Inspecting the Weld

If you are a professional welder, no doubt you know how complex the trade really is. First, there is the expertise in the use of a massive variety of welding equipment that is required to make one a competent welder. Then, there is the intellectual understanding of the building codes and regulations in your chosen industry. These are necessary for ensuring quality control. For this second wedge of the welding pie, the role of welding inspector is key. In this blog we will go over the basics of how and why someone in the field of welding would become an inspector of welding in Atlanta, Georgia.

WHAT A WELDING INSPECTOR DOES

Basically, a weld inspector’s role is to ensure that a given weld will perform structurally. To do this, an inspector can look for weld defects or discontinuities in several ways. The most simple is visual inspection of a weld to look for surface level defects. In case an internal flaw is overlooked by the naked eye, other inspection methods exist including surface crack detection, radiographic, ultrasonic, or destructive methods. Surface crack detection uses a dye to check a weld. This gives the eye an assist. Next-level methods include using a fluorescent liquid or magnetic field (when relevant, in the case of ferrous metals) to determine a weld’s continuity. Then, as mentioned, an inspector may use higher-tech methods such as X-ray radiography or ultrasound to test a weld when the situation calls for it.

Destructive weld testing involves taking small samples of a given weld and testing its integrity the hard way. This is accomplished by either etch testing with an acid, using the fillet break test, or by testing the tensile properties of a weld by bending it in various ways. Utilizing these tests, an inspector can tell whether a production weld will hold its own out in the field.

HOW CAN I BECOME A WELDING INSPECTOR?

To become a certified welding inspector, you must have an appropriate combination of years of welding experience and formal education. For example, with a bachelors or higher degree in welding tech, you must have worked at least one year of corresponding professional welding experience. If, like many, you went out into the field as a pro welder without going through formal schooling, you can still test to become a welding inspector by relying on your expertise with welding supplies. For example, if you have completed an 8th grade education, nine years of pro welding experience will suffice instead of a college degree. Any way you slice it, you must prove in an exam that you possess the right combination of knowledge of welding–like the symbols, safety protocols, and testing methods–with practical know-how like welding methods and techniques for all metalworking situations.

To get the best up-to-date welding supplies and to talk with the friendliest experts in the field, just come on down to Sidney Lee Welding Supply, Inc in the Atlanta, GA region whenever you’re ready!