A welding certification is a key component for a professional welder that comes with many rewards; not to mention higher salaries, better job stability, and higher job demand. The welding industry forms a critical part of the global industrial sector.
Some of the industrial applications of welding include shipbuilding; in the fabrication processes of different metals like aluminum and steel, as well as providing various components used in the manufacture of HVAC units.
To create quality welds, a person is required to hold a certification in different welding categories. Therefore, they are required to pass a welding test to ensure that they possesses the right skills for the job.
In welding, a certification may be equated to a crown worn by a king. It shows proof of your efficiency, effectiveness, and ability to match the job description and other unique tasks within a specific level of expertise. A welding test is conducted by an authorized and certified welding inspector. A welding professional who is certified in working on a specific position is not necessarily able to work on other positions.
Types of Welds
Industrially, welding technicians use two main common types of welds. They include:
- Fillet weld: Fillet welding involves joining two metals at a perpendicular position (at a right angle) or in a slanted angle. Fillet welds are also known as T joint or lap joint. Additionally, the two metals may also be welded in an overlapping position, which creates a triangular shape; used mainly in joining two metal tubes.
- Groove weld: A groove weld is used to join two metal plates. A cross-sectional perspective of a groove weld shows two metals joined at a right/ slanted angle, giving it an L or V groove.
Understanding the Types of Welding Procedures
To propel your welding career to higher heights, you need to understand the processes involved in welding. Welders also need to undergo extensive training programs to develop hands-on experience. These are some of the factors that make a professional and versatile expert.
In any training college you attend, you may choose to learn about any of the following four procedures:
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
SMAW is a type of welding procedure that requires you to adhere to a stick welding manual. The process relies on electricity to create an arch between the stick and the surfaces to be joined. The procedure is used in the construction and fabrication of steel and iron structures.
Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
The FCAW procedure was formulated as an alternative to the SMAW process. It utilizes an automatic arc weld during the construction of different metal structures.
Gas Metal Gas Welding/Metal Inert Gas (GMGW/MIG)
GMGW/ MIG welding is the most common type of procedure in the welding industry. A shielding gas that runs along an electrode is used to heat the two metals to be joined. The method requires a constant flow of direct current and voltage.
Gas Tungsten Arch Welding/Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (GTAW/TIG)
GTAW/ TIG welding is used in joining two pieces of thick stainless steel and other non-ferrous metals. This method uses electricity and a tungsten electrode that produces the weld. It is a slow process and therefore requires a lot of skill and patience.
Types of Welding Certifications
Whichever procedure of welding you want to pursue, you must have the corresponding certification. A number/ letter system usually denotes that. For instance, in a 2G certification, the 2 shows the level position and the G stands for the gr0ove. Here are some types of certifications.
1G Welding Certification
As a 1G certified welder, you have to have the skills to create quality welds in the first position – flat position. Therefore, you weld the joint while looking down at it.
With a 1G certification, you can only handle welding procedures of joining metals at a flat position. The major challenge during a 1G test is that gravity makes the slag flow faster than the arc, which may cause poor quality welds due to cold lap and slag inclusion.
2G Welding Certification
Welders applying for a 2G welding test should be able to weld a joint moving from the left to right or vice versa while looking across the joint. It is a more advanced certification than the 1G test. Passing it means you can handle any jobs related to flat-position welding.
During this certification, welders are required to join two beveled plates with a first slow pass. The second layer is created rather quickly without quenching the first weld. That gives it the required quality.
3G and 4G Combo Welding Certification
While you may decide to take individual tests for both 3G and 4G certification, these two are typically combined. Excelling in the test combo shows you have the skills to meet any 3G and 4G jobs, including the others in the lower groove classes.
In 3G, both the plates and the weld axis are aligned vertically. In this position, you can either weld the joints from the bottom to the top, or starting from the top coming down. On the other hand, 4G welding requires skill sets that enable you to work on an overhead weld. Therefore, welders need to look up while joining overhead plates from the left to the right or the reverse.
5G and 6G Welding Certification
The 5G and 6G certifications feature a combination of tests that involve three positions: horizontal, vertical, and overhead. It is a type of certification required for welding pipes and tubes of small diameters; usually to be used in power plants and oil refinery industries. It is a complicated procedure because the horizontal position of the tubes involves a fixed 2G position as well as a 45-degree fixed position.
5G and 6G certifications are also used in the welding of larger pipes with bigger diameters. It is a line of work that calls for the knowledge of both 2G and 3G, where the pipe is fixed in a horizontal position and welded vertically using a recommended filler material.
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Welding is an exciting and reliable industrial sector. It provides the required metal welds used in different industrial lines. Because of that, it is crucial for welding professionals to have the required certification to ensure they have the right skills required at a particular welding certification.
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