Many characteristics of a weld can be evaluated during welding inspection – some relating to weld size, and others relating to the presence of weld discontinuities. The size of a weld can be extremely important, as it often relates directly to the weld’s strength and performance. For instance, undersized welds may not withstand stresses applied during service.
Depending on their size and/or location, weld discontinuities (imperfections within or adjacent to the weld) can prevent the weld from meeting its intended performance. Weld discontinuities are often referred to as welding defects, and they can sometimes cause premature weld failure due to a reduction of strength or added stress concentrations within the welded component.