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Lack of side-wall fusion (LOSWF)

Lack of side wall fusion defects are obtained with two techniques:

TIG bridging
Use of a metallic or non metallic insert
The 'TIG bridging' technique consists of outlining the edges of the defect on the weld edge with TIG
runs, then bridging the area between them with further TIG runs, deposited so that no fusion with the
base metal is obtained. The morphology of defects obtained with this technique is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Photomacrographs showing the cross sections of realistic LOSWF defects obtained by TIG bridging: (a, b)
Embedded defect shown at different magnifications. Millimetre scales are shown

LOSWF obtained by using a metallic or non-metallic insert are deposited by tack welding an insert on
the weld edge in the required position, welding it in position with TIG runs and then completing the
weld according to the applicable welding procedure specification (WPS), see Figure 2. The metallic
insert is normally made of a different material from that of the plates to be welded (eg a
medium/high-carbon steel).

Figure 2. Photomacrographs showing the cross section of realistic LOSWF defects obtained by a metallic insert: (a,
b) Embedded defect shown at different magnifications. Millimetre scales are shown

In both the above cases, due to contraction of the weld metal deposited to complete the weld, the TIG
bridging runs and the metallic insert are 'pushed' towards the weld edge producing a very tight defect,
which simulates the morphology of a real LOSWF. Both these techniques allow a very accurate control
of the defect size.

Surface breaking LOSWF defects are always produced by TIG bridging. As shown in Figure 1c, the
crack mouth tends to open due to solidification shrinkage of the weld; hence, it is not possible to
obtain very tight (crack-like) defects by this method.

3.3 Lack of root fusion


Lack of fusion defects (similar to lack of penetration) at the weld root can be obtained by EDM
notching or by TIG. Although EDM notching is precisely controlled, the resulting defect is characterised
by a relatively large gape (Figure 3c) and cannot replicate a real lack of fusion defect (Figure 3a and
b), which is better simulated by manual TIG welding. In order to obtain realistic lack of root fusion
defects by manual welding, TIG is applied to obtain a weld metal build up at the weld root. This is then
ground parallel to the opposite root face, according to the required defect size. Small TIG runs are
deposited on top of the build-up, making sure that the contact surface between the build-up and the
opposite root face is not melted. This leaves an unfused land which simulates the lack of root fusion
defect.

The manual procedure allows defects within the required tolerances, even when very small sizes are
required (1 to 3mm in through wall height).
Figure 3. Photomacrographs showing the cross sections of realistic lack of root fusion defects. (a, b) Defect
obtained by manual welding, (c) Defect obtained by EDM. Millimetre scales are shown

3.4 Slag inclusion


Lucas described the procedure to obtain slag inclusions at TWI [5]. Slag is formed from the residue of
the electrode coating, which is principally deoxidation products from the reaction with the air and
surface oxide. The slag becomes trapped in the weld when two adjacent weld beads are deposited
with inadequate overlap and a gap is formed. When the next layer is deposited, the entrapped slag is
not melted out. Thus slag may become trapped in cavities in multipass welds through excessive
undercut or the uneven surface profile of preceding weld runs. The normal occurrence of slag is in the
form of elongated lines which may be either continuous or discontinuous along the length of the weld.

As reported by Lucas, slag inclusions can be inserted in any position in the weld by stopping the
welding operation for the length of the desired defect. Adjacent passes are then carried out to produce
a groove in which powdered slag can be inserted, as shown in Figure 4. The top of the groove is
sealed by small TIG runs. The slag is fused by the heat of the sealing runs and subsequent passes.

Figure 4. Photomacrograph showing the cross sections of a slag inclusion defect. A millimetre scale is shown

3.5 Solidification cracking


Solidification cracks normally occur through a poor weld bead size or shape. Cracks occur
longitudinally and within the weld metal. A solidification crack can be induced by weld design and use
of crack-prone filler metals (Figure 5a) or by using a specific welding technique (Figure 5b). The
'welding technique' route is the preferred one when the defect size, location and orientation are to be
controlled.
Figure 5. Photomacrographs showing the cross sections of solidification cracks. (a) real defect obtained by manual
welding, (b) realistic defect obtained by manual welding. Millimetre scales are shown

3.6 EDM notching


As discussed in Section 2, machining or spark eroding are the most controlled ways to produce
defects. Due to the nature of the machining operation itself, such defects would be classified more as
'reference reflectors' than 'realistic defects', as per Section 2.

However, there are cases where according to the requirements of the relevant code or standard and
based on engineering considerations by NDT experts, the full control of the size, location and
orientation of the deliberate defects is more critical than their resemblance to a real defect.

A specific example is that of a nozzle-to-shell weld mock-up prepared by TWI for NDT validation, with
a weld thickness of approximately 140mm, manufactured by submerged-arc welding (SAW).

The location, orientation and sizes of the defects to be inserted in the nozzle to shell welds and on the
nozzle inner radius, were selected to match the acceptance criteria in ASME section XI article IWB-
3512. Following qualification of the defect production techniques as per the procedure described in
Section 4 below, it was determined that if manual techniques were applied, it would not have been
possible to guarantee acceptable tolerances on the required tilt and skew angles. In addition, for the
purpose of the validation, it was not considered critical to obtain realistic defects.

Therefore, all defects were produced by EDM notching, with the results shown in Figure 6 below. In
the case of defects located at mid-thickness, to prevent the subsequent SAW runs from melting of the
defects, small TIG runs were deposited after notching, before resuming SAW welding. The parameters
used to deposit these TIG runs were recorded during the weld procedure qualification, so that the
same results could be obtained on the actual validation test piece.