Arc Welding Articles

The arc welding technology area focuses on the most commonly used arc welding processes, mainly GMAW/MIG, GTAW/TIG, SMAW/stick, and plasma. The articles and press releases cover processes and power sources, plus all of the related items—electrodes and wire, wire feeders, fixtures, manipulators, positioners, and power sources. If you need information on personal protective gear, ventilation systems, and safety practices for welders, see our Safety coverage area.

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Arc Welding 101: Minimizing defects from welding starts, stops

May 5, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I am having trouble making welds that are all the same length when using GMAW. How can I create tie-ins that are all in line with each other and spaced out as they should be? Allen T. A: It is understood throughout the industry that most weld defects are attributed to weld stops and...

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Arc Welding 101: Evaluating partial joint penetration grooves for welder qualification to AWS D1.1

May 5, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: How would you evaluate a flare V-groove joint for welder qualification to AWS D1.1? The standard is not clear on how to test the prequalified joint (B-P11-GF). Dale L. A: AWS D1.1 Subclauses 4.25 and 4.28, you’ll see that D1.1 for personnel qualification states that a complete joint...

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Metalworking throughout history

May 5, 2014 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Metalworking began long before the Iron Age, and welding has undergone its share of developments throughout the centuries. How much do you know about its history and evolution?

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Make way for the brew crew

May 5, 2014 | By Amanda Carlson

Craft beer is all the rage these days, and Crawford Co., Rock Island, Ill., has thrown its hat into the ring. After working closely with a local brewer who contracted the fabricator to build larger-capacity equipment, the two partnered to form a no-nonsense brewing division within the company to address the needs of the booming craft beer industry.

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Arc Welding 101: Advice for a conflicted CWI

May 2, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: The company I work for takes on jobs at the last minute, which makes it harder for me to work at the level that the customer requires, especially providing material test reports (MTR). I cannot provide all the MTRs our customer requires. Often we don't get them from our vendor, or parts have sat...

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Arc Welding 101: One WPS for multiple locations?

May 2, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I work for a large U.S. corporation that is made up of 15 manufacturers, each with well-known brands within their respective markets. Since we all work for "X-Corp.," it seems as though we could share welding procedures specifications (WPS) and procedure qualification records (PQR) across the...

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Arc Welding 101: Welding’s danger zone

May 1, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: Which is more dangerous, nuclear welding or underwater welding? Stephanie V. A: When we use the term nuclear in welding, often we are referring to the need for high weld quality. Nuclear welding can be carried out in a fab shop miles from a nuclear power plant or on-site during...

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Arc Welding 101: Qualified or not?

April 30, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I'm working with a company whose welders are certified on A36 plate with 0.045 solid wire. They have taken the test in a vertical-down progression using GMAW in globular transfer mode. They took it on 1-in. plate, single V-groove with backing. The company they want to do work for wants them...

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Arc Welding 101: Play by the rules of welding

April 29, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I have a problem with the B31.3 code: It seems to be costing us jobs. Recently we were in talks with a regular customer to do some copper brazing. When we made them aware of the requirements for pressure testing, they backed out. In their words, they didn't want to "go through all that." This is...

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Arc Welding 101: Is metal-cored MIG a suitable alternative for FCAW?

April 28, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: We are a job shop that builds shipping containers out of aluminum and occasionally steel. We have a steel job coming through that calls for flux-cored arc welding (FCAW). Is there an equivalent or alternative to FCAW available? Amanda M. A: I’m not aware of all the specifics of your...

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gas delivery

The economies of efficiency in gas delivery

April 28, 2014 | By John Karpus

Continuous supply of gas to a fabricating activity is the goal of any shop. Fabricators may not realize that they have choices in gas delivery system design that help to ensure uptime is maximized.

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Arc Welding 101: Advice for quoting weldments

April 25, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I am looking for some insight on the best approach, best practices, and industry standards for quoting weldments. There seems to be a great deal of information out there about deposition rates and travel speeds, but not a lot about the additional variables like clamping, part handling, cleaning,...

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Arc Welding 101: Finding clues in the AWS D1.1 Commentary

April 24, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q:The company that I work for makes a single-pass circumferential weld on which there is a minor tendency for an open pore in the weld crater at the tie-in. Our engineering department deems this weld discontinuity as a cosmetic issue only and thereby has authorized the use of a sealant. In the...

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Arc Welding 101: Passing a weld test

April 23, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: Why do good welders fail weld tests? Anonymous A: Sometime around 1981, when unemployment rates were near 9 percent and after I had moved around from one bad job to another, I was given the opportunity to take the welder qualification test at Cyde Iron Works in Duluth, Minn. Passing the test...

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Arc Welding 101: Use and identify tungsten electrodes correctly

April 22, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: Can you tell me how to identify tungsten after the paint is worn off? Anonymous A: The two most common processes that use a nonconsumable tungsten electrode are gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) and plasma arc welding (PAW). These electrodes come in a variety of compositions or alloys, and...

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