Welding-qualification:

Record of qualifying Results.

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Obtaining Qualification is Proof of Meeting Requirements

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Welding-qualification practice has evolved in a complex and well defined protocol engaging qualification procedures and constant control of production activities.

These requirements are conceived to provide assurance that every precaution is taken to avoid dangerous habits or sloppy execution.

The purpose is to guarantee that the application of welding techniques is realized with adequate competence and workmanship to fulfill design purposes.

Welding-qualification of procedures and of personnel is an important part of weld quality management together with performance qualification records (PQR).

These are the essential tools capable of assuring that the performed welds will meet the construction intent. Manufacturers are requested to keep record of successful qualification tests and to document the continuing performance of their welders.

Welding Codes and Standards (see Welding Standards) are established by professional associations upon much discussion.

They are accepted as distilled current knowledge and experience relative to fabricated constructions, addressing the needs of particular service conditions.

The responsibility for Welding-qualification of Welding Personnel and Procedures lies with the employer, fabricator, manufacturer or contractor.

Those are liable for selection, definition and control of the welding procedures they will use to perform the work.


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Welding-qualification requirements are generally formalized as binding Codes. However, even if the application is not covered by a code or standard, it is strongly recommended that some form of welding procedure qualification be performed for all critical welding operation.

The document detailing the specific welding instructions to be followed for a given job is called Welding Procedure Specification (WPS).
See Welding Procedures.

The WPS describes a set of conditions including materials and consumables, thickness, position, welding process, welding parameters etc.

The Welding-qualification of the procedure may be required by the applicable code, that will generally request also the qualification of personnel involved.

The Welding-qualification of the personnel consists in demonstrating (by thorough testing of suitable test-pieces) that the welders are indeed capable of producing satisfactory welds when using the prescribed process, materials and procedure.

The adherence to all WPS requirements has to be confirmed by the representative of the responsible agent, who will witness the whole operation.

Welding-qualification of procedures consists in performing on a test piece the typical weld described in the WPS document, and then submitting the welded sample to all the prescribed examinations and tests. Failing the tests prevents the issue of the qualification document.

The results meeting the requirements are to be reported by the employer in a standard document called Procedure Qualification Record (PQR).

This document provides the details of the qualification, including the essential variables that were used for welding the test piece, and an official statement of certification confirming that all applicable code requirements were met.

Because of this statement, welders having passed the Welding-qualification tests are designated as Certified Welders.

The use of prequalified procedures is sometimes admitted, provided all code requirements are met.

Codes admit a measure of variability around the conditions used for qualifying any given procedure. If the conditions exceed the limits, a new procedure has to be established and qualified.

A single welding procedure qualification test may support a number of welding procedure specifications. Alternatively a single welding procedure specification may be supported by a number of procedure qualifications.

An Article on Welder Qualification was published (7) in Issue 111 of Practical Welding Letter for November 2012.
Click on PWL#111 to read it.

An Article on Filler Metal for Brazing Qualification of superconducting radiofrequency cavities was published (4) in Issue 145 of Practical Welding Letter for September 2015.
Click on PWL#145.

An Article on Filling the Welders Workforce Gap was published (7) in Issue 146 of Practical Welding Letter for October 2015.
Click on PWL#146.

An introduction to our new page on Welding-certification was published (8) in Issue 148 of Practical Welding Letter for December 2015.
Click on PWL#148.

An Article on Duplex Stainless Filler Metals and Procedure Qualification Problems was published (4) in Issue 152 of Practical Welding Letter for April 2016.
Click on PWL#152.

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The following documents deal with different aspects of Welding-qualification, important to demonstrate acceptable Quality level in all manufacturing operations.

ANSI/AWS B2.1/B2.1M-BMG:2009
Base Metal Grouping for Welding Procedure and Performance Qualification
American Welding Society, 01-Apr-2009, 202 pages

ANSI/AWS B2.1/B2.1M:2009
Specification for Welding Procedure and Performance Qualification
Edition: 5th
American Welding Society / 22-Aug-2008 / 300 pages

ANSI/AWS B2.2/B2.2M:2010
Specification for Brazing Procedure and Performance Qualification
Edition: 3rd
American Welding Society / 07-Jul-2009 / 86 pages

AWS B2.4:2012
Standard Welding Procedure Specification for Welding Procedure and Performance Qualification for Thermoplastics
American Welding Society / 10-Apr-2012 / 56 pages

ANSI/AWS G1.6:2006
Specification for the Qualification of Plastics Welding Inspectors for Hot Gas, Hot Gas Extrusion, and Heated Tool Butt Thermoplastic Welds
American Welding Society, 06-Jul-2006, 24 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.1:2003
Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors
American Welding Society, 29-Apr-2003, 22 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.2:2001
Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspector Specialists and Welding Inspector Assistants
American Welding Society, 01-Jan-2001, 21 pages

AWS B5.4:2005
Specification for the Qualification of Welder Test Facilities
American Welding Society, 01-Jan-2005, 24 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.5:2011
Specification for the Qualification of Welding Educators
Edition: 2nd
American Welding Society / 13-Sep-2011 / 22 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.9:2000
Specification for the Qualification of Welding Supervisors
American Welding Society, 13-Apr-2000, 14 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.14:2009
Specification for the Qualification of Welding Sales Representatives
Edition: 2nd
American Welding Society / 02-Feb-2009 / 18 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.15:2010
Specification for the Qualification of Radiographic Interpreters
Edition: 2nd
American Welding Society / 21-Oct-2009 / 26 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.16:2006
Specification for the Qualification of Welding Engineers
American Welding Society, 24-Mar-2006, 22 pages

ANSI/AWS B5.17:2008
Specification for the Qualification of Welding Fabricators
Edition: 3rd
American Welding Society / 20-Feb-2008 / 22 pages

ANSI/AWS C2.16/C2.16M:2002
Guide for Thermal Spray Operator Qualification
American Welding Society, 23-Jul-2002, 88 pages

ANSI/AWS C1.5:2009
Specification for the Qualification of Resistance Welding Technician
Edition: 2nd
American Welding Society / 16-Sep-2008 / 24 pages

AWS CMWS:2005
Certified Welding Supervisor Manual for Quality and Productivity Improvement
Jack R. Barckhoff, Kenneth M. Kerluke, Don L.
American Welding Society, 01-Jan-2005, 448 pages

European Welding Standard

DIN EN ISO 15610
Specification and Qualification of Welding Procedures for Metallic Materials
Qualification based on tested welding consumables
(ISO 15610:2003); German version EN ISO 15610:2003
DIN-adopted European-adopted ISO Standard, 01-Feb-2004
10 pages

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Welding-qualification is the proof of capability that authorities and purchasers of welded construction need, to verify compliance with all requirements.