Welding Inspection is a crucial role and there are three certification levels available. These are
- Senior welding inspector
- Welding inspector
- Visual welding inspector
In many instances it is the role of the senior welding inspectors to manage and supervise welding inspectors team to complete the welding inspection to deliver compliance of welded structures and products.
Welding Inspection – Criteria
There are many characteristics of a weld that can be evaluated during welding inspection. Some of these relate to the size of the weld, whilst others relate to the presence of weld discontinuities. Weld size can be extremely important, as it often directly corelates to the weld’s strength and performance. For example a weld that is undersized may not be able to withstand stresses and strains applied during operation.
Depending on the size and/or location of the weld discontinuities (these are the imperfections adjacent or within the weld) these can prevent the weld from attaining the desired level of performance. Weld discontinuities are commonly referred to as welding defects, which have the potential to cause earlier than anticipated weld failure due to added stress concentrations or a reduction of strength within the welded component.
Welding Inspection Reasons
Welding inspections are conducted for many reasons, the primary being to determine whether the weld is of capable quality for its intended application. In order to evaluate the quality of a weld, first you must have criteria on which comparisons can be made of the weld’s characteristics. Standards and Codes have been developed specifically for a variety of welding fabrication applications. These are used during welding inspection to dictate exactly what levels of weld discontinuities are acceptable. Note it is vitally important to choose a welding standard that is intended for use within your industry or application. If you are welding components for aerospace then potentially the standard for civil engineering construction may not be appropriate
Welding Inspection Quality Acceptance
There are several sources from where quality acceptance criteria can originate. The welding fabrication drawings or blueprints will typically provide information on length and location of welds along with other dimensional information. The dimensional requirements are most often established through design calculations or alternatively taken from known proven designs that meet the performance requirements of the welded connection.
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