The demand for good welders comes from a whole range of industrial sectors. Many industries that are critical to the world economy cannot function without the certainty that their working environments are both safe and efficient. Welding is not a skill that is easily learnt, and there is certainly no shortcut to proficiency. There is also no room for complacency, and it is important that trainers instil the right habits in their apprentices. An able work force is invaluable, particularly when the things it produces are so critical in industries of all kinds.
A willing pupil
There is much to learn and practise, but perhaps one prerequisite for anyone wanting to become a welder is patience and the willingness to learn. They must understand that there are dangers in welding, and they must take precautions against the heat and electricity; eyes are particularly vulnerable and must be protected at all times.
A good environment
It is important that all work is done in a ventilated area. That is likely to be part of a company’s safety manual. It is essential that not only are any manuals followed but also that the welder follows the instructions regarding use of equipment. It sounds obvious, but it is important to stress it. You should make sure that you are comfortable; that means in dress and with regard to the temperature of the working environment. This is a factor in reducing the chances of accidents and a loss of productivity as a result.
While welding can rarely be done in sanitised conditions, the environment should be as clean as possible so that there is a minimum of dust, oil, or grease that can affect the quality of a weld. The job will begin by cleaning both pieces of metal to be joined, and a stainless-steel brush is best for that cleaning. The filler materials themselves need to be kept clean and stored in a dry area.
X-rays: The crucial test
It is essential to train a novice in good practices so that they become automatic. Every weld should be visually inspected by the person doing the job. That is common sense but cannot possibly guarantee that everything is fine. Even the most proficient of welders will find his work subject to checking. Non-destructive testing is essential, and an X-ray is the best way to ensure that the work has been done to the standard required. While you may not know it, everything has to pass X-ray NDT before it will be passed for use or sale. The bridges we all cross, the planes that take us on holiday, and the pipelines that carry our gas all depend upon quality welding and stringent checking. The checks look to find any potential problems, perhaps bubbles in the structure, fault lines, corrosion, or impurities.
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