What is Gas pore weld defect? how to determine and prevent it?

What is Gas pore weld defect? how to determine and prevent it?

Gas pores, also known as gas pockets or voids, are common weld defects caused by the entrapment of gas, typically hydrogen or nitrogen, within the weld metal during solidification. Gas pores appear as spherical or elongated voids within the weld bead and can significantly compromise the mechanical properties and structural integrity of the weld joint. These defects may lead to reduced weld strength, increased susceptibility to cracking, and decreased resistance to fatigue failure.

Example: Welding of Stainless Steel Pipes

Let’s consider the welding of stainless steel pipes for a chemical processing plant. Stainless steel is commonly used in industries requiring corrosion-resistant materials, such as chemical processing or food and beverage production.

Gas Pore Weld Defect:

During the welding of stainless steel pipes, gas pores can occur if proper welding procedures are not followed or if there are issues with gas shielding, weld cleanliness, or welding parameters. This defect manifests as spherical or elongated voids within the weld bead, visible upon visual inspection or through non-destructive testing techniques.

Determining Gas Pore Weld Defect:

  1. Visual Inspection: Gas pores can often be visually identified by examining the surface and cross-section of the weld bead. Spherical or elongated voids within the weld metal indicate the presence of gas pores.
  2. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT): Non-destructive testing techniques, such as radiographic testing (RT) or ultrasonic testing (UT), can be employed to detect and evaluate the size, shape, and distribution of gas pores within the weld metal.

Radiographic Process:

In radiographic testing (RT) for gas pore detection:

  • X-rays or gamma rays are directed through the weld joint onto a film or digital detector.
  • Gas pores appear as dark, circular or elongated indications within the weld metal in radiographic images.

Prevention Strategies:

  1. Proper Gas Shielding: Ensure adequate shielding gas coverage during welding to protect the weld pool from atmospheric contamination. Use high-quality shielding gases and maintain proper gas flow rates to minimize the risk of gas pore formation.
  2. Weld Cleanliness: Thoroughly clean base metal surfaces, filler materials, and welding equipment to remove any contaminants, such as oil, grease, or moisture, that can contribute to gas pore formation.
  3. Welding Parameters: Control welding parameters, such as arc voltage, current, travel speed, and electrode angle, to optimize weld penetration and minimize gas entrapment within the weld metal.
  4. Post-Weld Treatment: Implement post-weld treatments, such as vacuum or post-weld heat treatment (PWHT), to remove or mitigate the effects of gas pores in the weld metal.

Impact on Weld Quality:

Reduced Strength:

Gas pores weaken the weld joint, reducing its load-bearing capacity and increasing the risk of sudden failure under mechanical loads or stress.

Susceptibility to Cracking:

Welds with gas pore defects are more prone to cracking, particularly at the locations of pore concentration, where stress concentrations are highest, further compromising weld quality and structural integrity.

Fatigue Resistance:

Gas pores decrease the fatigue resistance of the weld joint, leading to premature fatigue failure under cyclic loading conditions.


Gas pore defects in welding require careful attention to welding procedures, gas shielding, weld cleanliness, and welding parameters to prevent. Through thorough inspection and testing, including visual examination and non-destructive testing techniques, welders and inspectors can ensure the reliability, safety, and quality of welded components, such as stainless steel pipes, and mitigate the risk of these defects.

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