Shipbuilding Industry

The most commonly found process in the shipbuilding industry is welding. The latest development in welding technology has enabled the shipbuilding industry to produce perfect watertight and oil-tight joints. As compared to riveted joints, the welded joints are always more comfortable in making and more robust while reducing the running time of the project.

The significant contribution of welding in the shipbuilding industry

Welding helps produce a smooth hull surface on a ship, reducing the bare hull resistance and the requirement of power considerably.

Shipbuilding Industry
Shipbuilding Industry

Type of welding used on ships

Three main welding techniques in use in a shipyard –


  • Arc Welding or Submerged Arc Welding using down hand welding method due to its arc stability and the joint quality
  • Gas Welding for welding comparatively lighter structure and prevent oxidation of the weld pool
  • Resistance welding

Various positions of welding on ship

The manual arc welding processes achieve welding at different positions, namely –

  • Down hand welding
  • Overhead welding
  • Vertical welding

Functions of a shipyard welder 

A shipyard welder helps builds and repair ships, replacing or repairing metal parts of a ship structure. Sometimes they are also required to work underwater. For this underwater job, they may require additional training and certification.

Weld Defects

Defects in welding may arise due to the use of faulty materials, lack of skill in vendors, improper methods of welding, or due to the ambiance conditions (the place where welding is taking place).

Since welding is crucial to the shipbuilding industry, every weld joint needs an inspection for any defects in building by a team of trained inspectors.

The following are some of the common defects in building one finds on inspection –

The most common weld defects are as follows:

  1. Tearing of Lamellar
  2. Cracks in the Crater.
  3. Insufficient penetration of Weld pool on improper cross-section cutting welding
  4. Underbead cutting.
  5. Entrapping of gas within the weld pool.
  6. Weld joints with slag inclusions
  7. Overlaps.
  8. Undercuts.
  9. Lack of reinforcement.
  10. Excess of reinforcement or extra deposition.
  11. Lack of fusion within the weld pool.

Today, many norms are known to have been laid out not only on the welding methods but also on the usage of materials. Also, the data collection for each type of weld or joint plays a vital role in predicting weld distortions and redundant welds and ensures the welder’s safety. Efficient use of the latest innovative technology such as a weld monitor, weld data monitoring, weld counter, welding control equipment, weld monitor current sensors along with arc timer, a sensory arc timer, and welding arc timer can be of great use to strengthen the structure by getting that perfect weld in place.