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Aero Space Welding Oct 1, 2020 12:00:00 AM 4 min read

Fusion Welding Per AWS D17.1

What is fusion welding?

Fusion welding is a process that uses heat to join or fuse two or more materials by heating them to melting point. Occasionally, the fusion welding process requires the use of filler material to fill gaps. The fusion welding processes does not require the use of external application of pressure, with the exception of existence welding, where substantial contact pressure is required during welding for sound joining.

Quite simply, fusion leveraged is used in the manufacturing of many everyday items. However, as we will share within this article, it is most notably used in including cars and structures, and particularly for aircraft.

Before fusion welding, welding aluminum was very challenging. Large quantities of aluminum were used during World War II for the construction of aircraft frames, infrastructure for ships, mess kits, and radar shaft. As such, it became necessary to find a solution that would stand the test of time. Today, the Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (Fusion Welding) process is still used and coveted all over the world.


What is the AWS D17.1 specification?

As mentioned above, fusion welding is a generic term that refers to welding activities that leverage melting to join materials. For aerospace applications, fusion welding is a variant of processes but is designed to suit the most stringent of rules and practices. As it would be expected, and for good reason, there are a host of requirements that have been thoughtfully put in place for welding design, personnel and procedure qualification, inspection, and acceptance precedents for aerospace, support and non-flight hardware.

The AWS D17.1/D17.1M:2017 specification contains all applicable and necessary guidelines for non-destructive examination and fusion welding (NDE) of aerospace flight hardware, and the welding and NDE of non-flight hardware. When the AWS D17.1/D17.1M:2017 specification is specified in contractual documentation, conformance with all of the included provisions of the specification is required.

In summary, the AWS D17.1 specification provides the general welding obligations that are required when welding aerospace and aircraft hardware. The specification includes the fusion welding of metal materials based in aluminum, cobalt, nickel, iron, magnesium, and titanium- alloys. 


How do welders get approved for the AWS D17.1 specification?

Welders must pursue the additional skills for the AWS D17.1 specification as outlined in section two of the AWS QC1:2007, Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors. This document lists the endorsements that can be added to the CWI and SCWI certifications. For the AWS D17.1 specification, there are four subject areas included. Those areas are material and design, fabrication, inspection, and qualification.

Welders looking to add this specification are encouraged to attend seminars to learn more, and to conduct self-study to improve their familiarization. Once candidates believe they have the knowledge to do so, they must pass a two-hour open-book examination that consists of 50 multiple choice questions. To pass, candidates need to answer 72% or more of the questions correctly.

Endorsement are added to the AWS certification profile.


What does the AWS D17.1 specification mean for welding shops?

This specification is required as part of the general welding needs for welding aircraft and aerospace hardware. The specification includes but is not limited to the fusion welding of materials based in aluminum, nickel, iron, cobalt, magnesium, and titanium alloys using electric arc and high energy beam processes.

As indicated previously in this article, there are a host of requirements related to welding. In particular, requirements exist for design, personnel and operational and procedural qualification, inspection, review, and acceptance criteria for aerospace, support, and non-flight hardware.


What customers seek AWS D17.1 approved welders?

Fusion Welding is typically used by customers in the Aerospace industry. Companies such as Raytheon Technologies, Nadcap, Rolls-Royce, Kaman Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Sikorsky, General Dynamics, and Gulfstream all require fusion welding that is aligned with the AWS D17.1 specification.


What types of metals/materials is the AWS D17.1 specification common in?

Common materials that align with the need for fusion welding (TIG welding) and the AWS D17.1 specification include:

  • Aluminum
  • Cobalt
  • Nickel
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Titanium

How does Lynn Welding specialize in fusion welding?

Fusion welding is a specialty for Lynn Welding and Lynn Welding is a well-known Raytheon-Approved Welding company with expertise and experience in welding and machining for the aerospace, defense, nuclear, industrial, and medical industries.

Lynn Welding’s reputation really comes to light when you see the weld bead produced by one of our certified welders. Fusion Welding is one of our specialties. Our welders are experienced, well-versed in fusion welding, and follow all of the AWS D17.1 requirements necessary to ensure a superior quality weld. Whether welding stainless steel or aluminum, Lynn Welding ensures that the end result is well within the acceptance criteria of the customer and that the weld is of X-ray quality.

Because Lynn Welding is Nadcap accredited, we follow a very defined and strict set of guidelines when fusion welding our customer’s components per AWS D17.1. These guidelines are in place to ascertain that our qualified welders are regularly tested in all metal groups. Regular testing helps ensure that welding skills remain intact.