Weld Procedure Services
Once an asset design, material, and process selection get finalized, the weld process development can proceed. It is best to start this process on demo equipment to make sure it’s appropriate. Such equipment can be available at the vendor laboratory or procured temporarily. At Pittsburgh Mineral & Environmental Technology (PMET) we make the entire welding inspection process easy for the client.
The weld evaluation process generally consists of three steps: weld parameter development, weld procedure qualification, and weld performance qualification. Each step is essential to ensure that the final product meets all the necessary quality requirements. By starting the welding inspection process on demo equipment, it’s possible to avoid any potential problems further down the line. A thorough evaluation early in the development cycle is crucial to the final success of the project. It should also include metallurgical evaluation including optical and SEM analysis. If corrosion is a critical product feature, such testing gets conducted as well.
What is Weld Evaluation?
Weld evaluation is the process of determining the weldability or suitability of a given welded joint. The weldability of a welded joint gets determined through non-destructive testing, destructive testing, or both. Non-destructive testing methods include visual inspection, dye penetrant inspection, and magnetic particle inspection. Destructive testing methods include tensile testing and metallographic examination.
The weldability of a welded joint can also get affected by the material used, the design of the welded joint, and the welding development process. For example, welds made with electroless nickel plating can be susceptible to cracking due to the high amounts of phosphorous in the plating. Changing to electroplated nickel can eliminate the cracks. Additionally, the rapid cooling rate associated with some welding processes can produce cracks in many alloys due to the formation of unstable phases or excessive residual stress on cooling. To avoid those problems, a long cool down at the end of a laser pulse can get introduced.
Welding Inspection Process
A major part of the welding inspection process is developing a weld procedure. This weld procedure service will help to ensure that the welds are of the highest quality and meet all the necessary requirements. The weld procedure should also involve the determination of process throughput (welds per minute) to make sure the process and power supply are fully capable of meeting the production rate.
Issues related to production such as part loading/unloading, part alignment, cleanliness, and part cooling should get discussed in detail to make sure the machine builder is aware of all the nuances.
PMET uses a variety of welding inspection tools depending on the welding process used. For example, welding processes that use filler material, such as shielded metal arc welding, require different tools than those that do not use filler material, such as gas tungsten arc welding. However, all welding inspection tools share a few common features. First, they must be able to measure the thickness of the welding material. Second, they must be able to identify defects in the welding, such as cracks or porosity. Finally, they must be able to verify that the welding meets the specifications for the application.
Once the preliminary development is complete, the final optimization will have to carry out on the real production machine with production fixtures and setups.
- Review of Welding Specifications During the BID Phase.
- Development and Qualification of Welding Procedures.
- Development of Welder Qualification Programs.
- Development of Welding Specifications.
- Review of Procedures and Qualifications of (Sub) Contractors.
- Representing the Client during Kick-Off / Pre-Inspection Meetings.
- Audits at Location during Qualification or Production Phase of the Project.
- Troubleshooting during the Project on Welding and Material Issues.
- Selection of Materials and Welding Consumables
- Selection of the Welding Process
- Welded Joint Design
- Welder Training; Testing
- Preparation and Approval of WPS; PQR
- Welding Procedure Qualification Witnessing
- Weld Failure Analysis
Keep in mind that any last-minute change to automation equipment can mean weeks of delays to the project. Weld procedure services can help you develop a comprehensive plan that meets all your needs and requirements. Contact PMET today to learn more.