3 Weld Testing Methods You Should Know About

12 November 2014
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

If you need welding work done, it's important to test the integrity of welds to ensure structural soundness and quality control. That's why it's important for you to know what kind of non-destructive weld testing is available and how different methods are appropriate in different situations. With this information, you can better quiz welding service providers about how they plan to ensure their welds are properly done, and keep yourself from costly repairs in the future. Here are 3 of the most common weld testing methods.

X-Ray Testing

X-ray testing is one of the most effective non-destructive methods of weld testing available. Non-destructive testing simply refers to weld testing that doesn't damage any material or welding work done. Essentially, with this method an X-ray machine is used to examine a weld and reveal any cracks or incomplete welding areas.

There have been a number of advancements made in this type of testing, including the introduction of 3-D modeling X-ray machines and computer software designed specifically for testing welds. Unfortunately, this type of weld testing is quite expensive and often requires a specialist who can read the results properly.

X-ray testing is also usually quite slow, and if you need a big welding job done, an X-ray test can take a significant amount of time. However, for those who want to be absolutely certain a welding job was performed correctly, this is one of the best testing methods available.

Gamma Ray Testing

Although not as common as other testing methods, gamma rays are similar to X-rays but produce a beam that has much higher energy and penetration capabilities. This type of testing is especially useful when dealing with thicker materials that X-rays have trouble penetrating.

If you're an industrial manufacturer or involved in the oil and gas industry, gamma ray testing might be appropriate for you due to the thick pipes and very large welds often required. Unfortunately, there are certain cost disadvantages involved that you should be aware of.

Dye Penetration

This cheaper method of weld testing involves using dyes to find cracks, improperly welded joints, and other issues with structural integrity. There are numerous types of dyes to choose from. Some are designed to be safe for certain materials while others were created to test different aspects of a material, such as how porous the material might be.

Usually a weld tester will apply this dye to your weld and allow it to set for a period of time before performing an examination. Often these dyes are fluorescent in nature, allowing operators to view them under ultraviolet light for better flaw detection. This method is much faster than X-rays and can allow a tester to review your welding jobs in a very efficient manner, but sometimes isn't as thorough as an X-ray test can be.

Ultimately, it's best to speak with a weld service provider about how they plan to test their welds while working with you. That way you can have a good idea about your overall costs and what kind of quality you can expect in terms of the final product. Take a look at websites like http://www.suburbanweldingandsteel.com for more information.