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AWS welding qualification expiration years

AWS welding qualification expiration years

AWS welding qualification expiration years

(OP)
Thank you in advance

We're having an issue here with one of our vendors using 3 year old welding qualifications without updating. Our understanding is D1.1 calls for 1 year max, and that qualifications dated from 2019 would be invalid in 2021. I only have the 17th edition AWS book here so if anyone has any updated knowledge, that would be amazing.

Precision guess work based on information provided by those of questionable knowledge

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

My apologies if I don't understand, but are you talking about the welder qualifications (not welding qualifications)?
See D1.1-2020 "Period of Effectiveness." 6.2.3.
Welder quals are based on the honor system. Provided the welders have welded in the method/process of his qualification at least once every 6 months, his certification is active indefinitely. That's it.
Similar to your PE, which doesn't require re-testing every year (just money to your state board).

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

Quote (ATSE)

Welder quals are based on the honor system.

Not necessarily. A good quality program addresses this with a welder continuity log. An excellent quality program documents a welder's welding activity within the continuity log.

But you are correct. A lot of fabricators utilize the honor system for this.

The devil is in the details; she also wears prada.

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

(OP)
@ASTE. Thank you. That answered our question perfectly.

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

There is nothing in the AWS structural welding codes regarding how welder continuity is documented. Nor is there the mention of a quality program in the structural welding codes. However, if the contractor is certified to AISC's requirements or if they are a AWS Certified Fabricator, that's a horse of a different color.

Best regards - Al

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

(OP)
There's some other nonsense that's popped it's head, and it's making us question these certs.

I've only been dragged into this ordeal recently and it's a new job too boot, so I'm probably missing some details.

The main issue arose it seems after a batch of failed on visual weldments due to + 1/32" undercut along the full length of the welds, on mild steel GMAW.

The prorduction manager here finally got all of the contractor's weldor's certs in, and we have GTAW 308L 2F 3/8" plate, A36 basw, GMAW 308L 2F 3/8" plats A36 base, and FCAW E70T no shielding A36 base.

This other shop is telling us the certs are indeed valid for D1.1 GMAW of 1/8" to 1" with ER70S and 75/25.

Myself and the prod manager have never heard of this, and before a huge stink gets raised because these products lift human souls, we just want to make sure we're understanding everything correctly. From my understanding, the issue shop is operating with welders operating in a process/method outside of their qualifications and is a no no.

Precision guess work based on information provided by those of questionable knowledge

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

It sounds like the welders could have been qualified to AWS D1.6 or ASME Section IX. Both standards allow the welder to use either stainless or carbon steel test plates with austenitic stainless filler metal. One would have to review the requirements to see when it is permitted to use "substitute" (different base metals) for the test coupons.

In the case of GMAW, GTAW, FCAW, or SAW, the filler metals are all categorized as F6, so no harm, no foul. As I mentioned, it may be permitted to substitute different base metal for the coupons to save on the cost of materials for qualifying the welders.

With regards to FCAW, there are two families of FCAW electrode, those that require a shielding gas and the other that are self shielded, i.e., no shielding gas required.

So far, you haven't mentioned the governing fabrication or welding standard, so to comment on the visual acceptance criteria is like shooting yourself in the foot and wondering why blood is flowing from the shoe. While one would like to see a weld free of undercut, it may be permitted depending on the welding standard cited by the project specifications or purchase order. One can only reject attributes if there is acceptance criteria that addresses that particular discontinuity. A couple of examples: ASME Section VIII includes no visual criteria for undercut (the last time I looked), so how does one reject undercut if there is no acceptance criteria for it? Likewise, AWS D1.1 includes no visual criteria for several types of porosity, so how does one visually reject the weld for cluster porosity, isolated porosity, etc. when there is no criteria for that type of porosity?

Without the full details of the situation, it is difficult to say whether there is an issue with the welder performance test records. After all, if the welders have been welding without lapses longer than that permitted by the governing standard, their qualifications are valid unless there is a reason to question their validity. There is nothing saying the purchase order or project specification cannot require the welder to be qualified by testing for that particular job. There is nothing that says the "Owner" has to accept previous qualification. I typically require the welders to be qualified using a simple single pass fillet weld on a T-joint. It is fast and it sorts out the wannabes very quickly at minimal cost.

Just saying.

Best regards - Al

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

(OP)
Thank's Al.

I'll have to get more information. I'm finding myself in an odd situation at work here with this situation and am unsure how much help I am willing to devote to this for them.
This work should be being done to ASME B30.23.
Requires Section 5 parts C and D of AWS D1.1

As for undercut, I myself have been going off of section 6, Part C, Table 6.1
(7) Undercut.
(A) For material less than 1 in [25 mm] thick, undercut shall not exceed 1/32 in [1 mm], with the following exception: undercut shall not exceed 1/16 in [2 mm] for any accumulated length up to 2 in [50 mm] in any 12 in [300 mm]. For material equal to or greater than 1 in [25 mm] thick, undercut shall not exceed 1/16 in [2 mm] for any length of weld.]"

The parts I saw were outside of the acceptable measurement.

I believe this is what has caused the production manager to bring into question the certificates at this other shop. The product ranges they are outsourced to produce are steel and aluminum.
I have not laid eyes on the PO's so I cannot for certain be sure that everything was laid forth as it should be, but they receive the same drawings I receive and the standards and requirements are indeed listed.

Single pass fillet on a T-joint is my favorite. So many pretty welds laying cold on mill scale snapped right off with a crescent wrench.

GMAW has never been my go-to, but my own experiences with past jobs have had me qualified under the filler metal.
Because my FCAW-G was with E71-T 100% CO2, I still had to qualify with ER70S and 75/25. So to me I'm a bit lost in thinking their FCAW-S covers them for regular hardwire. If they are of the same F number, would it then be correct their FCAW-S qualifies them for GMAW?

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

Sec. VIII definitely has undercut criteria....UW-35.

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

ASME Section IX does not require separate qualifications for GMAW or FCAW. However AWS D1.1 does consider them to be different processes for the purpose of both procedure qualification and performance qualification.

The contractor is responsible for QC, so if you are finding unacceptable welds, I would question the contractor's QC program, i.e., the inspector's qualifications, as well as the welder qualifications. Under the auspices of AWS D1.1, the Owner (you) are not obligated to accept previous welder performance qualifications. Likewise, I believe the Owner has the right to review the qualifications of the contractor's inspectors. The AWS structural codes often refer to the Engineer. Keep in mind that the Engineer is the Owner's representative. The Owner is the entity that takes legal possession of the item being manufactured.

Regarding ASME Section VIII, I don’t recollect the term undercut being used. I typically hang my hat on “base metal thinning due to the manufacturing process” as the work around.

Best regards - Al

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

Standard Designation: BPV Section VIII Div 1
Edition/Addenda:
Para./Fig./Table No:
Subject Description: Section VIII, Division 1, UW-35
Date Issued: 02/18/1988
Record Number: BC88-029
Interpretation Number : VIII-1-86-217
Question(s) and Reply(ies):
Question: Is "reduction in thickness due to the welding process" as used in UW-35(b) synonymous with the term "undercut"?

Reply: Yes; see UW-35(b)(1) and (2) for the tolerances.

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

Exactly, but when inspecting a weld, one should use the terminology used by the governing standard or code. If the standard doesn't use the term undercut, the inspector shouldn't reject the work due to undercut. Simply reject the work to base metal thinning due to the manufacturing process.

Best regards - Al

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

(OP)
Thanks all. I'm no longer with this employer so all the power to them in how they wish to proceed.
At least I learned some stuff.

Precision guess work based on information provided by those of questionable knowledge

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

Under AWS, if the Inspector, Engineer or other qualified QA person suspects the qualification of a welder through performance, they can require recertification.

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

It may not be the welders who are primarily at fault. I have seen manufacturers that do not permit the welder to adequately change the welding parameters, set by the so called welding engineer/superintendent, to mitigate undercut. If the welds don't meet Codes/Contract, reject them and require the manufacture to repair. That should get their attention - unfortunately not always and I have more han once had to pull the contracted work from them for nonconformance.

RE: AWS welding qualification expiration years

(OP)
Welding perameters looked ok to me, it appeared as though incorrect torch angle, excessive torch movement, and improper material prep (none) were the root causes. Excess spatter near the weld, if it made it into the weld puddle, would have been more than enough to fill the undercut. A helper was ultinately tasked with filling the undercut with hot stick and the failed components were pushed to shipping to meet production numbers. The assumption by management being that the aluminum components will fail under loading before the weld defects on the steel components cause any issue. Random load testing was foregone on these components to avoid raising a flag to the engineering department and the new owners who were touring the facility at the time. I can only hope ths assumpions by the productuon manager are correct.

Edit: After witnessing certs issued to new employees despite no weld test administered, I question the validity of this particular shop's certifications as well. The pot was calling the kettle black.
Just a bad situation all around.

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