Certified Welding Inspector – CWI

The information on this page is not all inclusive of the method but is rather a high-level overview of our processes.

Everything You Need To Know About Visual Weld Inspection

Visual weld inspection refers to the process of observing a weld with the naked eye or by using a device with some level of magnification to detect any defects on the weld. Why is this process important? For starters, it helps to know if a weld meets all the requirements of the welding procedure specification (WPS).

It also helps detect and fix a welding problem early before it develops into something that’s expensive or difficult to fix. This allows welders to design welds that best suit individual parts rather than employing traditional welding techniques. Here are some of the defects that can be detected using visual weld inspection.

Incomplete Fusion

This defect happens when individual weld beads don’t fuse together. An incomplete fusion can occur when the welding material that reached the weld joint is not enough. It can also occur when there’s too much space between the pieces, so they don’t join together on the first pass.
Incomplete Penetration

This is perhaps the most common of all welding defects. It occurs when the filler metal and base metal aren’t joined or welded properly. This leads to the formation of a gap or crack. Welds that have this defect are weak and easily fail when exposed to a high amount of force.
This defect can occur due to too much space between the pieces, misalignment or improper joint. It can also occur when the current is not strong enough to properly melt the metal.

This defect leads to groove, which reduces the cross-sectional thickness of the base metal. It results in a weakened workpiece. The defect can be caused by too much welding current, use of incorrect filler metal or poor weld technique.


This welding defect occurs when small particles from the weld stick to surrounding surfaces. This defect is very common and makes a workpiece look ugly. The good news is that an inspector can help you detect the problem and have it fixed. It can occur when the arc is too long, the voltage setting is too low or there is incorrect polarity.

Slag Inclusion

If you notice any kind of slag on the weld, your workpiece is suffering from this welding defect. The defect can be caused by three main factors: welding current too low, incorrect welding angle, or a weld speed that is too fast.

Visual welding inspection is important if you want your workpiece to last longer and meet all the requirements of the welding procedure specification. Contact us when you need a CWI for any type of project, any type of job site. Our visual welding inspectors are well-trained in all aspects of welding technology, certified and have extensive experience in the field.

Steel City NDT LLC is proud to offer our Certified Welding Inspector – CWI services to your company. We are capable of testing to any code or standard, including AWS D1.1 and API 1104. In addition to this, we are also capable of qualifying welders and weld procedures. Although we typically test to the client’s request, it is recommended that we have a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) at the job site for weld preparations, in-process welds, and post-weld wrap up. We take pride in having preliminary verbal reporting done throughout the process, in addition to a CWI stamped and signed report shortly after the inspection takes place. Please keep in mind that our CWIs are ready to work in any industry or environment. Let our Certified Welding Inspectors help prevent costly repairs and project delays today.