Weld My World - Welding News

Bay Bridge In San Francisco Weakened By Welds Covering Large Gaps

The new Bay Bridge in San Francisco suffered setbacks and problems that resulted from simple fabrication mistakes in an overseas factory. While many of the welds had to be redone by contractors on site, several key spans did not fit together as planned. The original fabricators had fitted the spans together on the ground without taking into account of how they would fit together when suspended in the air.

This resulted in gaps that were three times the specified distance according to the AWS code. However, contractors applied for and received an exemption that allowed them to continue with the project by creating a series of welds to cover the large gaps. That led to the lead designer taking action:

“The lead designer of the new Bay Bridge eastern span warned Caltrans in 2010 that welds used to hold ill-fitting steel road-deck sections together were vulnerable to damage in a major earthquake…

Marwan Nader of San Francisco engineering firm T.Y. Lin International said the nonstandard welded connections that Caltrans ultimately accepted on the project would probably suffer only limited, ‘local damage.’

But several experts interviewed by The Chronicle said Caltrans’ decision to accept the defective joints could undermine a key feature of the $6.4 billion span – its ability to be open to traffic soon after a quake.”

The new Bay Bridge is intended to be fully operational after a major earthquake, but in light of these major defects, engineers believe the bridge’s welds cannot compensate for its poor fabrication.


Welding Industry

Washington State Welding Supply Store Opens 19th Location: “Central Welding Supply opened last Monday its 19th location statewide at 2204 Talley Way in Kelso’s industrial park. The company is also planning to open another branch in Vancouver next month, largely because of a growth in demand from the region, officials said.

‘We needed to take the next step. Kelso and Longview are great markets because there’s a nice density of industrial businesses there that you don’t find in a lot of places in the state of Washington,’ Central Welding CEO Dale Wilton said Friday.”

Friction Stir Welding Improves Versatility for Manufacturing: “Friction stir welding (FSW) is a technology that has crept quietly onto the scene over the years with a niche play in the aerospace industry, welding aluminum components together. FSW was developed in 1991 by The Welding Institute and consists of an innovative mechanical principle—heating two adjoining pieces to their plastic state by plunging a rotating tool head into them and mixing them together.

The FSW technique offers several advantages over conventional welding methods, including lower cost operation since it requires no consumables, a more consistent/stronger weld, and a better quality weld due to the weld being formed at a lower temperature.”

Welding Jobs

Louisiana Women Reverse National Trends for Industrial Jobs: “Locally, the trend is bucking a national slide in female manufacturing workers who in 2010 occupied their lowest percentage of manufacturing jobs since 1971, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center.

South Louisiana job recruiters say the industry needs all the help it can get. As demand for workers grows, necessity is slowly eroding barriers between women and perceptions of male-dominated manufacturing jobs.”

Ohio Career Center Can’t Train Welders Fast Enough: “Given the number of career opportunities in the industry, such as ironworker, pipefitter or millwright, Krogman emphasized there are more job openings than there are students available to fill them. With many in the industrious program furthering their skills in welding institutions or other college programs such as at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.”

Welding Education

College in Victoria Canada Adds Welding Courses: “Beginning in March, Victoria College will offer two noncredit Workforce and Continuing Education welding courses at VC’s Liberty Street Industrial Training Center. Welding I classes begin March 3, and Welding II classes begin March 4.

The beginning level course provides an introductory study of basic welding processes, including basic shop safety and the welding process, identification of types of electrodes used in welding processes and identification of various welding and cutting standards.”

Florida College Opens New Welding Program: “Chipola College officials held an open house and ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Feb. 18, to celebrate the opening of the college’s new welding program. Members of the Chipola District Board of Trustees, welding students and college personnel were on hand for tours of the lab. Chipola has a full class of 20 students currently enrolled in the 1,170 clock-hour course which can be completed in approximately one year.”


Stainless Steel Conference
March 25–26, 2014
Philadelphia, PA

“This conference will bring together some of industry’s most outstanding experts to discuss the welding of austenitic, duplex, and other grades of stainless steel. Topics will include dissimilar metal welds between stainless and steel, repair welding, cladding, cleaning, and the pitfalls involved in stress corrosion cracking.” Read More 

Weld Cracking Conference
April 15–16, 2014
Denver, CO

“This conference will help welding engineers and others avoid mistakes and turn out high quality products. Topics range from impact tests and how they relate to potential weld cracking as well as the control of moisture in welding consumables.” Read More

Welding Gone Wrong

Industrial Fire in Phoenix Cased by Welding Sparks: “Welding sparks apparently ignited a pile of metal shavings that started a massive fire in an industrial area northwest of downtown Phoenix. The fire snarled traffic near “The Stack” interchange of Interstate 10 and Interstate 17 on Thursday. The Arizona Department of Transportation said Friday the elevated ramp connecting I-10 with I-17 at the interchange was not damaged from the heat or smoke from the blaze.”

Find the Best Deals on Welding Supplies

Now that you know what’s going on in the world of welding, visit Baker’s Gas and Welding for the latest deals in welders, welding safety gear, and welding supplies.

Ed C.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.