6 most common Types of Welding Defects Causes & Remedies [PDF]

In this article, we shall be studying the types, causes, and remedies for welding defects. We have also provided a PDF for the same.

common types of welding defects
Photo By Dreamstime

What are Welding Defects?

Welding defects are generated in a welding job due to the faulty or poor technique used by the inexperienced or unskilled welder or due to fundamental difficulties in the welding operation. An ideal weld or good weld should be such that adequate fusion exists between the filler metal and edge preparation together with good penetration.

Types of Welding Defects

Welding defects are broadly classified into two categories, which are as follows

  • External welding defects (Defects occur on the upper surface of the welded work).
  • Internal welding defects (Defects occur under the surface of the welded work).

External welding defects

They are further classified into the following types

  • Incorrect profile (Welding is not done properly).
  • Crater (A large Cavity occurs where electrode sparks continuous on a single point).
  • Cracks.
  • Spatter and surface porosity ( On the welded parts there some drops occur).
  • Incomplete filled groove (Not filled completely).
  • Distortion (This occurs were not welded properly).

Internal welding defects

They are further classified into the following types

  • Blowholes and internal porosity.
  • Cracks.
  • Inclusions.
  • Lack of fusion.
  • Incomplete fusion.
Crack form in Welding
Photo By Wizard191
Several Welding Defects
Several Welding Defects

Types of Welding Defects it’s Causes and Remedies

Incomplete Penetration

Incomplete penetration occurs when the Depth of the welded joint is insufficient. Penetration is defined as the distance from the base plate top surface to the maximum extent of the weld nugget.

Causes of Incomplete penetration
  • Improper joints.
  • Too large root face, root gape, and bevel gear.
  • Wrong hold position of the electrode.
  • Very large electrode diameter and longer arc length.
  • Less arc current and faster arc travel speed.
  • Incorrect polarity while welding with DC.
Remedies of Incomplete penetration
  • Increasing the heat input.
  • Reducing travel speed during welding.
  • Ensuring that the surface to be joint fit properly.
  • Changing the joint design.


This is maybe in the form of slag or any other foreign material, which does not get a chance to float on the surface of the solidifying weld metal and thus gets entrapped inside the same. Inclusion lowers the strength of the joint and makes it weaker.

Causes of Inclusion
  • Very high or too low arc current.
  • Long arc and too large electrode diameter.
  • The too-small included angle of the joint.
  • Insufficient chipping and cleaning of previous passes in multi-pass welding.
  • Wrongly placed tack welds.
Remedies of Inclusion
  • Cleaning the weld bed surface before the next layer is deposited, by means of a wire brush.
  • Providing sufficient shielding gases.
  • Redesigning the joint so as to permit sufficient space for proper manipulation of the puddle of molten weld metals.

Porosity and Blowholes

Porosity is a group of small voids and blowholes are which are comparatively bigger than isolated holes or cavities. They are mainly generated due to entrapped gases.

Different types of welding defects
Photo By Fractory
Causes of Porosity and Blowholes
  • Use of improper electrode and longer arc
  • faster arc travel speed.
  • Too low and too high arc currents.
  • Due to gas entrapment during solidification of the weld.
  • Unclean job surface i.e. presence of scales, rust, oil, and grease, etc on the surface of the job.
Remedies of Porosity and Blowholes
  • Proper selection of electrode and filler materials.
  • Improve welding techniques such as preheating of the weld area or an increase in the rate of heat input.
  • Reducing welding speed to allow time for gas to escape.
  • Proper cleaning and the prevention of contaminants from entering the weld zone.


Spatter is the small metal particles that are thrown out of the arc during welding and get deposited on the base metal around the weld bead along its length.

Causes of Spatter
  • Excessive arc current.
  • Use of longer arc, damp electrodes.
  • Electrode being coated with improper flux ingredients.
  • Due to the expansion of gas bubbles entrapped in the molten globules of metal.
Remedies of Spatter
  • Use proper arc current to weld, arc length, fresh electrodes. 
  • Use of AC power to reduce arc blow.


Distortion is the change in the shape and difference between the position of two plates before and after welding due to the temperature gradient present at various points along the joints. In general, we can say that distortion is due to unequal expansion and contraction of the weld metal, and all kinds of distortion increase with the volume of metal deposited.

Distortion of the weldment can be divided into three sub-types which are as follows

  • Longitudinal shrinkage (Occurs Parallel to the weld lines).
  • Transverse shrinkage (Perpendicular).
  • Angular shrinkage (rotation around the weld lines).
Causes of Distortion
  • A great number of passes with small diameter electrodes.
  • Slow arc travel speed.
  • High residual stresses in the plate to be welded.
  • Using improper welding sequences.
Remedies of Distortion
  • Use the proper amount of weld metal as per the requirement of the joint. It will reduce the contraction forces.
  • Use an appropriate number of weld passes.
  • Place the weld near the neutral axis.
  • Use proper welding sequences
  • Reduce the welding time so that too great a volume surrounding metal cannot be expanded.
  • While the large weldments into sub-assemblies.
  • Peening should be done to remove the shrinkage force during or after welding.
  • If needed you can use a vernier caliper to take the perfect measurement frequently, so that dimensional accuracy will be accurate.

Undercut Welding defects

An undercut is a kind of weld defect that forms a groove in the parent metal along with the sides of the weld bead. Groove reduces the thickness of the plate and also reduces the strength of the weld.

Under cut Diagram
Under Cut
Causes of Undercut
  • Wrong manipulation and inclination of an electrode and excessive weaving.
  • Too large electrode diameter.
  • Longer arc.
  • Faster arc travel speed.
  • Magnetic arc blow.
  • Higher current.
Remedies of Undercut
  • Use proper arc current, electrodes.
  • Weaving should be proper and as per the requirement.
  • Use proper arc travel speed.

Hot Tear Welding defects

In this welding defect, the deposited metal being hot starts developing crack from the nearby edge so that after it has been solidified the crack increase. The hot tear welding defect is also known as solidification cracking, due to the tearing of the grain boundaries of weld metal before complete solidification has taken place and the metal is still in the plastic state.

Causes of Hot tear
  • Improper selection of proper materials.
  • Welding current is not proper.
  • Improper electrode thickness.
Remedies of Hot tear
  • Select the proper electrode material.
  • Welding current should be optimum as per the requirement.
  • Electrode thickness should be optimum and according to the base metal to be welded.

Video on welding defects

Video By Weld.com
Video By Weld.com


What are Welding Defects?

Welding defects are generated in a welding job due to the faulty or poor technique used by the inexperienced or unskilled welder or due to fundamental difficulties in the welding operation

What Are The Different Types Of Welding Defects?

Welding defects are classified into the following types: Incorrect profile, Crater, Cracks, Spatter, and surface porosity, Incomplete filled groove, Distortion, Blowholes, and internal porosity, Cracks, Inclusions, Lack of fusion, Incomplete fusion.

How to inspect welding defects
Photo By Dreamstime


In conclusion, welding defects can occur due to a variety of factors, including improper technique, design flaws, and material selection. These defects can be classified into external and internal categories, each with its own types, causes, and remedies. To avoid welding defects, it is crucial to use proper welding techniques, select appropriate materials, and follow best practices for joint design and preparation. By doing so, welders can create strong, reliable joints that meet the highest quality standards


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