September 13, 2010
The top six finalists selected from 24 student welders who competed in the SkillsUSA Championships 2009 and 2010 will be showcased at the 2010 Weld-Off Competition sponsored by the American Welding Society, Miami, at FABTECH 2010.
Three of the competitors will qualify to advance to the next phase of the selection process that culminates at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo., next June. The SkillsUSA winner at the U.S. Open Weld Trials will represent the U.S. at the WorldSkills Competition in October 2011 in London.
Student welders will test their skills by following contest drawings and a set of welding procedure specifications. All drawings, welding symbols, and welding terms conform to the latest editions of AWS standards.
At a series of stations, contestants are tested on various aspects of welding: measuring weld replicas using weld measuring gauges; laying out a plate and using oxyacetylene equipment to cut several holes checked for accuracy and quality; GMAW on steel, making welds in various positions using short-circuiting transfers; FCAW using a shielding gas, making welds in various positions; and using a combination machine capable of providing the correct welding current for SMAW and GTAW. Competitors will complete the steel project and weld an aluminum project in various positions using a variety of filler metals.