Weld Fail Illustrated

Recently, I read some stuff about 6013 welding rod.  To get rid of some misconceptions, I figured I’d post something dealing with a weld failure involving that particular rod.

We had a fire some time back, probably around 3-4yrs now.  Anyways…..it almost burnt us out, and it was a miracle that the house is still standing.  At the time, we decided to clear the trees from around the house in case we weren’t so lucky the next time around.

fire 1fire 2Our yard, while real nice for privacy, was a firebomb waiting to explode.6013 10The Cedar trees were about 25-40 feet tall, and just as wide at the base, if not wider.  It’s the nature of Cedar trees.

So, the cutting started.6013 116013 126013 13A miserable job in 100+ degree temps, but fear is a great motivator 🙂

To remove the trees, I hauled out the grapple.  Hadn’t used it in quite a few years.  Built the thing over a decade ago (probably near 18yrs), and have used it heavy when it’s been needed.6013 14Neat little thing, it allows you to move large trees all in one shot.  Don’t have to fool with cutting the limbs off to lighten the load.

The backside of one of the trees going down the driveway 🙂 6013 1Some indication of the trees we were handling 🙂6013 26013 3Kinda large 😀

Here’s the rub……….Back in the day, I was still using 6013 for structural welding (I was still involved in the learning curve).  A bad choice, but mostly successful.  This was the first weld failure, and it was on something that’s seen a lot of abuse over the years.  These were the straws that broke the camels back 🙂6013 4Wasn’t the greatest welder back then, but it’s a learning curve 🙂

Anyways……………HERE’S THE LESSON I’M TRYING TO IMPART TO Y’ALL………………..6013 5You’re seeing two distinct types of failure here.  Pullout failure in the circled area, and bead/filler material failure on the remaining 3 sides of the weldment.

These were probably run at about 175-180amps, using 5/32 6013.  They looked hot when they were run, and indeed they WERE hot.  But the weld did NOT penetrate the steel as 7018 would.  The weld was mostly at the SURFACE of the base metal.  Penetration is a function of heat and ADMIXTURE.  The base material must be incorporated in the area where fusion occurs, or it will fail under heavy load.  I DIDN’T KNOW THIS AT THE TIME, NEAR ON 20 YEARS PASSING HAS TAUGHT A LOT OF LESSONS.

Smoother her out, ground a decent bevel, and welded it out with 7018.  End of story.6013 76013 86013 9Finished out the clearing project, and all went well.

So……..for you guys new at this………  Even though your design might be very good, selecting the wrong filler material will kill the deal.  You’re seeing an evolution over 20yrs here …. in skill, knowledge, and learning.  Hope it’s of value to you.

misc,_stuff_020Any day above ground is a good day