Your Quick Guide To Welding And Weld Inspection
Welding is an essential skill that is used by many different industries. Mechanics need to weld metal plates to vehicles to prevent corrosion from getting worse, oil riggers weld equipment and gear to keep the rig running smoothly, and even artisans weld to create stunning works of art.
What Is Welding
In a nutshell, welding is simply a means of bonding two pieces of metal together. The two metal pieces are held together while heat is applied to them, this allows them to soften and bond with a filler agent. The joint cools quickly and is extremely strong.
There are three types of welding:
Stick welding is the most popular option and one that most welders use. A metal current is passed through the stick, which is an electrode. It also passes through the metal pieces that need to be joined. The current melts the stick which bonds with the metal, creating the needed joint.
MIG welding uses a filler wire. This is fed into the welding torch and you decide how fast the wire comes out, this controls the speed you weld and the thickness of your weld. The wire and torch create an arc that puts the wire directly onto your joint.
It’s a strong bond and a better-looking finish than stick.
TIG welding is similar to MIG but you have a greater degree of control over the arc. This allows you to be much more precise but it’s a more complicated technique to learn which is why it’s generally reserved for professionals.
You should note that plastic welding is now becoming popular. This is the process of joining two pieces of plastic. Instead of metal, there are thermoplastic pieces, joining them is basically the same principle as with metal welding.
Inspecting The Weld
In principle, anyone can start welding. However, just because the two items are stuck together it doesn’t mean you have created a strong weld. This needs to be verified by specialist welding consultants. They will examine the finish to see how tidy the weld is, this gives an indication of professionalism and the strength of the joint.
A good inspector will also look at the technique you have used and will watch you weld a little, this ensures you are using best practices and the bond is sound.
There are pre-defined levels of acceptability when inspecting weld joints, the inspector will ensure your joints meet the required level.
The Bottom Line
Welding is a valuable skill that will allow you to undertake a variety of tasks. However, the key to becoming better at welding is to practice first. All you need is a stick and some old spare pieces of metal. You can then practice getting the right angles, joints, and finish.
It is possible to learn the techniques yourself. But, you’ll find it easier to check out a local expert and learn from them. This will help to ensure you learn the right techniques and become the best welder you can be. Of course, you need to remember that practice is everything.