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This article provides a review of metallographic procedures and techniques for analyzing the microstructure of fusion welded joints. It discusses sample preparation, the use of backing plates, and common sectioning methods. It identifies the various types of defects that can occur in arc welded metals, organizing them according to the sectioning method by which they are observed. It describes the relationship between weld bead morphology and sectioning direction and its effect on measurement error. The article examines micrographs from stainless steel, aluminum, and titanium alloy joints, highlighting important details such as solidification and solid-state transformation structures and what they reveal about the welding process. Besides arc welding, it also discusses laser and electron beam welding methods, resistance and spot welding, and the welding of dissimilar metals.

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