On Thursday April 25, nine SF Welding students and five industry workers attempted welding certification tests at the colleges welding lab. The tests follow requirements established by the American Welding Society (AWS), the lab’s Accredited Test Facility Quality Assurance Program and are supervised by an AWS Certified Welding Inspector.
Testing in the welding industry has many variables. These variables, such as metal type, joint design, position of weld, welding process etc. leads to a multitude of possible tests from which the welders have to choose.
One thing all the tests have in common however is the attempted destruction of the finished weld by pushing “coupons” through a guided bend machine rightfully named Heart Breaker. The coupon must remain intact after being stressed by the hydraulic powers of the bender.
At the end of the day 100 percent of the SF student welder coupons successfully passed the rigors of Heartbreaker while only 60 percent of the industry worker coupons passed. Welding Program Professor JT Mahoney cites the student success to a program which “shares the details of proper welding applications which of course leads to greater success on certification testing.” Mahoney sees the industry workers who are challenged by certification testing as “good workers who have not received formal training in their occupation. If these industry people would get involved with some formal training their bend test success rates would obviously go up. Problem is they are so busy working they can’t find a way to get that training.”
That is one problem the SF welders won’t have! For more information on the college’s Welding Program go to the Program’s web page at sfcollege.edu/welding.