Whether it’s a kitchen range hood, lighting fixture, plumbing pipe, or car part, if it’s metal, then welding was involved in its construction. This technique is used to join separate pieces of metal. If you’re unfamiliar with metal fabrication, understanding what constitutes good welding work can be challenging, especially since there are different techniques, each with unique characteristics. Here are a few distinctive traits to help you determine if the welding work is well done.
How to Assess Welding Work
1. Uniform Appearance
If Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding was used, then the beads caused by the fusing the joint should have a uniform appearance. If this line looks very thin, it’s likely the welder was moving too fast; if it’s too thick, they may have moved too slowly. The MIG technique is commonly used for steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
2. Distinct Bead Pattern
When Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) is used, the beads should have a thin, defined pattern across the entire line. They should be relatively even in size despite their visually repetitive pattern. TIG welding is usually preferred for lighter, nonferrous metals because it doesn’t require too much finishing work like sanding or grinding.
3. No Undercutting
Another sign of satisfactory TIG work is the absence of undercutting. You can identify undercutting by the inadvertent grooves on the edges of pieces joined together. Usually, this forms a weak joint and is caused by moving too quickly or having too high of a heat setting.
4. Zero Cracks or Holes
Regardless of the technique used, any cracks or holes in the finished product are a sign of subpar work. These imperfections can compromise the structure of the piece and can undermine its functionality and longevity. Cracks and holes are common with MIG, oxyacetylene, and stick welding methods.
5. Effective Performance
Appearances are only one assessment. Even if things aren’t aesthetically pleasing, the work may still be structurally sound. The best way to confirm this is by running the necessary tests to check for things like cracks, hardness level, and tensile strength.
For a superior welding job you can trust, choose Brady’s Welding Specialities in Tacoma, WA. For more than 40 years, residents and businesses have relied on this locally-owned company for their wide range of welding services and high-quality work. Offering both mobile and in-shop welding work, they handle repairs and fabrication. More information can be found online, or you can get started by calling (253) 475-4608.