What to Look for When Visually Inspecting Steel Studs

While different assemblies and structures are measured against unique standards, every weld used during fabrication should undergo at least a visual inspection to ensure its quality. Visual inspections can be completed by the welder himself or by another party to uncover more glaring problems with welds before, during, and after welding takes place.

Before welding begins

A weld inherits the structural integrity of its components, which means that the first inspection should take place prior to an arc being drawn.

  • Do the materials meet specs for quality, type, and size?
  • Is the surface clean and clear of contaminants at the weld spot and the point at which the ground clamp is fastened?
  • Are the metal pieces being joined flat and free of warpage?
  • Are the metal pieces being joined the correct thickness for the studs being used?
  • Are the equipment and other provisions – electrode size, rate of travel, and welding current – appropriate to the task?

During welding

Welders can reduce the need for repairs and associated costs by visually inspecting after each weld pass. In cases when more than one layer of metal filler is being applied, thorough and regular assessments are critical to prevent cracking, undercutting, and slag trapping.

  • Is the root bead size sufficient to prevent cracking?
  • Is the crater completely filled with weld metal?
  • Is the weld pass free of undercut and required contour?
  • Are there visual discrepancies indicative of slag inclusions?

After welding ends

After welding has been completed, a visual inspection will identify surface defects as well as ensuring codes and specs have been met.

  • Does the weld meet relevant codes and standards?
  • Are welds free of cracks, porosity, and unfilled craters?
  • Are welds free of overlap and undercut?
  • Do the joined metal pieces show signs of warpage or dimensional variance?
  • Are the weld sizes consistent?

Because the integrity of a weld is dependent upon quality materials and equipment, begin each fabrication project with the most innovative, enduring welding products on the market. Contact the welding experts at PFSNO to learn more about our stainless steel ARC studs and ARC welders.