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RE: Investigating Welds

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The evaluation of the existing welds should be done by an experienced welding inspector. An engineer experienced in steel construction may be needed. There should be a set of plans indicating weld sizes to verify. AWS D1.1 would be the appropriate code to follow for visual inspection. Depending upon the type and size of welds, nondestructive testing such as magnetic particle or ultrasonic could be done, and AWS D1.1 would again be the standard for acceptance. Radiography is awfully expensive, so I would think three times before using it. Also, you will never know for certain if the proper strength electrode was used, or if the weld has any degree of notch toughness. Destructive tests could be done, but for the price, you may just want to reinforce the weld if there is any doubt. There can be additional issues when reinforcing welds, such as a temporary loss of strength while being welded (from the heat), and notch toughness concerns if the existing welds are FCAW-S (if notch toughness is an issue.)

Bob Shaw
Steel Structures Technology Center, Inc.

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-----Original Message-----
From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 3:16 PM
To: SEAINT Listservice
Subject: Investigating Welds

I received a call from a local production theater (plays and performances). The call was from their master carpenter who job includes evaluating the safety of the sets and mechanical platforms. He was concerned as there is a counter weight system of more than 50-kips which is used to lift sets, curtains and platforms. He is concerned only because of what he has read regarding problems with welds. He suggested I come in to help create a program where welded connection can be tested and verified. There are no noticeable problems, but he is doing this as a preventative measure to insure the safety of the people on stage and behind the scenes.
What is the standard I should follow to evaluate the welded connections that support the 50-kip counterweights? What percentage of welds should be checked? Should they be X-rayed, magnafluxed.....?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dennis S. Wish, PE

Dennis S. Wish, PE
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