Just like products go through quality control processes, welds also go through testing and inspection in order to ensure that they are satisfactory to be used in the field. This process of inspection and testing is always done in conditions that mirror what the welded structures encounter on the field. This article will highlight the importance of weld testing and inspection, as well as the different welding testing methods that there are.
What is The Importance of Weld Testing?
Weld testing is a very important process as it helps to test the strength of welds used in building structures. An error in welding can have a negative effect on metals, causing them to lose their strength and effectively reducing their lifespan. This can then lead to the collapse or failure of a structure. Through a number of methods, these welds are inspected in order to verify their quality. Testing and inspection help to ascertain that the welds have met the set standards, thereby giving quality assurance and the prevention of extra costs in the near future.
Weld Testing Methods
Weld testing methods refer to the ways in which the quality of welds is checked and ascertained. There are two major weld testing methods which are destructive testing and non-destructive testing.
The meaning is in the name, as destructive testing refers to the physical destruction of a completed weld. This is in order to measure its physical properties and components, in order to know how it will perform on the field as well as in certain conditions. As it entails physical destruction, destructive testing is usually easier to carry out, while also giving detailed information and a near accurate result. Destructive testing covers material analysis and hardness testing, as well as mechanical testing that includes bend tests, tensile tests, and impact tests. Destructive testing is best suited for a small number of welds, as the destruction of a large volume is not cost-effective.
Unlike destructive testing, non-destructive testing does not involve damaging the welds. Instead, it entails checking the structural quality of the components of the welds. While non-destructive testing does not provide a detailed result like destructive testing, it helps to save time and money. Also known as NDT, non-destructive testing is a method that is used in a lot of engineering sectors. This includes but is not limited to electrical engineering, forensic engineering, petroleum engineering, and mechanical engineering.
Inspection Carried Out On Welds
Apart from these tests, there are also different forms of inspection carried out on welds. This inspection entails the following:
- Checking the weld distribution to ensure that it is equally distributed.
- Checking the weld to confirm that it is free from slag.
- Inspecting for holes and pores on the weld, as this is an indication of weakness.
- Checking the tightness of the weld joints. A loose joint is a welding fault that can cause problems.
- Checking if the weld is leakproof. A leaking weld has pores that can weaken it.
Weld testing and inspection can save you a lot of money, that will otherwise be spent on avoidable repair costs. This is why you need welding consultants to check the quality of the welds before a structure is put in place.