Welding Certification – Automotive ICAR Tests

Lyle Ellerbee

I-CAR is a not for profit training organization for the Auto collision industry.

Part of I-CAR’s training programs involve qualification tests for welding on automobiles. With modern cars utilizing uni-body design, it is important for any weld repair to be structurally sound.

I-CAR offers 3 welder qualification tests at authorized testing sites across the United States:

  • Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) Test for aluminum
  • GMAW test for Steel
  • Structural Steel Parts

GMAW Aluminum Test welds required

3 welds are required…a fillet welded lap joint, a plug welded lap joint, and a butt welded joint with backing. These welds are made on two different aluminum alloys and on 2 different thicknesses of aluminum.

The aluminum alloys are: 5052-H32 and 6061-T6. The thicknesses are 1mm and 2.5mm (.040″ and.100″)

All 6 welds must pass visual inspection tests and destructive tests.

GMAW test for Steel

The welding tests are done using 18 ga steel. There are 4 welds required for this welding certification:

The 4 welds are a fillet welded lap joint, a plug welded lap joint, a butt welded joint with backing, and an open butt welded joint.

Welding Certification for Structural Steel Parts

The welding test used for the structural welding certification test is the same type and thickness used for the I-CAR Steel GMAW (MIG) Welding Test. the test is done using a simulated structural part.

There are 2 joints required: a butt welded joint with backing, and an offset fillet weld. Plug welds are also utilized for a total of 30 welds. To pass the welding test, the welds must pass visual inspection and the overall length of the part must be within a certain tolerance. Its a distortion test along with a being a welding certification test.

I-CAR attempts to establish some standardization in weld repairs in the automotive industry.

That seems like a good thing.

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