Back to Back Issues Page
PWL#159, Additive Manufacturing, Avoid Overwelding, Update on VFAW, Nickel, Welding Management
November 01, 2016
We hope you will find this Letter interesting and useful.
Let us know what you think of it.

Welding Problem? Solve it! with
Help from a Welding Professional
Contact Us.

Practical Welding Letter No. 159
November 2016

PWL#159, Additive Manufacturing Equals Excitement, Avoiding Overwelding, Die Repair Welding Articles, Update on Vaporizing Foil Actuator Welding, Resources on Nickel, Part 7 for building Metals Encyclopedia Online, Where is the Welding Management? and much more...

November 2016 - Practical Welding Letter - Issue No.159

Important Notice

Check the New Mid October Bulletin including Resources on Metals, Part 7, Nickel
See further down this page at (8).

DON'T USE REPLY to send your messages! Use the Contact Us form instead.

This publication brings to the readers practical answers to welding problems in an informal setting designed to be helpful and informative.
We actively seek feedback to make it ever more useful and up to date.
We encourage you to comment and to contribute your experience, if you think it may be useful to your fellow readers.
Click on Contact Us (opens new page).

You are urged to pass-along this publication to your friends, if you like it, and if you think they may enjoy it.
If you received this from a friend and if you like what you read, please Subscribe free of charge and you will also receive a bonus book on Practical HARDNESS TESTING Made Simple.

The addresses reported hereafter were live and correct at the time of their publication.
There is no guarantee that they will always be so, because they are administered by the sources themselves and are under their control.

Note: References to articles or other documents are given here in one of two forms.
If the links are "live" (usually underlined or otherwise highlighted) they are operated with a click of the mouse.

If they are URL's (Uniform Resource Locator), which is the analogue of an address, they begin with "http://..." or "www.".
These are not live and must be copied and pasted entirely into the browser (after having selected them with the mouse or otherwise).
If they are long they may be displayed in two or more lines. In that case one has to care that the URL be copied completely in a single line without any space, and Enter.

If the information is important to you as we hope, you may save the selected pages in a suitable folder on your Computer for easy reference.
You are welcome to forward this page to those of your friends who may profit of this information.


1 - Introduction

2 - Article - Additive Manufacturing Equals Excitement

3 - How to do it well: avoiding overwelding

4 - Welding Articles from the Forging Magazine

5 - Online Press: recent Welding related Articles

6 - Terms and Definitions Reminder

7 - Article: Update on Vaporizing Foil Actuator Welding (VFAW)

8 - Site Updating: Bulletin_123 - Resources on Metals Part 7 Nickel

9 - Short Items

10 - Explorations: beyond the Welder

11 - Contributions: Where is the Welding Management?

12 - Testimonials

13 - Correspondence: a few Comments

14 - Bulletin Board

1 - Introduction

We are approaching the end of this year, only two months left. And, like many others, we are disappointed for not having realized the goals we wanted. But the struggle continues...

Here is this new issue of Practical Welding Letter.

We open it (2) with an optimistic note written by a researcher working at NIST. Maybe some of our readers will be able to find what he promises one should get by working on some projects.

Then we come back to basics. What you have is yours for sure. Why should you squander your precious assets?Where should you look for savings? Some helpful hints are jotted down (3), for everybody to think about and take action.

We found some articles on welding for special purposes in a place that is not our first reference (4): nevertheless interested readers may be able to find just what they need, if they are willing to check this out.

Working on an invention to make it ready for industrial application (7) is what is needed for serious implementation. Anyone willing to remain well informed should follow updates as they become available.

Nickel (8) is the subject of our recent Mid Month Bulletin, written for those of our readers who accept to build their own Metals Encyclopedia as a useful reference ready whenever needed.

Finally we reprint (11) an old article of mine, because the subject is often felt, even if it is not dealt with properly. Problems not addressed and not solved correctly have hidden costs. If Management is not alert, whose job is to attract attention to the failure?

The remaining columns can be found at their usual place. What about writing a short note on some of your experiences where you were able to find a good solution to a nagging problem? Write us on that. Maybe some readers could be interested and grateful of your contribution.

Your feedback is welcome: send it using the Contact Us Form.

2 - Article - Additive Manufacturing Equals Excitement

We have written in the past on additive manufacturing. See PWL#106, 116, 128, 144, 146, 153.

But never before did we find Excitement in the title!

Now an author, who works with the Nationals Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), writes in an article:"What’s exciting to me is that additive manufacturing systems can lead people down a path of scientific discovery."

As requirements must be satisfied for building new hardware suitable for demanding performance, the process brings about the need of interdisciplinary research.

It is this hard work of problem understanding and solving that provides both excitement and satisfaction.

No matter how one's job seems repetitive and dull, the way to innovating is open to all who can think correctly and look in the right direction.

The optimistic view expressed by the author should motivate everyone to search around to find excitement even in additive manufacturing.

Interested Readers are invited to follow the author in his enthusiasm expressed in the following article:

Additive Manufacturing Equals Excitement

3 - How to do it well: Avoiding Overwelding

This should be easy, and yet many welding operations suffer from an unwanted condition that squanders assets and costs unneeded materials and precious time.

It could result from many causes, like inaccurate cutting and fitting, poor supervision, insufficiently detailed drawings, lacking training or even lack of confidence in the strength of the structure as specified.

Such causes should be dealt with and corrected whenever a new job enters the job, and then controlled from time to time, to see if bad habits affect current production.

A thorough visual inspection of weldments is all is needed to find out if this could be avoided to improve efficiency and reduce losses.

It is reported that overwelding contributes significantly to excessive, hidden welding costs: this means that it should be the first factor to investigate when checking how to improve the bottom line.

As a practical hint, every welding shop should introduce periodically a specific checking routine to single out occurrences of bad overwelding, to be eliminated.

Readers with first hand experience on this subject are urged to contribute, to discuss the problem and to suggest practices which were found useful. Write us using the Contact Us Form.

4 - Welding Articles from the Forging Magazine

Forging Cover October 2016

Mr. Robert Brooks, Editor, Forging Magazine, who kindly published recently an article of mine is his publication,
answered to my request by providing links to welding articles appearing in his past issues.

Hereafter a few titles and links are reported for our readers.

New Welding Alloys for Forging Dies

Welding Wire Extends Die Life in Extreme Heat

Making Robotic Welding Work for Forgers

High-Power, Single-Layer Deposition Welding

Smart Maintenance for Smooth MIG Welding

Interested Readers are invited to check the above.

5 - Online Press: recent Welding related Articles

Lifting the lid on innovation: exploratory projects at TWI

Learning to take cybersecurity seriously take-cybersecurity-seriously

When weld prep matters

Aluminum Workshop: Know the Mg content of your 5XXX alloy

Connect + The Newsletter of TWI

6 - Terms and Definitions Reminder

Overhead Position is that in which welding is performed from underside the joint

Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT) is that applied to a weldment to remove dangerous conditions due to welding and to impart required characteristics

Residual Stress is that present in a joint member or material that is free of external forces or thermal gradients

Stub is the short length of filler metal electrode, welding or brazing rod, remaining after its use for the intended purpose

Toe of Weld is the junction of the weld face and the base metal

Upset Time is that during which upset force is applied

Vertical Down is a nonstandard term for downhill

Weld Pass is a single progression of welding along a joint, its result is a weld bead.

7 - Article: Update on Vaporizing Foil Actuator Welding (VFAW)

Weld. Jnl. Cover October 2016

As readers may recall, we announced this new process in January 2016 (PWL#149) and we reported on progress again in March 2016 (PWL#151).

It consists in a cold process producing spot welds between dissimilar materials by generating a powerful impact between two separated metal parts. That is obtained by vaporizing a metal foil by electrical discharge, resulting in a burst of hot gases. The burst throws one part at high speed against the other resulting in an impact spot weld.

Now a note published in the October 2016 issue of the Welding Journal at page 8 informs that Coldwater Machine Co., Coldwater, Ohio, has been selected as a manufacturing and collaboration partner to help commercialize The Ohio State University's technology.

The company will work with Ohio State University to create a manufacture-ready system for VFAW, including development of two units in the fall of 2017. Other collaborators include Honda and its supplier Jefferson Industries. Ashland will also validate corrosion control methodologies.

The VFAW commercialization project is being funded by a grant from the Edison Advanced Manufacturing Program through Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence.

In addition, the Department of Energy is investing in the project to further develop this welding process as a viable technology for creating multimaterial, lightweight vehicles.

8 - Site Updating: Bulletin_123 - Resources on Metals Part 7 Nickel

The Page of this Month is again a Mid Month Bulletin contributing a series of online links to resources on Nickel so that readers could build their own Materials Encyclopedia as explained in our page on Metals Knowledge.

To see the new page and download the interesting articles, to be organized in meaningful folders of the Encyclopedia, Click on Bulletin 123.

Readers are urged to collect all the available pages as long as they are online and save them to provide needed information ready when looked for.

Comments and Feedback are always welcome. Please use the Contact Us Form.

9 - Short Items

Do You Know...

  • ...bonding to bones?
    See: oia.

  • metallic glasses?
    See: seas.

  • a closed book?
    See: mit.

  • to mimic the brain?
    See: ibm.

  • Clean Power?
    See: blp.

9.1 - Acid is a chemical substance that frees hydrogen ions when dissolved in water

9.2 - Bar is a solid section that is long relative to its symmetrical cross section dimension, larger than a conventional minimum under which is called wire

9.3 - Carbide is a compound of carbon with one or more metallic elements

9.4 - Decomposition is the separation of a compound into its chemical elements or components

9.5 - Electrogalvanizing is the electroplating of zinc upon iron or steel.

9.6 - Fouling is an accumulation of deposits. This term includes accumulation and growth of marine organisms on a submerged metal surface and also includes the accumulation of deposits (usually inorganic) on heat exchanger tubing.

Change of e-mail Address?
Make sure the delivery of your PWL is not interrupted.

Send in both:
your old and new addresses to
Contact Us.

10 - Explorations: beyond the Welder

Tangled Up in Spacetime

IoT Growing Faster Than the Ability to Defend It

Dreaded Polar Vortex May Be Shifting

How NASA Fights to Keep Dying Spacecraft Alive

Lack of Cheap, Clean Hydrogen Slows Fuel-Cell Cars

11 - Contributions: Where is the Welding Management?

Management is best described by the functions it wields, including a certain list of activities for the purpose of achieving a goal. Industrial Companies flourish or fail depending on the results of their Management operations.

Companies that run a welding department, big or small, should have established a welding management to organize and administer the work coming in and the products going out.

It helps if the welding Manager is knowledgeable in welding.He need not know to handle a torch but he should have basic understanding.

The person covering this function in the past, especially if he was an old metallurgist with decades of experience under his belt, may have been laid off long ago for restructuring the Company and for improving competitiveness by reducing expenses.

Some other young Manager, without the faintest idea of welding, stepped in, mainly to hire welders when required (if there are somewhere to be found) or to fire them when redundant.

Nothing wrong with that, if the new "Welding Decisions Maker" knows his/her own limits and asks from the welders only what can be expected from them.

Once in a while I get a letter from a welder that introduces himself and asks for some technical help. It is generally a nice and refreshing experience and I try to do my best to come up with some meaningful suggestions.

Lately I had such a message from a kind person, with years of experience as an industrial welder, who presented me his problem. The Company he works for had taken for the first time a new kind of project requiring quite a demanding welding job. The material, the thickness, the requirements were all new for him.He asked how should he tackle the work.

First I must say that I was impressed by the personality of this welder. It was readily apparent from his letter that he is a conscientious and motivated worker that loves his work and is keenly interested in it, that he takes pride in his profession, wants to make successful welds and is loyal to his employer.

Although he has confidence in his own knowledge and experience, his healthy common sense suggested to him to ask for advice. All this makes me feel a high respect for this person even if I don't know him personally.

But I have to ask: "Where is the Welding Management?"

Somebody should advise this honest welder that he cannot shoulder a responsibility he is not equipped to take upon himself. If he does not fear of being laid off, he should possibly ask Management to provide him with precise instructions in the form of a Welding Procedure Specification (WPS).

Moreover he should be not be liable in case of failure despite his best effort to succeed. But who is going to tell Managers such a thing if they are inadequate to understand that on their own?

Another case comes to my mind. A welder engaged, with a group of fellow welders, in assembling some sort of cab, wrote me some time ago that, when they misplaced one of the elements, Management saw the workers responsible for the extra work they had to correct and penalized them for the mistake.

In my opinion this is not acceptable. Any item should be designed for error proof assembly. It is the designer's responsibility to make mistaken assembly impossible by design. Or at least corresponding elements should be clearly marked for correct assembly.

Any conceivable aid should be put in place to free the welders from the risk of making assembling errors and being penalized. But again, who is in charge of Welding Management? Who is going to tell them?

[Reprinted from an article of Elia Levi (myself), published in the Fabricator on May, 2008]

Readers interested in other articles of mine, published long ago but (most of them) on subjects which are still actual, can find them, titles and links, in the page on

Welding Articles.

12 - Testimonials

On Wed Oct 19 18:36:28 2016, the following results were submitted from the "Form 5" on

Name: Jennie Cabajar
E-Mail Address: removed for safety
Country: United States

Details: Hi,

I'm contacting you [...]

Jennie Cabajar

13 - Correspondence: a few Comments

A correspondent wrote to ask if they could contribute an article. Sure, was the answer, to be published in this newsletter. No, they answered, they mean in the body of our website. Wait a minute: in the website, in the proper page, we can insert a link to the article. Not good enough for them. Sorry!

You are welcome to write articles for publication, even with a link back to your website, provided they give useful information and are not blatant advertisements. Think of it.

14 - Bulletin Board

14.1 - FABTECH 2016.
Nov. 16–18. Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

14.2 - 2016 Cutting Edge Conference: Advances in Tunneling Technology
Nov. 6–9. Concourse Hotel at the Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, Calif.

See you next time...

Click on the following image to watch the SBI! TV Show!


Watch - The Video:

Why Don't I Work From Home?

and also

Think outside the Cube.


SiteBuild It!

Click on this Logo NOW!

No better way to get to know SiteSell,
the Company that helps everybody build a Business on the Internet,
than following them at

Specific questions about SiteSell?
Ask the Experts. Go to:

Copyright (©) 2016, by Elia E. Levi and
All Rights Reserved


Back to Past Issues of PWL.

Back to Back Issues Page