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Weld Visual Inspection

Weld Visual Inspection

Weld Visual Inspection

All structural weld requires 100% visual inspection. Our subcontract shop and company CWB certify company. They are going to do structural field welding. As per code requirement welding shall be done by certified inspector or qualify or experienced person approved by engineer.as per W59.

Subcontractor will do 100% visual inspection but it always done by welder who does welding. Subcontractor do not agree that visual inspection shall be done by other, not the welder.

EOR(Engineer of Record) stated in the situation that visual inspection requires for all structural welding and full penetration welding requires NDT.

Our QA manager do not approves the ITP of subcontractor because visual inspection are not going to done by certified welding inspector.

There are the three sides. I would like to request your for the situation for How should I close this issue.

Please share Standard procedure for visual inspection.
Thank you for your time.  

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

The only visual inspection certified in Canada is CSA W178.2 which covers CWB and ASME. The common misunderstanding is that it only involves looking at a weld. The Certified Visual inspector must verify welders tickets, procedures, consumables and everything else related to the weld as well as NDE and the appearance. Certified visual inspectors are listed on the CWB website or any other  certified inspection agency.  

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

You have not stated which code you are referencing nor even the country in which this work will occur.  Please provide so that someone from your area might provide advise.

In general, the welder is required to do an inspection of his own work prior to the independent inspection provided by a certified welding inspector.  This includes deslagging the welds so the a proper inspection can be made.  The welder's inspection of his own work is insufficient to comply with code provisions under the codes that I have worked with.

As REGRUMBLE noted, proper welding inspection involves a lot more than just looking at a weld and making a few measurements.  The entire inspection/validation process should be used.


RE: Weld Visual Inspection

Sounds like this is in Canada.

Those are good questions. I have been wondering about this topic as well.

When would you need a certified welding inspector to inspect field welds and when would a cursory visual inspection by the EOR be sufficient?

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

If you're welding under CSA W59 all welds must be visually inspected as per 11.5.4 and 12.5.4.

Whether this needs to be done by a certified inspector or not is defined in the individual contract.  Personally, I don't know why you wouldn't require this, as the definition of a visual inspection is pretty complex.  A cursory inspection definitely doesn't do it.  You have to be reasonably well versed to identify the issues to the level of the W59 requirement

Quoted from, which relates to statically loaded structures:

A weld subject to visual inspection shall be acceptable if visual inspection shows
(a) no surface cracks;
(b) no visible lack of fusion between welds and base metal;
(c) no craters;
(d) weld profiles in accordance with Clause 5.9;
(e) that the sum of diameters of visible porosity does not exceed 10 mm (3/8 in) in any linear 25 mm
(1 in) length of weld and does not exceed 20 mm (3/4 in) in any 300 mm (12 in) length of weld. Any
individual pore shall have a dimension not exceeding 2.5 mm (3/32 in);
(f) that, irrespective of length, undercut does not exceed the value shown in Figure 11.4 for the primary
stress direction category applicable to the area containing the undercut. Further, the undercut may be
twice the value permitted by Figure 11.4 (for the applicable load category) for an accumulated length
of 50 mm (2 in) in a 300 mm (12 in) length of weld, but in no case may the undercut be greater
than 1.6 mm (1/16 in). For weld lengths of less than 300 mm (12 in), the permitted accumulated length
of undercut shall be proportional to the actual length of weld.

For cyclically loaded structures, there are additional requirements.

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

Yeah, and on the original question, you're in a tight spot.  Technically W59 doesn't say who has to do the inspection, just that an inspection has to happen and that a certified welding inspector is required if stated in the contract.  If you didn't specify that a certified inspector was required in the contract, then the contractor just has to make sure someone does the visual inspection as specified in the code.

However, to me the code requirement for visual inspection very much implies that it is a second party.  The person doing the weld should obviously be checking their own work as they go to allow for a minimum level of quality.  If the same welder is doing the 'inspection' it really hasn't added anything.  Also, I'd be concerned that the contractor isn't waiting a sufficient period of time before inspecting the weld if they're getting the same guy to do the check.  W59 asks that you delay as much as possible before inspecting and preferably shouldn't do it earlier than 48 hours after the weld occurs.

I'm not sure who you'd appeal to if you wanted to get a code interpretation on this.  Possibly the CWB could give you some direction.  By my reading, though, you don't really have a basis to require them to pay for a certified inspector if you didn't contractually require it.  It also doesn't seem to require that the engineer approve of whatever inspector they decide to use.  You might be able to argue, though, that someone other than the original worker needs to do the inspection.  

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

Many times the EOR is not qualified to assess a weld in accordance with the applicable code.  I do not believe the original post is from Canada; however, many welding codes are similar in the world.  As an example the Canadian code is very similar to the American code.

Just because an engineer designs something, it does not mean that he has the qualifications to evaluate its fabrication or production.  I would venture to say that most design engineers do not know how to properly inspect a fillet weld and could not assess undercut, concavity, fusion issues, overlap, porosity or a variety of other relevant indications.

To provide a proper quality validation program, independent inspection is a must.  Further, the inspector must be qualified to provide such inspections, as evidenced by a valid certification.

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

Thanks you all,

Work site in Alberta, Canada. Applicable codes: CSAW59 and W59.

Question asked to CSA and CWB,

Since CSA W59 stipulates that " A Welding Inspector shall either be currently certified to CSA Standard W178.2 or AWS QC1, or shall be suitably trained and experienced, to the satisfaction of the Engineer, to ensure that adequate competency exists for the inspection tasks to be performed." the inspector must be certified to level II working under the direction of a level I inspector as indicated in the CSA standard.  

Response from CWB :DISAGREE.   W59 does not mandate the use of "Welding Inspectors" to do weld inspection.  Clause states that the use of Welding Inspectors is only mandatory when "required by contract" – Clause must be read in the context of    In addition, no specific level for CSA W178.2 is specified in W59.

Response from CSA:
W59 requires 100% of welds be visually inspected.
W59 makes no requirement regarding the qualification of such inspector. (the company doing the welds would do such inspection at their own cost typically using in house personnel perhaps weld supervisor).
The owner may specify in the contract 3rd party inspections to be carried out by certified inspector or inspection organization (if the contract is silent inspection by the fabricator satisfies requirements of W59).

My question:
What at the end EOR requires to see before he sign off on the schedule A, B  or A,B,C of Alberta Building Code.

I would like to see few good example of standard project specifies visual inspection procedure for my knowledge.

Thank you all,

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

The ASME codes have a very similar problem because they all indicate every weld shall be visually inspected but do not specify any details. QC1 or CSA W178.2 are the only two standards that outline training and qualifications for visual inspection but are seriously lacking when it comes to the details of what is included in your inspection report. We often see this debate among inspectors and engineers but I have never seen a clear answer.   

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

There are a lot of 2-man shops certified to W47.1 & W59 which virtually guarantees that the welder does the inspections, he's the only guy there.  If they achieve their certification, it is not just implicit acceptance of this by CSA, it is explicit.

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

AWS Certified Welding Inspector here. in structures, Over 90% of the field welds i fail are not there at all and i've never been on a job that something wasn't missing.  Having welders inspect there own work is one thing i don't know about in canada, but they should always be inspecting their work anyway....  but there needs to be Quality Control for the project too.  I would imagine that there would be some language in the project documents concerning the general quality requirements for all work.  Maybe, there is some pressure that can be put on the contractor to make one QC inspector in charge.  What kind of reporting (if any) is the contractor providing for their inspections....  maybe each welder needs to sign off on the welds they inspect in reporting format.... maybe these sign-offs need to be organized and compiled so that the contractor can demonstrate that 100% has been performed to themselves and the owner.... maybe a couple of embarrassing site visits by the Quality Assurance welding inspector would point out weaknesses in the QC system.  Remember 90% of the welds i fail are not there.... and it is because of changing of crews, tasks, bad fit-up that needs engineering (but not followed up on), not starting back where you left off on the next day.  it usually isn't because the welder doesn't know what he's doing. fabricators have in-house quality control procedures for shop welding to keep product quality in check prior to shipping (even if it's just a 2-guy shop), but field-welding is dependent on what you can do with what is given to you as-built at the time you are working.  

RE: Weld Visual Inspection

I agree with darthsoilsguy2 the independent inspector is to confirm that the welders know what they are doing and did not miss anything. 90% of CWB certified shops and welders do good work but having quality control confirmation should not add a lot to the cost of the project.

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