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cut and etch weld test

Cut and Etch Weld Testing

How to use cut and etch technique to test a weld

Macro etch test is a technique used to test a weld by revealing the structure of the base material and weld. It is one of the destructive testing methods to evaluate the characteristics of a weld. In this method, the sample is cut to expose the profile of the weld. This will enable the inspection of how the weld is adhering to the base metal and other characteristics like penetration or cracks.

After cutting, the sample is published to reveal create a smooth surface before etching. The cutting process usually leaves a coarse trace on the material and polishing is important to reveal the finer details of the weld.

MIG cut weld

Profile of a MIG weld after cutting

MIG polished weld

The polished surface of the weld with a 240 grit sandpaper

After polishing to the required level, various acid solutions can be used to etch the surface and reveal finer details. A combination of ethanol and nitric acid is usually used. Other industrial-grade rust removers can also be used for this purpose (for example, Rust Off from Bunnings Warehouse or other phosphoric acid solutions). Make sure you use proper personal protection equipment (for example gloves and eye protection) and follow the local regulations for disposal of these solutions as they are usually classified as harmful and corrosive materials.

MIG weld etching

The etchant acid reacting with the metal 

weld cut and etch details

The profile after etching revealing the weld boundry

After etching the sample in the acid solution for a few minutes, the boundaries of the base metal and weld become visible. The visual inspection at this point can reveal certain information about the weld. For example, the following photos show the effect of different wire feed rates on MIG welding’s result.

weld etch and cut test results

Effect of MIG wire feed speed on the welding tested by cutting and etching

Low magnification microscopes can also be used to examine the finer structure of the weld. For this purpose, the polishing should be done to achieve a finer surface finish before etching.

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Planter Boxes

Planter boxes are used in landscaping to place plants and flowers in unique positions and shapes. In recent years there has been growing interest in plants located on building façades. Integrating plants with architecture in urban areas helps people to maintain a connection with nature. Planter boxes can be used to improve the landscape and aesthetics of existing buildings or the surrounding environment. These custom-made planter boxes can be designed to make the best use of available space.

planter boxes on building

At Westberg Sheetmetal, we design and manufacture metallic planter boxes based on our clients’ needs. The planter boxes can be made of various materials based on the required functionality and aesthetics:

  • mild steel that can rust to provide the rustic look
  • stainless or galvanised steel to avoid rust
  • wear-resistant aluminium
  • powder-coated steel or aluminium
  • copper, bronze, or brass

If you are interested in having your own custom-made planter boxes, contact us today and our metal fabrication experts will guide you through the process of making the perfect solution for your project.

custom-made planter box
custom-made planter box metal
custom-made planter box bronze

Custom-made planter box made for one of our clients: powder-coated steel frame with a mirror-finish brass plate.

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How is sheet metal made?

What is sheet metal?

Sheet metal is a metal that is shaped into thin, flat pieces by hot and cold rolling industrial process. Sheet metal is one of the basic forms of metalworking and can be cut and bent into various shapes.

How is sheet metal made?

Sheet metal is made by running hot slabs of metal through a series of roughing rolling stands that makes them thinner and longer. To make them even thinner, these sheets go through finishing rolling stands and are then cooled and rolled into coils.

What are metal pickling and pickled and oiled steel?

Pickling is a surface treatment method used to remove impurities such as stains, inorganic contaminants, rust or scale from the surface of the metal after manufacturing by using an acid bath.

Aluminium forms a protective layer of oxide when exposed to atmospheric air that protects the aluminium from further rusting and oxidisation. However, steel can rust after going through pickling. To protect steel from rusting, a thin film of oil is usually used to protect the steel, and hence the term ‘pickled and oiled steel’.

What are the different types of sheet metal finish?

Sheet metal coils after hot rolling and pickling can be used as what is known as a hot band. If special finishing is needed, further processing is done starting with cold rolling to make the sheets even thinner. After that, the sheet metal coils can go through other finishing processes.

  • Galvanising is the process of zinc coating the steel sheets for corrosion resistance
  • Tinning is the process of tin coating the steel sheets for food cans
  • Anodising is used for aluminium to create a thicker protective oxide layer
  • Annealing is used to make the metal sheets easier to bend and form
  • Tempering is used to add hardness and create surface textures in the metal sheets using special rollers

Westberg Sheetmetal offers sheet metal parts in a wide array of materials including:

  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Bronze/Brass
  • Copper
  • Steel

To further customize parts, Westberg Sheetmetal offers post-processing options to add to sheet metal parts such as:

  • Plating
  • Welding
  • Inserts
  • Powder Coating
  • Other custom finishes upon request
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