Thursday, July 9, 2015

Top 13 Things to Teach Your Novice Welders (Part 2)

Learning to weld is not easy. Just like a solider, one needs steadfast spirit, patience to learn. It also takes practice and firm foundation of knowledge. Following are 13 important things that companies can consider to teach their novice welders. Ensure they grasp those things for skilling up, gaining confidence needed to increase proficiency, and staying safe in the process.

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7. Know material properties

Different materials have different chemical and mechanical properties. One of key components of training is to help new welders see the difference between materials, specifically how they respond to heating and cooling. For instance, austenitic stainless steel carries heat at about half the rate of mild steel though, it, when being welded, has much higher rate of thermal expansion. Not all, it comes with more localized heat affected zone(HAZ), which can induce buckling as the weld cools. Welders with awareness of those properties can take such precautions as clamping for distortion prevention. 


Likewise, many materials ask for pre and post weld heat treatments for the cooling rate control and cracking prevention. When welders familiarize themselves with such material attributes, they are better ready to make needed adjustments during welding process.

8. Inspect the welds with visualization

Visually inspect welds
The first step of quality control is to know how to make an accurate visual inspection of the completed weld. This is also the quickest and least costly method of inspection. Novice welders should learn how to define weld defects – for example, porosity, lack of penetration, excessive penetration, undercutting, weld cracks. Early identification of defects will help prevent time and cost poured into other testing methods, including non-destructive testing or x-ray inspections. 

9. Learn troubleshooting skills


One of key skills new welders should learn is the ability to define and rectify welding problems quickly. Downtime reduction, weld quality and productivity are associated with troubleshooting skills. Such skills also can help lower rework related costs. 

Novice welders can be benefited from learning to properly adjust the gas flow rate and/ or define gas leaks for solving instances of porosity. They should also know to adjust voltage and amperage settings if they face such issues as excessive conductivity, lacking penetration, undercutting. Defining welding problems related to worn consumables is also significant as poor conductivity can lead to an unstable arc and various weld defects.

10. Be familiar with maintenance

Each and every part of the welding system, from electric source to GTAW torch or GMAW gun and consumables, requires maintenance to keep its efficient and effective operation. New welders should familiarize with appropriate maintenance procedures, preferably the preventive ones, to be active in the continuing upkeep of the whole welding system.

11. Get the sense of proper travel speed

The most typical challenge facing welding instructors is training their students the right travel speed. It is difficult to know how slow or fast to move so as to generate the best possible weld. As the experienced, you may know how it feels for a proper travel speed though, it may be hard to tell someone how to do it.

Arc travel speed faults
Still, you can conquer this challenge by first letting your students watch you weld some practice beads. Newcomers can imitate you when you weld for getting the sense of how quick they need move. 

12. Know how to see the puddle

Teach your students about stick welding since it is easier to see the puddle. Yet, if you do start with Mig, you will need spend some time helping the new welders find out the right angle and positioning to see the puddle. When moving their heads to the side so as to see the puddle, beginners often move off the welding joint.

13. Know how to weld straight

Beginners needn’t learn how to weld uphill or in various positions. It may be the best just to start with a flat piece of metal that you draw 2 lines on and weld down the mid of it. Straight stringers are considered the best way to go with novice welders who need more focus on travel speed than the torch weaving or whipping when they work.

Teaching a new welder doesn’t just mean showing him/ her how to set the electric source or hold the torch or gun at the right angle. The best training approach is to integrate good habits which will keep welders safe and comfy, and equip them with the knowledge and tips to handle everything from materials to maintenance. Of course, the required time to shift a novice welder to the skilled will take long. Yet, the long term benefits are worth it.


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