If weld preparation is good and operator induced defects (e.g. lack of penetration or fusion) are avoided, all the common structural steels can be successfully welded. However, a number of these steels may require special treatments to achieve a satisfactory joint. These treatments are not convenient in all cases.
The difficulty in producing satisfactory welded joints in some steels arises from the extremes of heating, cooling and straining associated with the welding process combined with microstructural changes and environmental interactions that occur during welding. It is not possible for some structural steels to tolerate these effects without joint cracking occurring. The various types of cracking which can occur and the remedial measures which can be taken are discussed below.
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