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This article briefly reviews the general causes of weldment failures, which may arise from rejection after inspection or failure to pass mechanical testing as well as loss of function in service. It focuses on the general discontinuities observed in welds, and shows how some imperfections may be tolerable and how the other may be root-cause defects in service failures. The article explains the effects of joint design on weldment integrity. It outlines the origins of failure associated with the inherent discontinuity of welds and the imperfections that might be introduced from arc welding processes. The article also describes failure origins in other welding processes, such as electroslag welds, electrogas welds, flash welds, upset butt welds, flash welds, electron and laser beam weld, and high-frequency induction welds.

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