More than 50 years of experience in the welding field, has shown that people who do not have welding engineering degrees and whose activities include designing weldments, selecting and purchasing materials, establishing, specifying or performing welding, tend to repeatedly make the same common costly welding mistakes, regardless of the industry.
Making, ignoring or being unaware of common welding mistakes has had, and continues to have serious consequences, including design changes, specification changes, drawing revisions, reduced quality, low productivity, rework, scrape, schedule delays, cost overruns, field failures, injury accidents, death, liability lawsuits, bankruptcy, and customer bad will.
Most likely the welding problems you are experiencing now, or in the past can be traced to one or more of the common welding mistakes. These common welding mistakes and their consequences can be prevented by knowing what the common welding mistakes are and avoiding them. The result designed and built-in welding quality. Avoiding a welding mistake is always cheaper than fixing the consequences of making it. One welding mistake can cost millions. Four cases in point:
(1) The attempts of some engineers and designers to specify SA 335, Grade P91, 9Cr-1Mo-V steel pipe, because of its long-term high temperature properties. And as a result, having the material fail prematurely in service due to improper fabrication, welding, and heat-treating procedures.
(2) The improper weld joint, and weld, causing the cracked pipe weld, gas leak, explosion, and fire in San Bruno, California, resulting in several deaths and extensive property damage.
(3) The weld cracking problem on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
(4) The numerous incidents of welding induced corrosion, cracks, failures, accidents, litigation, etc., not reported in the media.
Typical mistakes leading to these types of problems include:
- No one with a welding engineering degree to support the weldment design and fabrication function.
- Using someone who does not have a welding engineering degree to make welding decisions.
- Assuming metallurgical and materials engineering are equivalent to welding engineering.
- Relying solely on textbooks and handbooks to select welding filler metals and electrodes.
- Relying solely on welders for information affecting engineering and design decisions.
- Relying on welding inspection to control and improve welding quality.
- Not considering, or understanding the welding thermal cycle, and the resulting changes occurring in the base material, the weld, and heat affected zones during welding.
- Assuming a certified welder will always make good welds.