A key component in the welding process is the electrode or filler metal used in making the welded connection. Metal from the electrode is introduced in the joint through the welding process, and this metal must be of the same or better chemical and mechanical properties of the materials being welded. The manufacture of these electrodes is a critical process to ensure the desired properties of the weld can consistently be made. In Canada, a number of CSA product standards require welding fabricators to use welding consumables certified in accordance to CSA Standard W48.
CSA Standard W48 "Filler metals and allied materials for metal arc welding" provides requirements for the classification and certification of welding consumables by itself or in conjunction with gas mixtures or fluxes as applicable. The standard provides all requirements on chemical and mechanical properties of the electrodes and acceptable manufacturing tolerances.
Unlike other standards in the world Canada has a unique system that involves a 3rd party certification for welding consumables that is carried out by the CWB. Welding consumables certified by the CWB have undergone through periodic testing witnessed by the CWB, and the manufacturing facilities have had annual independent audits of the manufacturing processes and quality management system in place.
The CWB's independent oversight of both testing and the quality management system of the manufacturer provides an added level of confidence and assurance that the welding consumables meet the minimum requirements of the standards, and thereby minimizes liability and public safety risks.
The use of CWB certified welding consumables can help improve weld quality, minimize the number of rejections and repairs, and help to reduce the overall production cost.
At present, the CWB certifies over 1,900 welding consumables. This includes not only consumables manufactured by Canadian companies, but companies located throughout the world supplying welding consumables to the Canadian marketplace.