere with other work The test surface must be cleaned (usually with isopro-
in the area.
pyl alcohol) to remove contaminants to allow the pene-
Results are obtained immediately. trant to penetrate surface discontinuities (see Figure 13.1).

VT inspection acceptance criteria must first be de-


fined. VT provides a simple method of examination with Table 13.2
diverse applications and can be used in all phases of fab- Penetrant Testing
rication. Welders and fitters should continuously com-
Advantages Disadvantages
pare their product to the fabrication requirements. In-
process observations should include joint alignment, the Well suited to nonmagnetic Detection is limited to
presence of cracks and surface porosity, the condition of materials that cannot be discontinuities open to the test
the weld crater, weld bead contour and placement, and inspected with MT. surface.
weld size.
Inspection materials/ Temperatures are restricted
In addition to a clean inspection area, lighting and sur- equipment are relatively (typically 50 to 100°F) but high-
face finish are important factors for visual inspection. low cost, easy to use, and temperature penetrants, up to
Background lighting should be supplemented with a por- highly portable. 500°F, are available.
table light directed at the inspection area. The light should
be moved as a pointer to focus attention as the inspection Test results are easy to Post cleaning of penetrant and
interpret. developer is required.
progresses. Areas that are questionable and need addi-
tional attention should be marked and inspected again. Results are obtained Some penetrants are flammable
Poor surface finish may mask surface discontinuities. immediately. and some require special disposal.
It is recommended that paint be removed and the inspec-
Complex equipment not Some inspection materials can be
tion preparation be extended a minimum of 1 in. beyond required. corrosive to sensitive base metals.
the weld, or as required by the fabrication standard.
The following tests are often helpful aids to VT: Personnel are easy to train. Inspection process is time
consuming (typically one hour per
(1) Visual. Color and written codes help identify ma- No practical limit to inspection).
terial composition and characteristics. specimen size.
Coatings such as paint and scale
(2) Magnification. It is often beneficial to use mag-
Capable of detecting very must be removed prior to
nification as an aid to VT. However, it should be used for small (0.003) linear and inspection.
acceptance only where specified in the inspection rounded indications.
requirements. No easily recordable permanent
Does not interfere with record of actual surface
other work in the area. indications.
Penetrant Testing (PT)
Rough and porous surfaces can
A liquid penetrant (dye) is applied to the surface being hide actual indications and create
inspected, which penetrates any discontinuities open to false indications.
the surface. When the excess penetrant is removed and a

95
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

Figure 13.1—Cleaned Test Surface Figure 13.2—Penetrant on Test Surface


and in Crack

Applying Penetrant
After the cleaners have evaporated, a liquid penetrant
is applied and allowed time to penetrate discontinuities
by capillary action (see Figure 13.2). Both color contrast
dye, which can be seen with visible light, and fluorescent
dye, which can only be seen with ultraviolet light, are
commonly used, depending on the specific application.

Removing Excess Penetrant


The excess penetrant not remaining in the discontinui-
ties is removed (see Figure 13.3). There are three basic
categories of penetrants based on the method of their re-
moval: post emulsifier, which becomes water soluble Figure 13.3—Excess Penetrant Removed
after the emulsifier has been applied; solvent washable,
which requires solvents to remove the penetrant; and
washable, which is removed with water.

Applying Developer
The developer is evenly applied on the test surface.
Adequate time is allowed for it to act as a “blotter” for
the discontinuity (see Figure 13.4). The test surface is
then examined with visible light, when color contrast
dyes are used, or with ultraviolet light, when fluorescent
dyes are used.

Postcleaning
After the test surface has been evaluated, it is cleaned
(usually with isopropyl alcohol) to remove the developer Figure 13.4—Visible Indication after
and any remaining penetrant. Application of Developer

96
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

Magnetic Particle Testing (MT)


A magnetic field (flux) is applied to the inspection
area (see Figure 13.5). The field is maintained while an
iron oxide powder is evenly applied to the surface. If a
discontinuity causes a sufficiently strong disruption (flux
leakage) of the magnetic field, it will attract the iron par-
ticles. The stronger the flux leakage, the stronger the
forces of magnetic attraction (see Figure 13.6). The
greatest flux leakage occurs when the major dimension
of the discontinuity is perpendicular to the direction of
the magnetic lines of force. Conversely, where there is no
disruption of the field, the particles are easily removed
by blowing them off with regulated air (when using dry
MT method) or by letting them flow off with a liquid me-
dium (when using the wet MT method) (see Figure 13.7).
Figure 13.5—U-Shaped Magnet in
When the field is oriented at 45 degrees or greater from
perpendicular, the flux leakage is undependable for dis-
Contact with a Ferromagnetic Material
continuity detection. For that reason, the field must be Containing a Discontinuity
oriented in at least two directions (angled at from 30 to
45 degrees from each other) to ensure adequate flux leak-
age. The MT method is limited to the inspection of ferro-
magnetic materials and can detect surface and (under
certain conditions) near-surface discontinuities. MT is
typically used to inspect ferromagnetic castings, weld-
ments, extrusions, forgings, and components subject to
cracking. See Table 13.3.

Precleaning
Usually grinding or “needle gunning” to remove
paint, slag, and scale is sufficient precleaning. The iron
particles must be allowed to migrate freely across the in-
Figure 13.6—Throat Crack in a
spection surface.
Fillet Weld Root
Applying the Magnetic Particles
The iron oxide particles are applied to the surface of
the test area while the electrical current is still producing
the magnetic field. There are two widely used methods of
doing this:
(1) Dry Method—in which a thin, even coat of dry
iron oxide particles are sprinkled or dusted onto the sur-
face. There are a choice of colors available to provide a
color contrast on the test surface.
(2) Wet Method—in which iron oxide particles are
suspended in water, kerosene or a petroleum distillate.
The liquid is allowed to flow onto the test surface. Flo-
rescent coatings are usually added to the particles to en-
hance their visibility.

Establishing the Magnetic Field


There are four primary methods used to establish the Figure 13.7—Direct Method
magnetic field within the part being inspected. The (Longitudinal Magnetism)

97
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

Table 13.3
Magnetic Particle Testing
Advantages Disadvantages

Inspection materials Limited to ferromagnetic materials.


and equipment are
relatively low cost, An electrical power source is
easy to use, and required.
highly portable.
No easily recordable permanent
Test results are easy to record.
interpret.
Multiple inspections (angled 30 to
Results are obtained 45 degrees from each other) may be
immediately. required in order to detect all linear Figure 13.8—Central Conductor
discontinuities. (Circular Magnetism)
Personnel are easy
and economical to Degaussing may be required
train. (especially for machinery
applications).
Inspection time is
relatively short. Does not reliably detect rounded are most easily detected. Defects oriented perpendicular
discontinuities. to the length of the central conductor cannot be detected
No practical limit to with this method since the direction of the magnetic field
specimen size. Inaccurate interpretation of
cannot be maneuvered beyond that as shown.
nonrelevant indications may result
Other work in the area from changes in:
is not disturbed. • Sectional geometry.
(3) Wrapped Coil Method. A magnetic field can be
• Heat treatment. established by placing a wire coil around a longitudinal
• Magnetic permeability. part. As the current flows through the coil, a longitudinal
• Magnetic writing. field is set up around the conductor and within the part.
Linear discontinuities lying perpendicular to the axis of
the part are most easily detected. Defects oriented in line
with the length of the part cannot be detected with this
geometry of the part and defect orientation usually deter- method, since the direction of the magnetic field cannot
mine which method or methods are used to inspect a be maneuvered beyond that as shown.
given part.
(4) Yoke Method. A magnetic field can be estab-
(1) Direct Method. A magnetic field can be estab- lished as shown in Figure 13.9 by placing a yoke in con-
lished as shown in Figure 13.8 by passing an a-c or d-c tact with the flat surface of the part. When coupled with
current directly into the test area with electrodes placed the part, the magnetic field in the yoke induces a corre-
in contact with the part. The magnetic flux lines within sponding field in the part. No current from the yoke
the part run perpendicular to the current path that flows flows into the part. The magnetic flux lines within the
between the two electrodes. Linear discontinuities lying part flow between the two ends of the yoke. Linear dis-
parallel with a line connecting the two electrodes are continuities lying perpendicular to the line connecting
most easily detected. This method is best suited to flat the yoke ends are most easily detected.
surfaces. Care must be taken when testing certain materi-
als with high hardenability to avoid moving the elec- Removing the Excess Magnetic Particles
trodes while the current is flowing. This can result in arc
strikes which result in very small, and potentially very While the electrical current is still producing the mag-
hard, heat-affected zones. netic field, the excess particles are blown off with low-
(2) Central Conductor Method. A magnetic field pressure air (when the dry method is used) or they are al-
can be established by placing a central conductor within lowed to run off (when the wet method is used). If done
a hollow cylindrical part. As the current flows through properly, only the particles attracted by the flux leakage
the conductor, a cylindrical magnetic field is set up will remain. After the test surface has been evaluated, it
around the conductor and within the part. Linear discon- is easily cleaned, usually by brushing or wiping, to re-
tinuities lying perpendicular with the central conductor move any remaining particles.

98
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

Figure 13.10—Sound Deflection


from a Discontinuity

tered by internal conditions and the geometric shape of


the test piece. A rapid succession of pulses (creating a
beam) are received and displayed on a cathode ray tube
(CRT) (for thickness measurements, a digital display
Figure 13.9—Yoke Method may be used) as spikes (blips). The blips (or lack of
blips) are evaluated as to their horizontal distance on the
CRT, their height, and their shape. These CRT presenta-
tions in turn are compared to known physical standards.
Discontinuity Detection Like miniature sonar, UT can be used to detect, locate,
and in some cases describe the shape of discontinuities.
MT may be used to detect many surface and near- See Table 13.4.
surface discontinuities in ferromagnetic materials. These
include all types of cracks, voids, inclusions and lamina- Applications
tions. As these discontinuities become closer to the sur-
face and sharper (less rounded) they become easier to In addition to being able to detect the discontinuities
detect. mentioned below, UT can be used to accurately measure
thickness, loss of thickness, determine soundness, inves-
Ultrasonic Testing (UT) tigate attachment location, determine bond quality, and
determine liquid levels. It can do so by passing through
Pulses of ultrahigh-frequency sound are produced plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, and other materials from
when a pulsed electrical current is used to “shock” a one side only.
piezoelectric transducer (search unit) (see Figure 13.10).
The pulses are dissipated rapidly in air; therefore, they Ultrasonic Wave Types
must be coupled onto the test piece through a liquid,
couplant medium. The transducer is then electrically Both longitudinal and shear waves are commonly
switched to receive (or another search unit can be desig- used for ultrasonic inspection. Longitudinal waves are
nated to receive) the reflected pulses which have been al- propagated into the test material at an angle normal to its

99
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

Table 13.4
Eddy Current Testing (ET)
Ultrasonic Testing ET is a NDE method whereby a coil, energized with
high-frequency alternating current, produces an alter-
Advantages Disadvantages nating magnetic field which is introduced into the test ma-
Modern equipment is High initial cost for equipment terial (see Figure 13.11). The field induces alternating
highly sensitive, and training. currents (eddy currents) in the metal. The eddy currents, in
programmable and turn, produce a weaker, alternating magnetic field which
portable. Equipment is complex and opposes the primary field. A second coil, used as a refer-
fragile. ence, is electrically “bridged” (i.e., inserted into a com-
Results are obtained
immediately. Considerable operator skill and mercial Wheatstone induction bridge configuration) with
experience is required to the primary coil. As the primary coil is moved across the
Internal discontinuities in interpret the results. test material, the bridge electrically “compares” both coils.
the proper orientation are If the eddy current field moves within range of a disconti-
easily detected. The test surface must physically nuity or change in material properties, the magnitude and
conform to the search unit
Accurate location of the contact surface, grinding and direction of the eddy currents are altered. This change of
discontinuity. paint removal may be necessary. eddy current density changes the inductive reactance of
the primary coil. These variations are registered on an out-
Access is required from Poor surface and near-surface put device and, depending on the sensitivity of the electri-
one side only. resolution. cal instrumentation, can be used to locate discontinuities
Excellent sensitivity. Linear discontinuities lying or variations in the test material. Due to the “skin effect”
parallel to the plate surface are of both the eddy currents and the primary current, the coil
Process can be automated readily detected. is limited to detecting surface and near-surface parameters.
for rapid inspection of The depth of effective penetration is determined by the pri-
plate and bar stock. No easily recordable permanent mary coil power output and frequency. See Table 13.5.
record.
Linear discontinuities
lying perpendicular to the Large grain metal castings
plate surface are readily (i.e., 300 series stainless) can be
detected. difficult to inspect.

surface. They are mainly used for thickness and sound-


ness examination. Shear waves are introduced into the
test material at an angle offset from normal to the sur-
face. Shear wave frequency is much greater than that of
longitudinal frequencies. For that reason, their resolving
power is also much greater. Discontinuities whose major
dimension is oriented parallel to the ultrasound path are
difficult to detect with both wave types. Very thin materi-
als are also difficult to examine with longitudinal and
shear waves.
Ultrasonic shear waves are able to detect:
• Internal cracks and surface cracks on far side only.
• Cold shuts.
• Porosity.
• Nonmetallic inclusions.
• Voids.
Ultrasonic longitudinal waves are able to detect:
• Laminations.
• Porosity.
• Nonmetallic inclusions. Figure 13.11—Induced Eddy Currents in
• Voids. Test Object

100
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

practical depth of detection, which is typically no more


Table 13.5 than 1/4 in.
Eddy Current Testing
Advantages Disadvantages Radiographic Testing (RT)
A permanent record can be The depth of the inspection area RT uses the penetrating power of X-rays or gamma
produced with special com- is limited to about 1/4 inch rays to produce an image of the interior conditions of the
puter techniques. (depending on the frequency of test material on film (see Figure 13.12). The material is
the primary coil). positioned between the source of radiation and a piece of
Equipment is low to
moderate cost and portable. Some types of equipment are
unexposed film. After going through the test material,
expensive and complex. the rays expose the film. The film is developed, revealing
Some techniques are easily any change in thickness of the material by the variation
automated. Some techniques require of shades of gray (film density) of the film. The pattern
expensive training. and degree of variation in film density is used to deter-
Some techniques/
procedures allow the paint The final evaluation is
mine the type, size, and position of the discontinuity, and
to remain on the test dependent on inspector ultimately determine its acceptability. See Table 13.6.
surface. interpretation. RT is capable of detecting all of the discontinuities
detectable with VT, MT, PT, and also most subsurface
Some techniques allow the The surface must be sufficiently discontinuities, some of which may not be detectable
inspection surface to be smooth and clean to keep the
wet, oily, or greasy if the test coil at a consistent distance with UT. RT is most sensitive to discontinuities whose
primary coil is waterproof. from the surface. major dimension is aligned with the source beam,
whereas UT is most sensitive to discontinuities whose
major dimension is perpendicular to the sound beam.

Limitations
Applications
The application of RT for weld inspection is largely
ET can be used to identify and classify materials by dependent on the location of the joint in the weldment,
comparing them to a standard. Thickness measurements the joint configuration, and section thickness. These fac-
of thin sheet materials and nonconductive coatings are tors may combine to limit the best use of RT and favor
also common. Surface and subsurface discontinuities can another method. One of the primary limitations of RT is
also be detected which may be related to welding or its difficulty in detecting cracks or other closed disconti-
other fabrication processes. nuities which are not aligned with the source beam. Mul-
tiple shots at various angles can be used to detect most
Advantages
The primary advantage of ET over other methods is
that it can be completely automated and produce accurate
results at high speeds without ever contacting the part
being tested. ET is, therefore, especially well suited to
continuous production lines. Another advantage is that
the signal generated by ET is often proportional to the
size of the discontinuity detected.

Limitations
Surface cleanliness is important for accurate results,
since any magnetic particles on the surface may cause
nonrelevant indications. The major limitation of ET is
that the primary coil design must be compatible with the
part geometry and defect or attribute type being investi-
gated. Care must also be used when calibrating the ET
equipment with a reference standard as this will deter- Figure 13.12—Orientation of Radiation
mine the accuracy of the results. Another limitation is the Source, Test Plate, and Radiographic Film

101
SECTION 13—NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION

cially true for field work. For these reasons, RT should


Table 13.6 only be required where absolutely necessary. When prop-
Radiographic Testing erly trained personnel use well-maintained equipment
Advantages Disadvantages according to approved procedures, RT is a safe and via-
ble NDE method that plays a valuable role in assuring
Permanent records easily High initial cost for equipment that the required quality is obtained.
obtained. and training.

Internal discontinuities in An electrical power source is


the proper orientation are required (except gamma). References/Recommended Reading
easily detected.
High hazard potential.
List
Excellent sensitivity. American Welding Society. Guide for Nondestructive In-
Laminations and other linear spection of Welds (B1.10). Miami Fla.: American
Wide variety of materials discontinuities lying parallel to
may be tested. the plate surface are difficult to Welding Society.
detect.
———. Guide for Visual Inspection of Welds (B1.11).
Linear discontinuities lying
perpendicular to the plate Considerable time required Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
surface are easily detected. for setup, exposure, and
———. Practical Reference Guide for Radiographic In-
interpretation of results.
spection Acceptance Criteria (PRG). Miami, Fla.:
American Welding Society.
———. Standard Methods for Mechanical Testing of
Welds (B4.0). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
discontinuities; however, due to limited accessibility,
multiple shots are often not possible. When cracks are ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Visual In-
suspected to occur in a critical applications, another spection and Weld Discontinuities—Causes and Rem-
NDE method such as UT may be a better choice. edies (PHB-2). Miami, Fla.: American Welding
Society.

Radiation Hazard ———. Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding


Technology (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American Weld-
One unique disadvantage with RT is that radiation ex- ing Society.
posure to humans can result in permanent injury and
———. Welding Inspection (WI-80). Miami, Fla.: Amer-
death, without the individual ever knowing they were ex-
ican Welding Society.
posed. The necessary precautions that must be taken to
protect the health of workers in the area accounts for ———. Welding Inspection Technology (WIT). Miami,
much of the expense associated with RT. This is espe- Fla.: American Welding Society.

102
SECTION 14
Information
for the Welder

Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................... 104

Material .......................................................................................................................................................................... 104

Filler Material ................................................................................................................................................................ 104

Welding Process ............................................................................................................................................................. 104

Quality Control and Quality Assurance ...................................................................................................................... 105

Weld Size and Penetration ............................................................................................................................................ 105

Distortion Control.......................................................................................................................................................... 105

Standards and Specifications........................................................................................................................................ 105

Welding Department Required Information Facilitated by the Design Engineer/Technical Support .................. 105

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................. 107

103
SECTION 14—INFORMATION FOR THE WELDER

Section 14—Information for the Welder

Introduction welding on metals strengthened by cold rolling or age


hardening will cause substantial loss in strength in the
For the welding department to join components into a HAZ. The chemistry determines the electrode type and
product that will perform in service, the engineer must heat treatment required to achieve the desired mechanical
communicate to the welder the exact requirements of the properties. Although specific information is usually pro-
design and quality control necessary to ensure that the vided by a welding engineer, many machine-shop weld
part is built as designed. To perform this function, the en- repairs require material background by shop supervision
gineer may call on other experts to assist him. The weld- beyond that of the average welder. This additional infor-
ing department would provide information on equipment mation is helpful in making proper weld repairs. If the
and welding skills available to perform the work. The base material is low-alloy steel and is being welded in
metallurgist would provide information on material se- the final heat-treated condition, care must be taken so
lections and their behavior, and provide procedures for that post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) does not exceed
heat treating to achieve the desired mechanical proper- the tempering temperature of the base material. If the
ties. The welding engineer would provide information on item is being heat treated after welding, a welding mate-
welding and provide the welding procedures. Welding rial that will respond similarly to the base material must
procedures can be written to cover a variety of situations be selected. Improper heat treatment can cause loss of
and base material grades. Because of this, details of the mechanical and corrosion-resistant properties.
procedure should be clarified to the welding department
by the design engineer. Documentation requirements
should be detailed on the engineering instruction with
clear direction to access forms or with copies of forms to
Filler Material
be filled out and attached. In most organizations, the The filler material should be specified by the welding
quality assurance requirements are buried deep in corpo- procedure or the engineering instruction. The welding
rate procedures and difficult for the welder to uncover. procedure should be reviewed to ensure that it is clear in
The procedures should be interpreted by the engineer, selecting the correct filler material. Some welding proce-
and details provided to the welder. The term “welder” as dures are written to cover a variety of materials and situ-
used in this section refers to the actual production welder ations and need to be clarified for the welder at time of
or his immediate supervisor. use.

Material Welding Process


A welder must know the base material to determine a Each organization assigns the responsibility of pro-
correct welding procedure. Providing material specifica- cess selection to different groups at different levels of
tions to the welder ensures that he has this information. management. In today’s world of CAD/CAM, productiv-
In some special cases, the production welding supervisor ity improvements, and quality demands, the welding
or welder must know the base material chemistry, along equipment may be preselected by engineering and speci-
with the mechanical requirements. Some specifications fied by the work document. In other cases, the selection
only specify physical requirements, i.e., tensile and yield is left to the production shop foreman or the welder per-
strengths. These types of specifications allow a variety of forming the work. Quality, weld appearance, productiv-
materials to be used for the end product. In other cases, ity, qualifications, welder skills, equipment, and

104
SECTION 14—INFORMATION FOR THE WELDER

available electrode, all can influence the process selec- dimension required. When hardfacing materials or
tion and determine the end product cost. The job may re- corrosion-resistance materials are being applied to im-
quire cleanliness levels to the point that flux and other prove service performance, the minimum material thick-
leftover items cannot be tolerated, e.g., work inside a nu- ness should be specified.
clear plant. A high-quality, but slower welding process
can sometimes be more productive than the faster weld-
ing process that requires rework. The welding instruction Distortion Control
should specify the welding process or specify that the
process is the choice of the welding department. All welding creates distortion, which is caused by
shrinkage of the weld nugget during solidification. Weld-
ing shrinkage cannot be eliminated, but it can be con-
trolled, through design and fabrication methods. The
Quality Control and Quality assembly must be designed to allow for the weld shrink-
Assurance age that will occur. Weld sequencing and restraints can
be used to control the shrinkage in a desired direction.
Quality control and quality assurance can be confus-
Different welding processes will produce a different
ing to the welder. The quality assurance requirements are
amount of shrinkage. In general, the faster the welding
usually specified in some corporate document that is ref-
process and the more weld produced per pass, the less
erenced on the engineering instructions. Because of this,
shrinkage and distortion will occur. Also a smaller joint
the welder gathers quality control information mostly by
design cross section reduces shrinkage. A square butt
word of mouth. It is rare that a welder will spend his time
joint, with no bevel, and welded with the submerged arc
reviewing documents to determine the quality control
process would produce the least amount of shrinkage.
and quality assurance requirements. The welder will usu-
ally seek the information from a person that he knows is
familiar with the work. Surprisingly, this system works
quite well. However, the process can be improved a great Standards and Specifications
deal by providing this information via the work instruc- Specifying standards, specifications, and applicable
tion. Information as to what inspections are required and revisions on the engineering instructions can be helpful in
when, and what documents need to be completed will solving problems and answering unanticipated questions;
help the job progress and avoid costly rework. For qual- also, providing phone numbers of persons or departments
ity control and quality assurance, the more detailed the that have technical authority helps to resolve problems
information to the specific task and the easier it is for a quickly. Most standards cover a variety of work, so it is
welder to understand, the better the job will progress. wise to spell out the category the work fits, i.e., high pres-
Preferably, the welder is given a sheet of specific instruc- sure and temperature piping or low temperature and pres-
tions to accomplish the desired work. The welder should sure piping, such as pressure vessel category. See Figure
also know whether he is qualified to the appropriate stan- 14.1.
dards to perform the work required.

Welding Department Required


Weld Size and Penetration Information Facilitated by the Design
Joint configuration, buildup thickness, and/or weld ef- Engineer/Technical Support
ficiency (i.e., full penetration) should be clearly specified
to the welder. Fillet and partial penetration welds are the Coordinate Decisions with Fabrication Shop
most economical and are frequently used. In most struc- Prior to Issuing Instructions
tural fabrication shops, the routine of using partial pene-
tration welds can cause errors when full penetration (1) Description of work.
welds are required and not clearly identified. This error (2) Drawing numbers.
has caused serious rework in many instances. Proper and (3) Volume of work.
consistent use of welding symbols is imperative and (4) Is process preselected? By whom?
AWS A2.4, Standard Symbols for Welding, Brazing, and (5) Details of selected process/equipment.
Nondestructive Examination, is a national standard. (6) Welding procedure.
Weld buildup, as in machinery repair work, should be (7) Status of welding procedure? Qualified?
specified in final finish dimensions. The welder should (8) Base material specification.
determine how much metal to apply to achieve the finish (9) Base material chemistry (special cases).

105
SECTION 14—INFORMATION FOR THE WELDER

Figure 14.1—Typical WPS

106
SECTION 14—INFORMATION FOR THE WELDER

(10) Base material mechanical requirements (special ———. Suggested Filler Materials for Welding Struc-
cases). tural Steels (chart). Miami, Fla.: American Welding
(11) Base material post weld heat treat requirements. Society.
(12) Filler material. ———. Suggested Preheat Temperatures for Welded
(13) Joint type and weld penetration requirement. Structural Steel Materials (chart). Miami, Fla.: Ameri-
(14) Inspection requirements and when inspection is can Welding Society.
to be performed. ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Arc Welding
(15) Acceptance criteria. Steel (PHB-1). Miami, Fla.: American Welding
(16) Documentation (record) requirements, and who is Society.
required to record and/or certify. ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Gas Metal
(17) Specify the responsible office of the design engi- Arc Welding (GMAW) and Flux Cored Arc Welding
neer, welding engineer, and job specialist. (FCAW) (PHB-4). Miami, Fla.: American Welding
(18) Standards applicable to this job. Society.
(19) Whom to contact when questions arise. ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Gas Metal
Arc Welding (GMAW) of Aluminum (PHB-8). Miami,
Fla.: American Welding Society.
———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Shielded
Bibliography/Recommended Reading Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) (PHB-7). Miami, Fla.:
List American Welding Society.

American Welding Society. WELDPERFECT: The Easy ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Visual In-
Guide to Perfect Welding (WPERF). Miami, Fla.: spection and Weld Discontinuities—Causes and Rem-
American Welding Society. edies (PB-2). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.

———. Joint Weld Terminology and Standard Welding ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook for Visual In-
Symbol Interpretation (textbook). Miami, Fla.: Amer- spection of AWS D1.1, Structural Welding Code—
ican Welding Society. Steel, Fabrication and Welding Requirements (PHB-6).
Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
———. Lens Shade Selector (F2.2). Miami, Fla.: Ameri- ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook on Metric Prac-
can Welding Society. tices for the Welding Industry (PHB-5). Miami, Fla.:
———. Prequalified Joint Details in AWS D1.1, Struc- American Welding Society.
tural Welding Code—Steel (chart). Miami, Fla.: Amer- ———. The Everyday Pocket Handbook on Welded Joint
ican Welding Society. Details for Structural Applications (PHB-3). Miami,
Fla.: American Welding Society.
———. Standard for Welding Procedure and Perfor-
mance Qualification (B2.1). Miami, Fla.: American ———. Welding Symbols (chart). Miami, Fla.: Ameri-
Welding Society. can Welding Society.

107
SECTION 15
Fitting Aids

Contents
Background .................................................................................................................................................................... 110

Current Problems in Fabrication................................................................................................................................. 110

Fitting Aid Categories ................................................................................................................................................... 111

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................. 117

109
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Section 15—Fitting Aids

Background problems during the fabrication process. Edges and sur-


face conditions are not always as they should be and need
The use of fitting aids has been and will continue to to be checked when materials enter the plant. Mill toler-
be an integral part of fabrication. Fitting aids were in use ances are often excessive and can add up during fabri-
when the ancients built the first wooden ships. Since cation, if not found before the material is used. The
then, the methods used for fitting and aligning have cumulative effect of this may result in excessive local-
changed. Over the past one hundred years, materials and ized stress and distortion.
fabrication methods have changed dramatically.
Currently, building materials are mainly ferrous al- Storage and Handling
loys. Non-ferrous metals, composites, and wood are used
in a small portion of the total fabrication. All of these Storage and handling of such materials as plate, pipe,
materials have flaws, inaccuracies, and stresses that will shapes, and castings can have a deleterious effect on sur-
manifest themselves during the fabrication process as face condition and dimensional accuracy if done improp-
distortions of one sort or another. This, and the need to erly. Problems occur when material is handled roughly or
hold and align components, create the basic need for fit- misused while in storage.
ting aids.
It may be said that a fitting aid is a method or device Burning and Cutting
used to hold or align (or both) two or more parts in a pre-
determined location. They may also be used to correct Burning or cutting operations can greatly increase the
distortion while assembling components of structures, accuracy of assemblies if performed correctly. The heat of
and the structures themselves. The ideal situation would cutting may cause shrinkage and other distortions that must
be to use the minimum number of aids possible, but un- be monitored and offset. Edge condition must be held to
fortunately, inherent flaws in the materials and other in- specifications or fitting and welding time will be increased.
fluencing factors seem to prohibit this.
It is important to have a knowledge of the available Forming and Shaping
aids so that an intelligent choice may be made for any
When material is mechanically formed on rolls or simi-
particular application. Current technology, such as line
lar equipment, deformation results. This causes stresses
heating, can dramatically increase the accuracy of parts,
that will, in turn, cause distortion when stresses are relieved
assemblies, and overall fabrication. Use of such technol-
by the heat of welding or cutting, removal of portions of the
ogy should decrease the need for fitting, while increasing
material and any heat treatments. Other than forming parts
productivity.
by line heating, there is little that can be done to eliminate
or reduce stresses set in by mechanical forming. All opera-
tions must be closely watched to ensure accuracy.
Current Problems in Fabrication
The problem of inaccuracy is many-faceted and be- Fitting and Welding
gins before the material enters the plant.
Stresses induced by fitting restraints, large gaps, and
welding are well known. These stresses result in distortion
Foundry and Mill
and deviation from design. These problems can be reduced
Problems start with the way many materials are made. by obtaining precise fitting, reducing the amount of weld-
Stresses from rolling mills and heat treatments can cause ing and sequencing welding to minimize distortion.

110
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Fitting Aid Categories


The fitting aid devices documented herein are classi-
fied by their primary method of mechanical advantage in
their design. Some of the aids shown use a combination
of methods for force application.
• Wedge devices (see Figures 15.1–15.4).
• Threaded devices (see Figures 15.5–15.8). Figure 15.2—Weld-On Saddle
• Hydraulic devices (see Figures 15.9–15.10).
• Pneumatic devices (see Figure 15.11).
• Gear-pulley devices (see Figures 15.12–15.13).
• Magnetic devices (see Figures 15.14–15.15).
• Strongbacks (see Figure 15.16).
• Padeyes, stays, and cables (see Figures 15.17–15.19).
• Jigs, mocks, and fixtures (see Figures 15.20–15.22).

Wedge Devices (Figures 15.1–15.4)


Wedge, a piece of hard material, as wood or metal, ta-
pering from a thick board to a thin edge that can be
driven or forced into a narrow opening. Configurations
are usually made from one-inch-thick steel plate and are
typically 12 in. and 17 in. in length.
Step-Cut Dog, also known as dog, a metal device Figure 15.3—Yoke and Pin
used for holding or backing the force applied by a wedge
or other tool. This device is attached by welding.
Weld-On Saddle, also known as “U” dog yoke and
hairpin, a “U”- or “L”-shaped metal device used in con-
junction with a wedge to straddle and hold one part to
another.
Yoke and Pin, also known as clip and wedge, a flat
metal plate with an oblong hole, used in conjunction with
wedges or bull pins to align edges of plate.
Pulldown, a metal device welded or mechanically
fastened to the part at one end and slotted at the other,
used in conjunction with a wedge and anchor clip to pull
one part toward another.

Figure 15.4—Pulldown

Threaded Devices (Figures 15.5–15.8)


Push-Pull Jack, also known as steamboat jack and
ratchet jack, a device having a ratcheting sleeve with op-
posite internal threads at each end or with an internal
thread at one end and a swivel at the other. The effective
length of the device can be changed by rotating the sleeve
Figure 15.1—Wedge and Step-Cut Dog or swivel.

111
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Figure 15.5—Push-Pull Jack

Turnbuckle, a device having a metal loop or sleeve


with opposite internal threads at each end or with an
internal thread at one end and a swivel at the other. The
effective length of the device can be changed by the
sleeve or swivel.

Jacking Clamp, any number of devices which are


booked or welded having a screw at one end to apply
force for aligning.

Clip and Bolt, a device consisting of an angle support


and a headless bolt, and used to pull parts toward each Figure 15.6—Turnbuckle
other. The angle support and bolt can be welded or me-
chanically fastened.

Portable Hydraulic Ram, also known as Porta-


Hydraulic Devices (Figures 15.9–15.10) power and Enerpack, a hydraulic device having an oil
Hydraulic Jack, also known as buda jack and bottle reservoir and a single- or double-acting cylindrical pis-
jack, a hydraulic and geared device having a single- ton, used for lifting, pushing and holding parts together.
or double-acting cylindrical piston used for hoisting or Used where short reach or stroke is required and in con-
lifting. junction with other devices for fitting.

Figure 15.7—Jacking Clamp

112
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Figure 15.8—Clip and Bolt


Figure 15.10—Portable Hydraulic Ram

Figure 15.11—Vacuum Saddle

Gear-Pulley Devices (Figures 15.12–15.13)


Chainfall, also known as chain hoist, a device having
gears and pulley(s) and operated by chain to obtain
Figure 15.9—Hydraulic Jack mechanical advantage in lifting or pulling.

Come-Along, a device having a ratcheting gear-


pulley arrangement to change the effective length of a
Pneumatic Devices (Figure 15.11) chain for lifting or pulling.
Vacuum Saddle, also known as vacuum jacking
clamp, an air-operated device having suction pads for Magnetic Devices (Figures 15.14–15.15)
gripping relatively smooth surfaces and a “U”- or “L”-
shaped metal structure for straddling and holding parts Magnetic Saddle, also known as magnetic jacking
together. This device is used in conjunction with a screw clamp, a device employing an electrically induced or per-
and thread or hydraulic ram for applying pushing force. manent magnetic field(s) and a “U”- or “L”-shaped metal

113
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Figure 15.12—Chainfall
Figure 15.14—Magnetic Saddle

Figure 15.13—Come-Along Figure 15.15—Fitting Magnet

structure for straddling and holding ferrous metal parts Strongbacks (Figure 15.16)
together. This device is used in conjunction with a screw
and thread or hydraulic ram for applying pushing force. Strongback, any number of devices used to restrain
applied forces and/or hold alignment. These devices may
Fitting Magnet, a device employing an electrically in- be welded or mechanically fastened and are used with
duced magnetic field(s) for drawing ferrous metals together. many other tools for applying forces to parts.

114
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Figure 15.16—Strongback

Padeyes, Stays, and Cables (Figures 15.17–15.19)


Padeye, also known as a doughnut, a metal device for
use as an anchor, support and/or connector for lifting and
applying force. This device can be welded, clamped or
mechanically fastened.
Stay, a strip of stiffening material used to hold, prop,
and/or support parts. This device can be welded or me-
chanically fastened.
Cable, a wire bundle or rope with means for attaching
ends, used for lifting, pulling and holding parts. This de-
vice is normally attached by mechanical means to other
fitting aids.

Mocks, Fixtures, and Jigs (Figures 15.20–15.22)


Mock, a device which imitates the shape of an object
for reference or support.
Fixture, a device used to hold, position, and/or align a
workpiece for an operation or process.
Jig, a device used to guide a tool; a template. Jigs are
often incorporated into fixtures. Figure 15.17—Padeye

115
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Figure 15.18—Stay

Figure 15.19—Cable

Figure 15.21—Fixture

Figure 15.20—Mock Figure 15.22—Jig

116
SECTION 15—FITTING AIDS

Specialized Devices Panel Line with One-Side Butt Welding Station,


stiffener attachment and welding station, web frame at-
One-Side Welding System, a system that consists of tachment and welding station, and bulkhead attachment
a heavy structural frame hydraulic magnetic or pneu- and final welding station.
matic clamping rams, plate positioning and/or feeding
Panel Line with Tacking Station, two-side butt
conveyors, weld backing bar and welding equipment.
welding station, stiffener attachment and welding station,
web frame attachment and welding station, and bulkhead
Stiffener Positioning System, a system that consists
attachment and final welding station.
of a heavy structural beak and/or gantry, hydraulic, mag-
netic and/or pneumatic stiffener clamping and position-
ing equipment and tack welding equipment. Bibliography/Recommended Reading
Web Positioning System, a system that consists of a
List
heavy structural beam and/or gantry, hydraulic magnetic, American Welding Society. Welding Handbook, 8th ed.,
pneumatic, and/or gear-pulley equipment and tack weld- vol. 1, Welding Processes (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.:
ing equipment. American Welding Society.

117
SECTION 16
Welding Metallurgy:
Practical Aspects

Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................... 120

Primary Base Metal Groups ......................................................................................................................................... 120

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................. 127

119
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

Section 16—Welding Metallurgy: Practical Aspects

Introduction (4) Low-alloy steel hardened by quenching and tem-


pering (heat treatment after welding) (i.e., AISI-4130,
Designers should have an understanding of the pri- 4140, 8620, 8630, 4340).
mary concepts of welding metallurgy as it relates to the (5) 300 Series austenitic stainless steel (304, 316,
service of a weldment. This should include how metals 321, 347).
obtain and maintain their mechanical and corrosion- (6) Copper-nickel (90Cu:10Ni, 70Cu:30Ni).
resistant properties. There should also be an awareness of (7) Nickel-copper (70Ni:30Cu).
the effect that welding and filler metal composition have
(8) Inconel® (NiCrFe, 600 and 625).
on the metallurgy and service life of the weldment.
(9) Aluminum.
The designer should be aware of:
(10) Metals strengthened by cold work (mild steel and
(1) The specification requirements that are invoked. Monel®).
(2) How metals obtain their strength and other me- (11) Metals strengthened by age hardening (K-Monel®,
chanical properties. HSLA, 17-4 ph stainless steel, aluminum 6061-T-6, 356-
(3) How metals obtain and maintain their corrosion T6).
resistance. From this list the first seven groups will be reviewed
(4) The effect welding has on base metal mechanical as to:
properties.
(5) The effect welding has on base metal corrosion • How these metals develop their mechanical and
resistance. corrosion-resistant properties.
(6) How filler metals obtain their strength and corro- • How welding affects these properties.
sion resistance. • What special processes are required to maintain de-
(7) Special treatments which are necessary to main- sired properties.
tain base and weld metal properties. • What metallurgical effects put the weldability of the
metal at risk.
(8) Detrimental elements that reduce weldability.

Mild Steel and High-Strength Low-Alloy


Primary Base Metal Groups Structural Steel (OS, HS, ASTM A 36, A 242,
A 441, A 588, A 572, and Grade 50)
The following list covers the majority of base metals
and their strengthening mechanisms used by designers in 1. Base Metal Strengthening Mechanisms of Mild
their day-to-day work. Steel
(1) Mild steel (ferrous alloys not strengthened by heat Mild steel, with typically well less than 0.29% carbon,
treatment) [i.e., ordinary steel (OS), ASTM A 36]. has a relatively low hardenability and is not typically
(2) High-strength, low-alloy, structural steel (normal- strengthened by heat treatment. Its primary yield and ten-
ized) (i.e., HS of MIL-S-22698, ASTM A 242, A 441, sile strength properties are primarily developed from its
A 572, and A 588 Grade 50). microstructure of pearlite and ferrite. Mild steel’s chemis-
(3) Low-alloy steel with quench hardening and tem- try is basically carbon up to approximately 0.30%, man-
pering heat treatment before welding (i.e., T-l, HY-80, ganese up to approximately 1.5%, and a small amount of
HY-100, HY-130, ASTM A 514). silicon, with residuals of phosphorous and sulfur.

120
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

High-strength low-alloy steels have similar micro- 6. What Special Treatments or Actions are Necessary
structures and chemistries as mild steel and they are to Maintain Base and Weld Metal Properties
strengthened by a fine-grained (small) crystal structure
There are no special routine treatments of these steels
created from small additions of elements such as vana-
other than when heavy sections are cut and welded. Due
dium, nickel, chromium, or molybdenum and frequently
to the rapid cooling rate of heavy sections, preheating in
receive normalizing heat treatment. This process consists
the range of 150°F to 200°F is sometimes advisable.
of heating the steel to approximately 1550°F and air
These steels are typically only stress relieved for machin-
cooling.
ing dimensional stability or when required by fabrication
Mild steels such A-36 or OS typically will have yield codes for pressure vessels or other designs where cyclic
strengths below 50 ksi, and the high-strength steels such fatigue is a major concern.
as HS, those steels that contain a grain-refining element
such as vanadium will have yield strengths of 50 ksi or 7. Detrimental Elements that Reduce Weldability
more. Typical applications are ships, bridges, buildings,
towers, automobiles, tanks, boilers, pressure vessels, Some mild steels have lead or sulfur additions to im-
home utensils, appliances, etc. prove machining operations. These steels are frequently
called free machining steels. These additions may cause
porosity and/or develop low melting temperature constit-
2. Corrosion Resistance of Mild Steel
uents that cause hot short cracking. Welding is not rec-
All of these steels have relatively poor resistance to ommended and should be avoided if at all practical, but if
corrosion unless they are thermal sprayed with aluminum welding must be accomplished, use of low-hydrogen
or zinc, or are painted or galvanized. Sometimes these shielded metal arc filler metals may reduce cracking and
steels are alloyed with a small amount of copper which porosity.
causes a tightly adhering oxide scale that retards the nor-
mal rate of corrosion. Steels alloyed with copper may be Low-Alloy Steel with Quench Hardening
used without painting. and Tempering Heat Treatment before
Welding (High-Strength Steels T-l, HY-80,
3. Welding Effects on Mild Steels Base Metal HY-100, HY-130, and ASTM A 514)
Mechanical Properties
1. Base Metal Strengthening Mechanisms of
Welding has very little effect on the mechanical prop-
Quenched and Tempered Steel
erties of OS and HS base metals. There is increased hard-
ness in the heat-affected zone (HAZ) but the depth of Quenched and tempered steels such as HY-80 have
hardening is not found to the extent that is present in the moderately high hardenability. They are alloyed to pro-
quenched and tempered low-alloy steels. The HAZ’s duce weldments with high yield strengths with good duc-
maximum hardness is limited by its carbon content. Mild tility and high toughness at low temperatures without
steel is the most readily welded of all the steels. post-weld heat treatment. Postheat treatment is rarely
accomplished after welding. When postheat is accom-
4. Welding Effects on Base Metal Corrosion Resistance plished, it is usually for dimensional stability and re-
quires special procedures. These steels receive their
There is no loss of corrosion resistance of the base primary yield and tensile strength from the micro-
metal due to welding. structure of tempered bainite and/or martensite, which
are typically created by quenching the material from ap-
5. How Filler Metals Obtain Metal Strengthening proximately 1550°F and tempering (reheating) at 1100°F
and Corrosion Resistance or higher. The carbon content is kept low to improve
weldability and eliminate the need for post-weld heat
Recommended weld metals have higher tensile and treatment. Depending on the alloy, maximum carbon con-
yield strengths than mild steel or high-strength structural tents are usually in the range of 0.12 to 0.23%. Alloying
base metals. This is primarily due to the presence of man- elements are typically less than 6 percent and may be
ganese, silicon and other deoxidizers in the filler metals comprised of elements such as manganese, nickel, chro-
which are used to improve the welding characteristics mium, molybdenum, silicon, vanadium and boron. The
and weld quality. These weld metals do not have signifi- function of these elements is to increase strength, harden-
cantly better corrosion resistance compared to base met- ability, and toughness at low levels of carbon content (im-
als. They require similar protection as the base metal proved weldability). Each base metal specification has
(usually galvanizing, thermal spraying, or painting). well defined mechanical properties. Typical applications

121
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

are pressure vessels, bridges, ballistic protection, ships, similar to those of the base metal. Filler metal carbon
mining, penstocks, and buildings. contents are typically less than 0.12%.
The designer should keep in mind that if mild steel or
grain-refined mild steel will meet the service require- 6. What Special Treatments or Actions are Necessary
ments, they should be used since they are easier and to Maintain Base and Weld Metal Properties?
more economical to fabricate.
Strict adherence to the manufacturer’s recommenda-
tions or code requirements is essential if the desired
2. Base Metal Corrosion Resistance of Quenched and properties of these base metals are to be preserved. Pre-
Tempered Steels before Welding heat and interpass temperatures that are too low during
The quenched and tempered steels have only slightly the welding process can result in base metal and weld
better corrosion resistance than mild steel. They are rou- metal cracking. Probably the most frequent cause of
tinely painted for corrosion protection. Improved corro- cracking of these metals while welding is lack of ade-
sion resistance of these steels comes from the small quate preheat. When preheats are required they should be
amount of alloying elements present. They are rarely gal- soaking preheats. Preheat is frequently required to pre-
vanized probably due to their susceptibility to hydrogen vent restraint cracking on heavier sections. Soaking pre-
embrittlement. heats can be verified by measuring the preheat on the
opposite (back side) of the weld joint.
3. Welding Effects on the Base Metal Properties of Preheats that are too high will produce undesirable
Steels that are Quenched and Tempered before nonuniform microstructure. Preheat and interpass tem-
Welding peratures that are too high will result in low impact prop-
erties. This can cause a drastic loss in the ability to arrest
Welding can have drastic effects on the mechanical crack propagation during impact loading particularly at
properties of the base metal and their heat-affected zone low temperatures.
(HAZ). The heat-affected zone is the unmelted base Heat input that is too high is detrimental for good im-
metal area next to the weld having any noticeable effects pact resistance. Excessively high preheats, high interpass
from the heat of welding. These effects may include temperatures, high amperage, and slow travel speeds can
changes in mechanical properties. These steels are some- cause a retarded cooling rate. All in-process welding
what difficult to weld and special precautions must be conditions causing excessive heat input result in the same
observed if the yield strength, impact resistance and duc- outcome: a retarded cooling rate from peak welding tem-
tility are to be maintained. Improper welding techniques peratures. Retarded cooling rates cause a heterogeneous
can result in hidden cracks and cracking that may not microstructure that is more susceptible to fracture on im-
occur until many hours after welding is complete (hydro- pact loading.
gen embrittlement cracking). Welding heavy sections
without preheat and/or low interpass temperatures can Heat Input (J/in.) = Volts × Amps × 60
result in extensive HAZ/fusion line cracking. Welding Travel Speed (ipm)
with excessive preheat and interpass temperatures can re-
The maximum heat inputs should be in accordance
sult in a loss of impact toughness.
with the applicable code, standard or qualified welding
procedure. A serious loss of the metal’s ability to absorb
4. What Effects Does Welding have on the Base Metal energy without cracking can result if excessive heat in-
Corrosion Resistance? puts are permitted. Stringer beads (straight-line progres-
Welding has little effect on the corrosion resistance of sion) having higher travel speeds than weaving beads
the base metal. (oscillating progression) are preferred, since this reduces
the heat input into the base metal and previously depos-
ited weld metal. It is important to protect the weld metal
5. How Welds Develop their Mechanical Properties
properties. One of the most limiting factors in welding
Filler metals typically have chemical compositions these quenched and tempered steels is the marginal abil-
similar to base metals except they are not micro alloy ity of weld metal to match base metal toughness.
hardened by elements such as boron. They are frequently Stress relief as previously mentioned is generally not
alloyed with elements such as nickel, chromium, molyb- recommended. However, it is sometimes accomplished
denum and manganese. The carbon content is kept much for dimensional stability of weldments that are to receive
lower than the base metal carbon content. This is because close tolerance machining. Stress relief should only be
the weld metal goes through an extremely rapid quench accomplished if permitted by the manufacturer or the
and would be susceptible to cracking at carbon contents governing code or standard. The manufacturer’s or code

122
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

requirements should be strictly followed. Usually this in- improve hardenability (the depth of hardening). These
volves stress relieving the part 50°F below the tempering metals often do not have mechanical property require-
temperature, if known, and sometimes it requires forced ments in their applicable base metal specification. Vary-
cooling to minimize the loss of fabrication impact prop- ing mechanical properties can be selected by the user and
erties. Also, it is essential that the weld metal contain less are achieved by varying the heat treatment. These alloys
that 0.05% vanadium or the weld will be subject to seri- are used for machinery applications such as gears, shafts,
ous temper embrittlement. Since these alloys are subject and fasteners for increased wear, tensile strength, or
to serious embrittlement by improper heat treatment, sometimes for improved fatigue resistance.
post-weld stress relief should be under the direction of a The designer should keep in mind that if mild steel, or
welding engineer or a metallurgist. even the steels that are quenched and tempered before
welding (i.e., HY-80/100) will meet the service require-
7. Detrimental Elements that Reduce Weldability ments, they should always be used in lieu of these post-
weld heat treatable steels.
The most common element on earth, hydrogen, is also
the most hazardous to welding quenched and tempered 2. Base Metal Corrosion Resistance of Quenched and
steels. Hydrogen is commonly produced when water, oil Tempered Steels after Welding
and rust are broken down in the arc. Procedures and tech-
niques to avoid hydrogen embrittlement cracking are dis- The quenched and tempered steels have only slightly
cussed in Section 12 of this manual. Other hazardous better corrosion resistance than mild steel. They are rou-
elements are those such as lead, tin, zinc, phosphorous, tinely painted for corrosion protection. Improved corrosion
sulfur, etc., that will form low melting temperature resistance of these steels comes from the small amount of
constituents. alloying elements. They are not typically galvanized.

Low-Alloy Steel with Quench Hardening 3. Welding Effects on the Base Metal Properties of
Steels that are Quenched and Tempered after
and Tempering Heat Treatment after Weld- Welding
ing (Post Weld Heat Treatable) (AISI-1040,
-8620, -8630, -4130, -4140, -4340, etc.) Welding can drastically affect the mechanical proper-
ties of the base metal in the heat-affected zone (HAZ).
The heat-affected zone is the unmelted base metal area
1. Base Metal Strengthening Mechanisms of Steel
next to the weld having any noticeable affects from the
Quenched and Tempered after Welding
heat of welding. These effects may include changes in
Steels that are quenched and tempered after welding, tensile and yield strength, increased hardness, loss of
such as AISI-8620, 4130, or 4340, have high hardenabil- ductility, mechanical and/or corrosion-resistant proper-
ity. They are alloyed to produce high tensile and yield ties. These steels are typically very difficult to weld and
strengths and may have limited ductility and toughness special precautions must be observed or serious cracking
even at room temperatures. These steels are usually se- may result. Improper welding techniques can result in
lected for their high strengths or hardness for wear resis- immediate gross cracking, hidden cracks and cracking
tance. Commonly these metals are welded in a soft that may not occur until many hours after welding is
condition called annealed. Postheat treatment is accom- complete (hydrogen embrittlement cracking). Welding
plished after welding to obtain desired mechanical prop- heavy sections with no preheat and low interpass temper-
erties. These steels primarily receive their yield and atures can result in extensive HAZ/fusion line and weld
tensile strength from the microstructure of tempered metal cracking.
high-carbon bainite and/or martensite which are created
by quenching the material from approximately 1550°F 4. What Effects Does Welding have on the Base Metal
and tempering (reheating) at 1100°F or higher. Desired Corrosion Resistance?
mechanical properties can be selected by varying the
Welding typically has no noticeable effect on the cor-
tempering temperature. The carbon contents are typically
rosion resistance of the base metal.
high which lowers the weldability and requires special
procedure requirements. Depending on the alloy, maxi-
5. How Welds Develop their Mechanical Properties
mum carbon contents are usually in the range of 0.23 to
0.43%. Alloying elements are typically less than 6 per- Filler metals may or may not have similar chemical
cent and may be comprised of elements such as manga- compositions as their base metals. They are frequently
nese, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, silicon, and alloyed with elements such as nickel, chrome, molybde-
vanadium. The primary function of these elements is to num, and manganese, with the exception that the carbon

123
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

content is usually kept much lower than the base metal. frequently cause unacceptable distortion and scaling of
This is because the weld metal goes through an ex- close-tolerance machined components.
tremely rapid quench and is very susceptible to cracking
at carbon contents approaching the base metal. Under 7. Detrimental Elements that Reduce Weldability
special circumstances base metal or filler metals that
One of the most common elements on earth, hydro-
nearly match the base metal are used for welding. It is
gen, is also the most hazardous to welding these
common to use undermatching filler metal and rarely do
quenched hardenable steels. Procedures and techniques
welds match the base metal mechanical properties, un-
to avoid hydrogen embrittlement cracking are discussed
less unique and specialized procedures are developed.
in Section 12 of this manual. Other hazardous elements
However, post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) can be se-
are those such as lead, tin, zinc, phosphorous, sulfur, etc.,
lected so that the resultant base metal properties nearly
that will form low melting temperature constituents.
approximate those attainable by the weld. In most cases,
designers must take into account that the welds will typi-
300 Series Austenitic Stainless Steel (An-
cally undermatch the base metal properties.
nealed) [304, 310, 316, 321, 347 Corrosion-
6. What Special Treatments or Actions are Necessary
Resistant Steel (CRES)]
to Maintain Base and Weld Metal Properties?
1. Strengthening Mechanisms of Austenitic Stainless
Strict adherence to manufacturer’s recommendations, Steel Base Metal
special developed procedures, or code requirements is
Typical austenitic stainless steels used in industry
absolutely essential if the desirable properties of these
have 18% or more chromium and 8% or more nickel,
metals are to be achieved. Preheat and interpass tempera- with the remaining balance of approximately 50 to 60%
tures that are too low during the welding process can re- iron, and are sometimes called the 18-8 stainless steels.
sult in base metal and weld metal cracks. Preheats as Depending on the alloy type and application, the carbon
high as 600°F may be required. Typically, these metals content will be 0.20% and less. Typically carbon is less
may require soaking times after welding at preheat tem- than 0.08% for corrosion resistance. Higher carbon con-
peratures to minimize cracking or they may require to be tent metals (309, 310) are commonly used where high-
immediately stress relieved, if post heat treatment for temperature strength is required. Austenitic stainless
mechanical properties will not occur until later in the steels are not strengthened by quench hardening, since
fabrication process. Probably the most frequent cause of their primary phase and structure do not change with
cracks while welding these metals is lack of adequate temperature as with the quenched and tempered steel al-
preheat. When preheats are required, they should be loys. Their primary yield and tensile strength properties
soaking preheats. Soaking preheats can be verified by are developed from what is called substitutional and in-
measuring the preheat on the opposite (back side) of the terstitial alloy strengthening. The microstructure is auste-
weld joint. nitic at all temperatures with small amounts of carbides.
Generally, there are no welding heat input restrictions Austenitic stainless steels containing nickel, chrome, and
on these metals like those required on metals that are manganese with small amounts of silicon are sometimes
quenched and tempered metals before welding. The rea- alloyed with molybdenum, titanium, niobium, or copper
son for this is the mechanical properties are achieved with residuals of unwanted sulfur and phosphorous. Aus-
through heat treatment after welding and the weld and tenitic 300 Series stainless steels typically have yield
HAZ are recrystallized during heat treatment. strengths of 35 ksi at room temperature, with very little
Since these metals are heat treated after welding, they loss of strength even at relatively high temperatures. Ten-
are not usually stress relieved unless they are welded in sile strengths of 75–80 ksi are common with ductility of
the heat-treated condition or following manufacturing 30–35%. These steels are typically used for their high-
processes makes it necessary to dimensionally stabilize temperature yield strength, oxidation resistance for both
high- and low-temperature applications, and excellent
the metal or to reduce the hardness of the material (as
toughness. These steels are nonmagnetic.
might be needed for machining). The manufacturer’s rec-
ommendations or code requirements should be strictly Galvanic Series. When any of these 300 series stainless
followed. When components are welded in the heat- steels are used in combination with a dissimilar metal for
treated condition, stress relieving is usually accom- sea-water service the galvanic series should be examined.
plished 50°F below the tempering temperature. It should This will help determine if accelerated corrosion can be
always be kept in mind that the temperatures reached expected due to the different metal being brought used in
during the heat treatment and the quenching process will the same system. The surface areas of the dissimilar met-

124
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

als can also greatly affect the amount and extent of corro- carbides, leaving the chrome available to form its protec-
sion. In general austenitic stainless steels are not tive oxide film. Stressed stainless alloys that have exten-
recommended for sea-water service environments. sive depletion of chrome by sensitization and are in a
corrosive halogen product environment, such as salt wa-
2. Corrosion Resistance of Austenitic Stainless Steel ter, may be subject to stress corrosion cracking. Stress
corrosion cracking can be extensive, penetrating com-
Austenitic stainless steels have excellent atmospheric
pletely through the base material thickness in a short pe-
corrosion resistance and resist corrosion very well at
riod of time.
high temperatures. When alloyed with copper (320) it
has good corrosion and erosion resistance in sea water.
The iron in these austenitic stainless steels is protected 5. How Welds Develop their Mechanical Properties
from corrosion or oxidation by the formation of a protec- and Corrosion Resistance
tive stable refractory chrome-oxide film. This tenacious
Stainless steel filler metals have chemistries similar to
film develops when the surface of the metal is exposed to
the base metals they are intended to weld. They develop
an oxidizing atmosphere and once formed prevents con-
their mechanical properties and corrosion resistance due
tinuing corrosion or oxidation. The continued presence
to their similar base metal chemistry and metallurgy.
of this oxide film is imperative to maintain corrosion
There is no significant improved corrosion resistance of
resistance. If service conditions cause the loss of this
film, the material will be susceptible to corrosion. Also, the stainless steel weld metals over the base metal.
the effects of welding heat can cause a loss of the metal’s Some stainless steel filler metals have slight chemistry
ability to form these protective oxides. These metals are modifications to permit the development of delta ferrite
frequently used without painting. in the weld deposit. Fully austenitic welds have a ten-
dency to fissure (develop small cracks). When delta fer-
3. Welding Effects on Stainless Steel Base Metal rite is present in the weld deposit the tendency for
Mechanical Properties fissuring is reduced. Stainless steel filler metals such as
308, 309, 316, all may contain small amounts (usually
Welding has very little effect on the mechanical prop- less than 10%) of delta ferrite when deposited. The stain-
erties of austenitic stainless steel base metals. Since less filler metal 312 typically has 40% ferrite and is very
austenitic stainless steels are not quench hardenable, the crack resistant. However, it should not be used for high-
HAZ does not exhibit increased hardness as a result temperature applications, as the soft and ductile delta fer-
of welding. These steels are readily weldable but do re- rite will change to a hard and brittle phase called sigma
quire some special controls to maintain their corrosion ferrite that is extremely crack sensitive.
resistance.
If the stainless steel has been cold worked prior to weld-
6. What Special Treatments or Actions are Necessary
ing to increase its yield strength, the effects of welding
to Maintain Base and Weld Metal Properties
may cause a drastic loss of the base metal’s yield strength
in the HAZ to approximately its annealed condition. Austenitic stainless steel welds are somewhat subject
to high-temperature fissuring. They are also subject to re-
4. Welding Effects on Base Metal Corrosion duced corrosion resistance with increased potential of
Resistance stress corrosion cracking when sensitized. Sensitization
The effects of welding can cause a serious loss of cor- by chromium carbide precipitation takes place at 900°F
rosion resistance of the base metal adjacent to the weld. to 1500°F and is time dependent. The more time spent in
For some service applications, the presence of carbon the sensitizing temperature range the greater the degree
and the heat of welding can result in reduced corrosion of chromium carbide precipitation. To minimize fissuring
resistance of some stainless steel alloys by the preferen- and sensitization, minimum preheats are used and inter-
tial formation of chromium carbides in lieu of the protec- pass temperatures are kept low (350°F maximum). By
tive chrome-oxide films. This depletion of available keeping the preheat and interpass temperature low, less
chromium for oxidation resistance by the formation of time is spent at sensitizing temperatures and the amount
chromium carbides is called sensitization. Therefore, for of the base metal and degree of sensitization will be re-
special applications the carbon content may be held to duced. Avoiding high heat input welding processes will
0.04% or less (extra low carbon 308L or 316L) or addi- also lower the amount of time at sensitizing temperatures
tions of titanium (321) or niobium (347) may be made to and the amount of base metal subject to sensitization. The
the base metal. The stabilizing elements of titanium and use of stringer beads is recommended instead of weave
niobium will form carbides, preferentially chromium beads, which minimizes heat input and sensitization.

125
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

7. Detrimental Elements that Reduce Weldability 70:30 CuNi (70% copper-30% nickel) wrought metals
typically have yield strengths of 18,000–20,000 psi, and
Some stainless steels have selenium, phosphorous, or tensile strength of 45,000–50,000 psi with elongation of
sulfur additions to improve machining operations. These 20–35%. It is considered a hot short material having re-
steels are frequently called free machining steels (303-Se, duced ductility at temperatures above 1100–1400°F and
316F, 347F). These additions may cause porosity and/or is subject to high-temperature cracking while under
develop low melting temperature constituents that result stress.
in hot short cracking during welding. Welding of these al- NiCu (70% nickel-30% copper alloy), commonly
loys is not recommended. The contamination of weld called Monel®, has the highest tensile and yield strength
joints by low melting constituents can cause serious weld- of any ratio of nickel-to-copper contents. Its minimum
associated cracking. Lead contamination from radioactive tensile strength is 70–85 ksi and its yield strength is 23–
shielding or from machinists’ hammers, sulfur from sulfu- 25 ksi with 35% minimum ductility.
rized cutting fluids, lead and tin from soft solder contami-
nation, and cadmium from silver brazing alloys, etc., are 2. Corrosion Resistance of Copper and Nickel Alloys
examples of potential sources of contamination.
Carbon contamination can have a serious effect on the These alloys have excellent atmospheric and corro-
corrosion resistance of stainless steels; therefore, it must sion resistance. These metals are frequently used without
be considered a detrimental contaminate. Its potential painting.
sources are shop dirt, grease, oil, paint, shellac, antispatter
compounds, and carbon arcing slag. CuNi–90:10
It is typically used for water corrosion resistance with
Copper-Nickel and Nickel-Copper Base good antifouling resistance. This alloy has a higher iron
Metals [90:10 CuNi, 70: 30 CuNi , and content than the 70:30CuNi alloys, which improves its
strength and corrosion protection. This alloy performs
70Ni:30Cu (Monel®)]
better in stagnant water (pitting/crevice corrosion) than
either 70:30 CuNi or Monel® (70%Ni-30%Cu). It is also
1. Strengthening Mechanisms of Copper-Nickel and superior in its antifouling resistance.
Nickel-Copper Base Metal
CuNi–70:30
These alloys are not strengthened by quench harden-
ing, since their primary phase or crystal structure does It is used primarily for water corrosion and erosion re-
not change with temperature as it does with quenched sistance where increased strength and hardness is re-
and tempered steel alloys. The primary yield and tensile quired with less antifouling resistance than the higher
strength properties are developed from what is called copper content 90:10 CuNi alloy. It has better erosion re-
substitutional alloy strengthening (the mixing of copper sistance in flowing water but has less pitting resistance
and nickel atoms in a geometric pattern). Its structure is (crevice corrosion) than 90:10 CuNi.
austenitic at all temperatures. These austenitic copper
and nickel alloys have copper and nickel as their major Monel®–70NI:30Cu
alloying elements, with small additions of elements such
iron for yield strength and erosion resistance, manganese It is used primarily for water corrosion and erosion re-
to minimize hot cracking, silicon for strength and manu- sistance where increased strength and hardness is re-
facturing fluidity (high percentages silicon 4% for hard- quired (with less antifouling resistance) than the higher
ness), and niobium for increased weldability with copper content copper-nickel alloys. It has better perfor-
residuals of unwanted sulfur and phosphorous. mance for erosion resistance than either of the copper-
nickel alloys, but has inferior performance for crevice
90:10 CuNi (90% copper-10% nickel) wrought metals
corrosion and antifouling resistance.
typically have minimum yield strengths of 15,000–
18,000 psi, and minimum tensile strengths of 38,000 psi
Galvanic Series
with minimum elongations of 25–35%. It is considered a
hot short material having reduced ductility at tempera- When any of these copper and nickel alloys are used
tures above 500°F to 1400°F and subject to cracking in combination with a dissimilar metal, for water service,
while under stress. This metal is also less expensive than the galvanic series should be examined. This will help
the higher nickel content copper-nickel alloys. It is more determine if accelerated corrosion can be expected, due
difficult to weld than 70:30 CuNi and Monel® (70%Ni- to the different metal being used in the same system. The
30%Cu) metals. surface areas of the dissimilar metals can also greatly

126
SECTION 16—WELDING METALLURGY: PRACTICAL ASPECTS

affect the amount and extent of corrosion. These alloys ations. These are frequently called free machining alloys.
are frequently recommended and used for water-service These additions may cause porosity and/or develop low
environments. melting temperature constituents that jeopardize welding
due to hot short cracking. Welding of these alloys is not
3. Welding Effects on Base Metal Mechanical recommended.
Properties The contamination of a weld joint by low melting
Welding has very little effect on the mechanical prop- constituents can cause serious weld-associated cracking.
erties of nickel alloys and copper base metals. Since Lead contamination from radioactive shielding or from
these alloys are not quench hardenable the HAZ does not machinists’ hammers, sulfur from sulfurized cutting flu-
exhibit increased hardness as a result of welding. These ids, lead, tin or zinc from soft solder contamination, and
alloys are readily weldable but do require some special cadmium from silver solder, etc., are all potential sources
controls to minimize cracking and weld porosity. If any of contamination.
of these alloys have been cold worked prior to welding to
increase its yield strength, the effects of welding may
cause a drastic loss of the base metal’s yield strength in Castings
the HAZ, approximating its annealed condition.
Copper and nickel alloy components that are castings
4. Welding Effects on Base Metal Corrosion and are not made by weld fabrication should always have
Resistance suspected poor weldability. Because of the iron contents
permitted in these castings and the higher silicon con-
The effects of welding have little effect on the corro- tents to facilitate pouring operations, some of these cast-
sion resistance of the adjacent base metal. ings have extremely limited weldability. Unless properly
alloyed for weldability, they may experience extensive
5. How Welds Obtain Metal Strengthening and fusion line cracking.
Corrosion Resistance
For Monel® castings, iron and silicon contents must
Filler metals for welding alloys of nickel and copper be held low, preferably at 1.7%. Niobium is also required
have chemistries/compositions similar to the base metals to minimize the harmful effects that silicon has on the
they are intended to weld. They develop their mechanical weldability of Monel®. Niobium-to-silicon ratios of 1.5
properties and corrosion resistance due to their similar to 1.8 are believed to be adequate to minimize weld
base metal metallurgy. There is no significant improved cracking caused by silicon. A Nb/Si ratio of 1.7 is con-
corrosion resistance of weld metals over the base metal. sidered optimum. Iron content above 2% is a major con-
In the case of Monel® filler metal (70% Ni/30% Cu), it is tributor to both weld metal and heat-affected zone
found that under some wet conditions, these filler metals cracking. Also, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) has
will preferentially corrode over similar composition base slight advantages over gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)
metals. Monel ® welds on wetted surfaces of Monel® for casting repairs.
castings will often preferentially corrode in lieu of the
base metal.

6. What Special Treatments or Actions are Necessary Bibliography/Recommended Reading


to Maintain Base and Weld Metal Properties List
Since copper and nickel alloys are somewhat hot short American Welding Society. Practical Reference Guide for
and subject to high-temperature fissuring, welding inter- Welding Metallurgy: Fabrication and Repair (PRGM).
pass temperatures are maintained relatively low. Typi- Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
cally, welding preheat and interpass temperatures are
350°F maximum. ———. Proceedings of the U.S.–Japan Symposium on
Advances in Welding Metallurgy. Miami, Fla.: Ameri-
7. Detrimental Elements that Reduce Weldability can Welding Society.

Some copper and nickel alloys have selenium, phos- ———. Welding Metallurgy, 4th ed., vol. 1, Fundamen-
phorous, or sulfur additions to improve Machining oper- tals (WM1.4). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.

127
SECTION 17
Arc Stud
Welding

Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................... 130

How a Stud is Welded.................................................................................................................................................... 130

Elements of a Stud Weld ............................................................................................................................................... 130

Testing and Judging Welds ........................................................................................................................................... 131

Operating Instructions .................................................................................................................................................. 131

Setting Up to Weld......................................................................................................................................................... 132

How to Handle the Stud Welding Gun ........................................................................................................................ 132

129
SECTION 17— ARC STUD WELDING

Section 17— Arc Stud Welding

Introduction (1) Welding heat is developed by drawing an electric


arc between the stud and the base metal.
Arc stud welding is an arc welding process that is (2) The two pieces are fused together by the weld.
used to weld threaded connectors, insulation pins, small
Stud welding differs from manual arc welding, in that
brackets, pipe hangers, and concrete shear pins, etc., to
the welding cycle is controlled by equipment adjustments.
other compatible base metals. The process accomplishes
fusion at the stud/base metal interface using only the
melted electrode as filler metal. It is very fast, economi-
cal, is essentially automatically controlled, and requires Elements of a Stud Weld (See Figure 17.1)
less operator skill than other welding processes. During
stud welding, an arc is drawn between the stud and the The stud, inserted in the welding end (chuck) of the
base material forming a molten puddle. The stud is then gun, is positioned against the work plate (A). The opera-
plunged into the puddle and as the molten metal cools a tor then presses the gun to the work plate until the fer-
weld is formed. The stud welding equipment is adjusted rule, which is around the stud, is flat against the plate
to control the arc initiation, arc time and the distance the
electrode is plunged into the molten metal.
Stud welded fasteners are attached with a full penetra-
tion weld. They are available in a variety of shapes and
sizes. Stud welding may be performed in tight space re-
strictions and with minimal clearance. Studs can be
welded in most positions to carbon and alloy steels,
stainless steel, and aluminum alloys. Additional special
purpose applications are available for some copper, mag-
nesium, titanium, zirconium, and zinc alloys. Stud weld-
ing produces only localized heating and has low heat
input.
(A)
(a) (B)
(b) (C)
(c)
The stud attachment surface must be clean and pre-
pared for arc welding. The stud welding process is lim-
ited by the stud size and the stud shape. Only one end of
the stud can be welded with this process, and preproduc-
tion mock-up testing is usually accomplished for process
control. The welded studs may be torque or load tested
for production quality assurance.

How a Stud is Welded


(D)
(d) (e)
(E) (f)
(F)
The process of stud welding has some similarities to
the manual arc welding processes. The process consists
of two steps: Figure 17.1—Stud Welding Cycle

130
SECTION 17— ARC STUD WELDING

The trigger switch is depressed, starting the welding Operating Instructions


cycle (B). The stud is drawn away from the work plate,
creating an electric arc between the stud and the plate
Gun Accessories (see Figure 17.2)
(C). A molten weld pool is created when a portion of the
stud and the plate are melted by the arc (D). (1) Chuck—The chuck holds or grips the stud in the
After the arcing period, the main spring in the gun is gun for welding. A different chuck must be used for each
automatically released, plunging the stud into the molten diameter of stud.
weld pool of the plate to form a weld within the ferrule (2) Ferrule Grip—The ferrule grip fits into the foot
hollow (E). The gun is removed from the completed stud and holds the ferrule in position for welding.
weld and the ferrule is broken away (F).
(3) Foot—The foot is used to secure and align the
ferrule grip.
(4) Legs—The legs are used to hold and provide po-
sitioning of the foot and ferrule grip assembly. The leg
Testing and Judging Welds length must be adjusted for different lengths of studs.
It is recommended that a few sample welds are made,
inspected, and tested whenever new operations start, and Setting up the Gun
at the beginning of each day’s work. Weld a few studs to
a piece of metal that is the same composition and thick- (1) Insert a chuck that is of proper size for the stud,
ness as the actual workpiece. and tap lightly with a hammer until it is held firmly in the
taper.
Inspect the sample stud welds for: (2) Put the legs in place and tighten.
(3) Fasten the foot to the legs with screws and wash-
(1) Positioning—Perpendicular to the base plate. ers provided.
(2) Weld Quality—Adequate fusion and fillet, weld (4) Insert the ferrule grip into the foot and secure by
quality acceptable. tightening set screws in foot.
(3) Length—Approximately 1/8 in. of the stud (5) Insert the stud in the chuck and the ferrule in the
length is consumed by weld. ferrule grip.

Test the sample stud welds to the production require-


ments. Production studs that require proof testing should
Adjustment of Plunge
be load or torque tested to the design requirements. Adjust the legs so the stud extends from 1/8 in. to
3/16 in. beyond the end of the ferrule. When the stud
stickout is correct, tighten leg screws so that the assem-
bly is stationary.

NOTE: The lift height, which determines the arc length,


has been preset at the factory and will automatically
compensate for small changes in stud length.

Centering of Ferrule on Stud


Adjust the foot so that the stud is centered in the fer-
rule. This is vital. Improper welds can result if there is
any binding or friction between the stud and ferrule dur-
ing the welding cycle.

Test Action of the Gun


Work the lower assembly of the gun in and out to
make sure that the stud moves freely through the ferrule.
If there is any binding, readjust foot assembly until free
Figure 17.2—Gun Accessories action is obtained.

131
SECTION 17— ARC STUD WELDING

Setting Up to Weld (See Figure 17.3) proximate and will vary with the type of application.
Note that the power supply may not be calibrated to indi-
Turn power OFF when making connections. cate actual welding current.
(1) Position the control unit and the power supply as
near the work area as possible. Excessive cable lengths
adversely affect stud welding. How to Handle the Stud Welding Gun
(2) Connect the ground cable to the terminal of the (1) Hold the gun firmly with your hand placed so that
power supply (positive or negative ground orientation you can readily press the trigger.
must be determined by the weld procedure test data). (2) Keep your hand off the side cable.
Secure the c-clamp to the work plate. Make sure both (3) Hold the gun square/perpendicular to the work.
connections are tight and eradicate any paint or rust at (4) Be sure the ferrule is seated firmly against the
the connection points. workpiece.
(3) Connect the timer input cable to the other termi- (5) Press the gun’s trigger only once and release.
nal of the power supply and to the connector marked Pressing the trigger a second time will damage the chuck
“power supply” on the control unit. or stud threads.
(4) Connect the control unit ground clamp to the (6) Do not move the gun during the welding action.
work plate. This completes the electrical path needed to (7) After welding the stud, draw the gun straight back
supply power to the control unit. away from the workpiece. Avoid pressing the trigger
(5) Connect the combination cable (control and weld- again.
ing cable) to the control unit and the gun.
(6) Make sure the power supply is set for required po-
larity, and that the input cable and the ground cable is Bibliography/Recommended Reading
properly connected. The power supply is typically a con- List
stant voltage (CV) type and should have a minimum
open circuit voltage of 65 volts dc. American Welding Society. Recommended Practices for
(7) Turn on the power supply and the control unit. The Stud Welding (C5.4). Miami, Fla.: American Welding
light on the control unit should light indicating that power Society.
is available and is connected for the required polarity. ———. Welding Handbook, 8th ed., vol. 1, Welding
(8) Adjust the time on the control unit and current Technology (WHB-1.8). Miami, Fla.: American
setting of the power supply. The settings provided are ap- Welding Society.

Figure 17.3—Stud Welding Setup

132
SECTION 18
Thermal Spray
Fundamentals

Contents
Why Use the Thermal Spray Process? ........................................................................................................................ 134

Corrosion Control Applications ................................................................................................................................... 134

Machinery Component Applications ........................................................................................................................... 134

Fundamentals................................................................................................................................................................. 134

Thermal Spray Processes.............................................................................................................................................. 134

Finishing Thermal Sprayed Coatings .......................................................................................................................... 135

Quality Assurance ......................................................................................................................................................... 137

Future Applications ....................................................................................................................................................... 137

Advantages ..................................................................................................................................................................... 137

Limitations ..................................................................................................................................................................... 137

Bibliography/Recommended Reading List ................................................................................................................. 137

133
SECTION 18—THERMAL SPRAY FUNDAMENTALS

Section 18—Thermal Spray Fundamentals

Why Use the Thermal Spray Process? Fundamentals


The thermal spray process is used primarily for two Before a machinery component is repaired (i.e., to
reasons: build up worn areas) using a thermal spray process, the
repair area is undercut. Standard practice is first to clean
(1) Corrosion control. the component to be thermal sprayed, and then use an
(2) Machinery component refurbishment. aluminum oxide grit blast to create an anchor tooth pat-
tern for the coating to lock into. When repairing machin-
ery components, thermal spray materials are used as
Corrosion Control Applications bond coats to create a mechanical interaction between
the substrate and the coating.
More than 20 years of corrosion protection of steel
and iron can be obtained by applying thermal sprayed
aluminum or zinc coatings. In a wet environment, these Thermal Spray Processes
coatings can serve as an expendable anode, preventing or
minimizing corrosion of steel and iron substrates. By definition, thermal spray is heating a metallic or a
Because of the portability of arc and flame spray sys- nonmetallic material, in a heating zone to a molten or
tems, many components can receive a corrosion-preventing semi-molten state, and then propelling that material onto
coating either in the shop or in the field. Examples of a substrate to form a coating. There are four primary
some of the items that have received this corrosion control spray processes used by fabricators at this time: plasma
method are valves and piping. powder process, arc wire process, flame powder process,
and flame wire process.

Plasma Powder
Machinery Component Applications
With the plasma powder process, the heating zone is
The thermal spray process can be a cost-effective produced by an arc that is created inside the plasma pow-
method for dimensional restoration. The process is an ex- der gun between a tungsten electrode and the nozzle. A
cellent repair method and should be considered, when gas or gas mixture is passed through the arc. This excites
appropriate, in lieu of other processes, such as weld re- the gas into a plasma state, creating temperatures higher
pair, chrome plating, or instead of manufacturing of a than can be obtained with just oxygen fuel flame mix-
new component. tures. The gas or gas mixture exits the nozzle, forcing the
Thermal spray is also used to enhance the service life plasma flame outside the gun. A powder is fed into the
of many machinery components. Ceramics can be flame, melted, and propelled to the substrate by the force
sprayed on packing areas of valve stems and pump shafts of the gas or gas mixture (see Figure 18.1). The plasma
to give those areas a smoother, longer-lasting surface powder process is used primarily for the refurbishment
than the substrate material. This will also cause less dam- of machinery components.
age to the packing material and provide better operation
of the component. Thermal sprayed metallic coatings Arc Wire
that will resist wear, erosion, corrosion, heat, and chemi-
cal attack better than the substrate material can be ap- The heating zone of the arc wire process is produced
plied to machinery components. by creating an arc between two continuously fed metallic

134
SECTION 18—THERMAL SPRAY FUNDAMENTALS

Figure 18.1—Plasma Powder Process

wires. The heating zone melts the wires and the molten Flame Powder
material is atomized and propelled to the substrate by The flame powder process uses an oxygen fuel flame
compressed air or an inert gas (see Figure 18.2). The arc to create the heating zone. Powder is fed into the heating
wire process can be used for corrosion control and ma- zone and melted. The molten material is then atomized
chinery refurbishment applications. and propelled to the substrate by the force of the burning
gasses and compressed air (see Figure 18.4). The flame
Flame Wire powder process is used primarily for machinery refur-
bishment applications.
The flame wire process uses an oxygen fuel flame to
create the heating zone. A wire is then continuously fed
into the heating zone where it is melted and then pro-
Finishing Thermal Sprayed Coatings
pelled onto the substrate by the force of the burning gas-
ses and compressed air (see Figure 18.3). The flame wire The structure of a thermal sprayed coating may be
process can be used for corrosion control and machinery different than the structure of that same material in
refurbishment applications. wrought form. Sometimes this different structure creates

Figure 18.2—Arc Wire Process

135
SECTION 18—THERMAL SPRAY FUNDAMENTALS

4 TO 10 in.
(100 TO 250 mm)

Figure 18.3—Flame Wire Process

Figure 18.4—Flame Powder Process

136
SECTION 18—THERMAL SPRAY FUNDAMENTALS

problems in finishing. If personnel are unfamiliar with with the mating part. This makes it possible to form a
the finishing of coatings, they should follow the thermal precise seal.
spray equipment and material manufacturer’s recommen- While the substrate is frequently preheated, the ther-
dations. If thermal sprayed coatings are properly finished mal spray process is generally considered a metallurgi-
and they still separate or flake off during finishing the cally cold process. This means in most applications no
spraying operation should be reviewed. warpage or heat-affected zone is created.

Quality Assurance Limitations


To help ensure the quality of thermal sprayed coat-
ings, operators must receive thorough training and be It should be remembered that when refurbishing ma-
tested to determine whether they have the ability to use chinery components with the thermal spray process, no
all the thermal spray processes required. Tested and/or strength is added to that component. If the undercut
certified procedures and personnel should be used to depth will reduce the strength of the component enough
spray production components. Facilities must have the to make it unusable for service, then thermal spray must
personnel and the methods to determine whether their not be considered as a repair option.
thermal spray equipment and consumables will produce Thermal spraying a highly corrosion-resistant mate-
quality coatings. Thermal spray facilities must also have rial (Monel®) over a carbon steel will not make that ma-
personnel capable of making sound application and coat- terial perform equal to Monel®.
ing selection decisions or have an organization that can Thermal spray coatings are ideally applied with the
help them do so. spray gun perpendicular to the substrate surface; how-
ever, most processes can apply high-quality coatings at
angles up to 45 degrees from perpendicular.
Future Applications Thermal sprayed coatings should not be used when
the area to be repaired would see a point load or line
There are processes that can accomplish the most crit-
load, such as ball bearings or roller bearings without lab-
ical applications. Vacuum spray systems perform spray-
oratory service-proven results.
ing on highly critical components for the airline industry.
Then there are the high-velocity oxyfuel system and the
high-velocity plasma systems.
Throughout the world, industry uses the thermal spray
process for numerous applications. These applications Bibliography/Recommended Reading
include electromagnetic shielding, clearance control List
(abradable coatings), thermal barrier coatings, and the
thermal spraying of babbitt bearings. New processes and American Welding Society. Guide for the Protection of
equipment that will provide superior coatings for many Steel with Thermal Sprayed Coatings of Aluminum
future applications are also being developed by equip- and Zinc and Their Alloys and Composites (C2.18).
ment and thermal spray material manufacturers. Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.

———. Guide for Thermal Spray Operator Qualifica-


tion (C2.16). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
Advantages
Thermal sprayed coating properties can be tailored to ———. Thermal Spraying: Practice, Theory, and Appli-
suit the application. Coatings (metallic and ceramic) can cation (TSS). Miami, Fla.: American Welding Society.
be applied to restore or attain desired dimensions, to pro- ———. Thermal Spray Manual (TSM). Miami, Fla.:
vide electrical or thermal shielding (or conduction), or to American Welding Society.
improve the resistance to abrasion, corrosion, or high
temperatures. Ingham, H., and Shepard, A. Plasma Flame Process.
Thermal spray coatings can also be used for clearance Flame Spray Handbook, vol. III, Metco Inc., West-
control. Abradable coatings wear when contact is made bury, N.Y.

137
Acknowledgment
The original Manual was the result of a contract between Ingalls Shipbuilding and the Maritime Administration with
support from the U.S. Navy. This project was performed by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for the Welding Panel, SP-7, of
the Ship Production Committee of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Recognized contributors to the
original project included the American Welding Society, the Lincoln Electric Foundation, Mr. Omer Blodgett, and New-
port News Shipbuilding. In addition, Mr. Frank Gatto, Puget Sound representative to SP-7, was singled out for apprecia-
tion. The Manual is meant to serve as a practical guide for engineers, planners, and hands-on professionals to improve
scheduling and lessen rework. The Manual was released to the public in 1992.

iv