The Welding Leader, News and Information for the Welding Community

Using the Correct Materials and Consumables Solves Welding Problems

Using the correct materials will reduce potential future weld failures Numerous engineering catastrophes have been traced to the use of incorrect materials. The resources allocated for materials identification and control depend upon the consequences of a component failure that would result from using incorrect materials.

Train employees in how to deal with vendors, and provide written procedures. You can also take specific steps to protect against mistakes with incoming material and consumables. As a general rule, when the distance from a vendor increases, there is an even greater justification for pre-shipment inspections. The same material from different vendors may be different. Quality, heat treatment, dimensional inconsistencies, and chemical composition tests may vary with vendor. Material Test Reports (MTRs) may be requested for deliveries and should coincide with the actual material received.


Welding consumables are typically commercial-grade products. The American Welding Society (AWS) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) specifications describing consumables are performance-based criteria and are periodically verified by performance tests conducted during their production. Each lot and shipment of consumables will not operate identically, which is why a range of operating parameters is listed in welding procedures.


All materials used in welding are important. Weldability of base materials, incoming inspection and selection of wire, flux and gas consumables are necessary to achieve quality welds. The initial choice and continual receipt of the proper materials can improve your profits and reduce your warranty costs. When in doubt about whether you are using proper materials, gather as much information as possible from the welding area and review the procedures with your welding engineer. Productive welding and bottom-line profitability are maximized when welding is accomplished in the proper manner with the correct materials the first time.