Repair Welds

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Repair Welds are minor welds applied to structures in order to fix areas of areas of minor damage. Unfortunately, structural failures are often initiated at the site of a repair weld. Sometimes those repair welds are field repairs, but many times they occur during original fabrication and are unknown to the purchaser.

Because most standards and specifications do not typically cover repairs completed by the fabricator, many times they will do whatever they want to repair a manufacturing defect, then grind it flush, finish the fabrication, and ship the product. Repair welds created in this fashion can end up becoming an in-service through-wall crack within a relatively short period due to a hardness problem, dissimilar weld chemistry, stress raiser, or other hidden defect.

Buyers should be aware and take steps to protect themselves, such as requiring in your purchase specifications that the fabricator inform you of any defects that they intend to repair, and ensuring that each repair gets the proper Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC).

In the case of field repairs, they tend not to be as good or as controlled as conditions for shop repairs. Because of this, they require extra careful specification and QA/QC, with input from knowledgeable specialists for alloys or non-ferrous materials or where other special circumstances require design, materials and corrosion prevention knowledge.

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Articles about Repair Welds
March/April 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

The quality of the thousands of factory and field welds present in pressure part modules is critical for assuring reliable operation over the life of a plant. Companies should be doing more than paying lip service to quality. Don't just tick a box.

January/February 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Repair welds can be another undetected and insidious "fabrication defect" that eventually results in equipment failure. Any experienced metallurgist that has completed numerous failure analyses over the years will tell you that periodically they see...

Authors: John Reynolds
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