Cracks and Holes


Discontinuities within the weld nugget and/or surrounding area caused by metallurgical changes resulting from welding.
Same as: Fissures (cracks), voids (holes), pores (holes).


Holes may be contained within the nugget at the weld center (Fig. 1), or distributed around the edge at the sheet interface, as is sometimes caused by interfacial expulsion (Fig. 2). Holes may also be surface cavities such as those formed by heavy surface expulsion.

Surface cracks usually radiate from the approximate center of the nugget (Fig. 2), and in extreme cases may pass through the entire thickness of the weld zone. Cracks internal to the nugget may be more random in orientation. Cracks may also exist in the material surrounding the nugget.

Cracks and Holes - Production Engineering

Fig. 1. Holes at the center of the weld nugget revealed by sectioning (after teardown).

Cracks and Holes - Production Engineering

Fig. 2. Nugget showing a surface crack and holes in the center of the weld. Holes at the edge of the interface were caused by interfacial expulsion.


Surface cracks and holes may be visually detected before testing. If they have occurred at the sheet interface, they will not be visible until after teardown. Discontinuities within the nugget or at the sheet interface will not be visible until after teardown or joint sectioning.


Quality, Workplace Issues, Cost, Downtime, Maintenance, Throughput (cycle time; PPH) are all potentially affected by this condition. Special considerations are noted below:

  • Quality: Depending on their severity and position within the weld, cracks and holes may affect the weld's performance. Holes or cracks at the edge of the weld interface may favor the growth of a crack during destructive testing.

Possible Causes

Strong Possibilities:

Weak Possibilities: