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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Storage of low hydrogen electrodes
- - By thcqci (***) Date 05-03-2004 16:37
I am looking for an article, paper or a section of a book, website, etc. that describes the reasons why low hydrogen electrode storage is important. I understand why correct storage is important but I need to present this to a party that does not understand why, and the potential implications and liability of, incorrect storage. To be more specific, I had occassion to be onsite of one of our projects last week and once again came upon open containers of 7018 rods in a storage trailer of the erector crew. I informed onsite personnel of the problem and briefly described the ramifications, but I quickly realized I was speaking to a steel beam. Deer in the headlights look!!! "I have welded with 7018 electrodes straight out of the box for years with no problems and noone ever said anything about it before". I am somewhat confident that if I put literature in the hands of the erectors owner (an aquaintance of mine who I think I can influence), I will not find this condition again soon.

I am looking for literature to describe hydrogen embrittlement and also porsity issues, liablity and potential monetary ramifications to the erector if an SER requires the welds to be removed and any other related topics. I am looking for published information to make sure the owner understands this is a very real problem, not just my opinion. I think you guys know what I am looking for.

I know this may mirror some threads recently discussed, and I am not wanting to belabor the point. Just need to educate this guy before he gets a building dropped on his head.
Parent - By Lawrence (*****) Date 05-03-2004 17:09
Here is a nice one from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Within you will find right in the beginning a rod oven as a requirement for welder testing, and even more persuasively in the end is a "Field Welder Agreement" with the state seal which must be signed by the welder a has as a section ensuring that a rod oven must always be on site for low-hy ops, revocation of cert is the penalty for non compliance. This does not have the scientific reasoning but it does demonstrate how seriously Oklahoma takes the Issue.

Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 05-03-2004 17:47
Hi Doug,
Do you have a copy of the "Structural Steel Shop Inspector Training Guide for Training and Qualification of Structural Steel Shop Inspectors" put out by the AISC? If so, look on page 20 (my copy is a 1985 so it may be on a different page now); Section IV Welding C.2 Control of Welding Materials. This explains "why" in layman's terms.
Hope this helps,
John Wright
Parent - - By bmaas1 (***) Date 05-03-2004 21:58
Hi John,

I couldn't find that publication on AISC website. Any ideas?

Brian J. Maas
Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 05-04-2004 10:43
Hi Brian,
To be honest, I really don't know how we became owners of some of these books, they have been in our library as long as I can remember(which wouldn't have to be very long some days :). Every year the AISC auditor asks how we train our inspectors and I pull this mint green covered manual w/ a John Deere green binder off the shelf, blow the dust off, and hand it to the auditor, who says "OK" and makes a couple of notes on his pad and hands it back to me, then I place it back on the shelf for next year's audit.
John Wright
Parent - - By MBSims (****) Date 05-03-2004 23:38
Here's a link to a good article on the subject of structural steel welding issues:

However, this won't help resolve your problem. Most of the erection companies I've dealt with know what D1.1 requires in the way of elctrode storage and have a fair understanding of why. Some unscrupulous ones just don't want to be bothered with it because it is extra work to make sure it gets done and they see it as a nuisance. If they can get the inspector to back down or slack up by playing ignorant, they will do it in a heartbeat to save them the time and cost of dealing with it.

Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 05-04-2004 11:23
Hi Marty,
I think you hit the nail on the head, They play ignorance not only on electrode storage but WPSs and most won't even do any inspection of their own. They feel all of that is someone else's responsibilty. Ask any of the welders if they look back at their welds to see if it meets any criteria and they laugh at you, you are lucky if can get them to knock the slag off so you can inspect them. Of course I'm not speaking of all, some know their job and do it well.
John Wright

PS. I was reading back over the posts and thought maybe this one might come across as being too severe towards field welders. I know erectors are trying to get all the iron in the air as quickly as they can and fabricators are trying to get as much iron on the trucks as they can and schedules are pushing so that quality of the final product (an owner's building) is slipping sometimes. Proper storage of low-hy rods is a quality issue whether it is in the field or in the shop and needs to be addressed. Didn't mean for it to sound as if I was putting off on "All" field welders.
Parent - By swnorris (****) Date 05-04-2004 14:03
Hi thcqci,

Oddly enough, this is a pretty good link to a newsletter from the Precast/Pressed Concrete Institute:
If you scroll down to page 5 and 6, it has good article about the storage of low hydrogen electrodes, and how moisture impairs the weld quality by causing internal/external porosity, underbead cracking, hydrogen cracking, and delayed cracking.

This is a link to the Lincoln website:
It briefly mentions hydrogen induced cracking due to improperly stored electrodes.

I just want to add that in addition to laying a bead, a "good" welder takes responsiblity for so many other things, such as inspecting the rods prior to use to ensure the coating is intact and shows no indications of damage, and to protect the rods while they are in their possession. After removing from the oven, a welder should carry the rods in some sort of closed container or closed pouch and not in their pockets, because exposure to perspiration or other body moisture will cause the rod coating to absorb moisture. How many times do we see welders walking around with rods in their back pockets? There are a lot of guys out there calling themselves welders, but as we all know, there's a lot more to it than just running a bead.

Parent - - By gyadon (**) Date 05-04-2004 18:52
I have read all the info from web site that were suggested. Some very interesting info. I found a interesting site The Welding Institute with some very good info.
Parent - By MBSims (****) Date 05-05-2004 22:23
There is also some good info in Appendix A of the AWS A5.5 electrode specification on moisture content, diffusible hydrogen and the need for proper storage. Not to mention the electrode manufacturer's recommended storage requirements for low hydrogen electrodes are consistent with current code requirements and reflect proper storage practice needed to obtain sound welds and minimize potential for cold cracking. Any fabricator or erector who chooses to ignore all these requirements and recommendations without a sound technical basis (i.e., qualification of jobsite storage/atmospheric exposure conditions) is being negligent.
Parent - By brande (***) Date 05-08-2004 04:02
Go to the Lincoln Electric website .

They have a database of many welding related articles, including the subject you are seeking.

Hope this helps.

Good Luck

Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Storage of low hydrogen electrodes

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