Metal Fabrication Resources by Blackstone Advanced Technologies

Blackstone Advanced Technologies Blog
Feb 1, 2018 2:09:34 PM

Weld Defects (& How Your Welding Specifications Are to Blame)

welding specificationsWhen your manufacturer gives you a product that is full of weld defects, it can be easy to jump to the conclusion that whoever welded the piece is to blame. Before jumping to this conclusion, be sure to ask yourself: “Did my welding specifications promote wrongdoing?”


You’d be surprised how often a simple specification error can lead to an unsightly final product.


Welding Specifications: Putting Focus in the Right Place

Specifying welds to ensure no defects take place can feel like walking on eggshells. If you place too many welds in your specifications, the metal can distort under the hands of the welder following your requests.

On the other hand, if you do not provide enough direction, the welder might be forced to make decisions for you that do not align with your project goals.

So here’s how to specify with the goal of avoiding weld defects:


1. Use the Right File Form

Something as simple as using the wrong digital file format could be hindering your vendor’s clear understanding of what needs to be done. If you want to maximize clarity for your weld, make sure to use a form that is easy to measure and that your vendor is familiar with. You want to make sure to check these boxes to start your project on the right foot:

  • Is your design in a .dwg or .dxf CAD data file format?
  • Can it be opened in Solid Edge or SolidWorks CAD programs?
  • Is it a 3-D model?

2. Brush Up on Welding Knowledge

If you’re asking your vendor to provide something for you, you want to make sure it is feasible. If you’re requesting a metal grade that is not ideal for welding, the metal may warp under the improper temperature -- causing defects.

Other things to think about before specifying include:

  • Making sure the multiple metal types you requested work well together. Some combinations are susceptible to corrosion and other property changes.

  • Double checking the porosity of the metal (Hint: Ask your vendor to have a welding inspector who uses X-rays and ultrasounds to check for holes)

  • Checking metal thickness for welding ability

  • Reading up on the durability of the metal you specified after it is welded. Is there a better metal you could be using for the project?

3. Talking With Your Vendor Early (and Often)

As soon as you know the details of what your project is going to entail, contact your vendor. Any welding expert will be able to tell you right off the bat if your design is feasible, and will stop you before you are too deep in writing the specifications.

If you have already written the specifications and realize you made an error, be sure to contact your vendor with any changes that need to be made.

Welding specifications are not the time to be bashful. If you think you need more out of your vendor, let them know! That way you ensure the final product is exactly how you want it.


Get More on Welding Specs

For more information on welding specifications and the consequences of getting it wrong, download our Engineer’s Guide to Sheet Metal Welding Specs to ensure you get the product of your dreams -- every time!


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