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Welding Qualifications

Welding Procedures, Welder Approvals and Welding Procedure Specifications explained.


European Standards
An introduction to
European Welding
Standards. (427Kb pdf
File)
Basic Guide
A basic introduction to
Welding qualifications
and why they are
required
Welding Procedure
Specifications(WPS)
Welding Procedure
Specifications to EN
ISO 15609-1 (formerly
EN288 Part 2). Why
are they required and
what should they
include.

ASME Section IX
Guidance on the qualification of welding procedures and the performance testing of welders to section 9
of the ASME boiler and pressure vessel code. Approval Range Calculator.

European & ISO Welding Standards


These new standards are renumbered and updated versions of the old EN288 series. Information is also
provided about the older standards.
NEW Approval Range Calculator.
Automatic/Machine Welding
Guidance on the qualification of welding operators to EN and ASME Rules
Independant Inspection Authority
Royal & SunAlliance is probably one of the most helpful Inspection agencies around.
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Please Note, whilst I am prepared to answer your questions, I can't supply copies or extracts of standards
because they are all subject to copyright law. However copies of most standards can be purchased online
from the various standards authorities, see LINKS for their web site addresses.
Page last updated 21
March 2008

Welding Certification, A Basic Guide

The requirement for weld procedures and the coding of welders is specified in application standards such as:
BS 2971 Class 2 Arc Welding of Carbon Steel Pipework {Gas Pressures less than 17 barg}
BS 2633 Class 1 Arc Welding of Carbon Steel Pipework
BS 4677 Arc Welding Of Austenitic Steel Pipework.
BS 806 Boiler Pipe Work (Refers to BS 2971 and BS 2633)
PD 5500 Unfired Pressure Vessels (Formally BS5500)
BS 2790 Shell Boilers
BS 1113 Water Tube Boilers

BS 5169 Air Receivers

Application Standards
All the above application standards require welding procedures to EN ISO 15614 Part 1 (Formerly BSEN 288-3) and
welders coded to BSEN 287 Part 1. Some applications of BS 2971 and BS 5169 permit welders to be qualified
without procedures to BS 4872, a less stringent standard.
The application standard may require tests in addition to those required by welding standards, for example most UK
boiler and pressure vessel codes require all weld tensile tests for plate qualification above 10mm.
UK pressure systems regulations
Items that come under the UK pressure systems regulations must be 'properly designed and constructed so as to
prevent danger', and items that are repaired or modified should not give rise to danger. The Health and Safety
Executive Guidance Booklet to the regulations interprets this statement as meaning the manufacture or repair of any
item should be carried out to suitable codes and recommends the use of British Standards or other equivalent National
Standards.
European Pressure Equipment Directive
For inspection category 2 and above all welding procedures and welder qualifications have to be approved by a
Notified Body (an Inspection Authority Notified by a European member country under the Directive), or a Third Party
Organisation similarly approved under the Directive. All qualifications approved by these organisations have to be

accepted by all parties for work carried out under the directive providing they are suitable for the application and
technically correct.
Welding Procedure Specifications
This is a simple instruction sheet giving details of how the weld is to be performed, its purpose is to aid the planning
and quality control of the welding operation. EN ISO 15609 (formerly EN288 Part 2) specifies the contents of such a
specification in the form of a list of items that should be recorded, however only relevant information need be
specified, for example only in the case of a procedure requiring heat input control would there be a necessity to quote
travel speed or run out length for manual processes.
A weld procedure specification may cover a range of thicknesses, diameters and materials, but the range must be
specified and be compatible with the rest of the parameters on the document. I suggest that you produce a new WPS
for each type of joint and keep to the ranges of thickness and diameters specified in the welding procedure standard.
Welding Procedures
Welding procedures are required when it is necessary to demonstrate that your company has the ability to produce
welds possessing the correct mechanical and metallurgical properties.
A welding procedure must qualified in accordance with the requirements of an appropriate welding procedure
standard such as EN ISO 15614 Part 1 as follows:1. Produce a welding procedure specification as stated above.
2. Weld a test piece in accordance with the requirements of your specification. The joint set up, welding and visual

examination of the completed weld should be witnessed by an Inspection Body. The details of the test such as
the welding current, pre-heat etc., must be recorded during the test.
3. Once the welding is complete the test piece must be subject to destructive and non destructive examination such

as radiography and mechanical tests as defined by the welding procedure standard. This work can be carried out
in any laboratory but the Inspection Body may require to witness the tests and view any radiographs.
4. If the test is successful you or the test body complete the appropriate documents which the test bodies surveyor

signs and endorses. The necessary documents are as follows:E1 Welding Procedure Approval Test Certificate
This is the front sheet and only gives details of what the procedure can be used for. i.e. its range of approval.
E2 Details Of Weld Test
This gives details of what actually took place during the test weld it is similar to a WPS but should not include
ranges of welding parameters.
E3 Test Results
Details of NDT and Mechanical testing Results
E4 Welder Approval Test Certificate.
This is the welder approval part of the qualification.
Note The E1, E2, E3, E4 designations are used by some Inspection Authorities to refer to the individual forms.
Examples of these forms are given in annexes of EN ISO 15614 and EN287.
Forms E1, E2, E3 may be referred to as the WPAR (Welding Procedure Approval Record) or WPQR (Weld Procedure
Qualification Record).
In general a new welding procedure must be qualified for each of the following changes subject to the individual
requirements of the appropriate standard used:

Change in parent material type.


Change of welding process

The diameter range for pipe given by the welding standard is exceeded. Typically 0.5xD to 2xD.
The thickness range is exceeded. Typically 0.5xt to 2xt.

Any other change required by the welding standard.

Welder Approval
Once the procedure is approved it is necessary to demonstrate that all your welders working to it have the required
knowledge and skill to put down a clean sound weld. If the welder has satisfactorily completed the procedure test then
he is automatically approved but each additional welder must be approved by completing an approval test to an
appropriate standard such as EN 287 part 1 as follows:Complete a weld test as stated in 2) above. The test should simulate production conditions and the welding
position should be the position that the production welds are to be made in or one more severe
For maximum positional approval a pipe inclined at 45 degrees (referred to as the 6G position) approves all
positions except vertical down.
Test the completed weld in accordance with the relevant standard to ensure that the weld is clean and fully
fused.
For a butt weld this is normally a visual examination followed by radiography.
Once the test is completed the E4 form has to be completed by you or the test body and signed by the test
bodies surveyor.
Note The above changes that require a new welding procedure may also apply to the welders approval, refer to
the standard for precise details.
ASME 9
ASME 9 as far as the pressurised systems regulations are concerned can be considered as equivalent to EN ISO
15614-1 /EN 287. However it may not be contractually acceptable. The advantage in using ASME is that generally
fewer procedure tests are required particularly when welding pipework.

Welder Approval Without A procedure


BS 4872 is for the qualification of welders where a weld procedure is not required either by the application standard
that governs the quality of production welds or by contractual agreement. Typically applied per BS2971 for welding of
boiler pipework less than 17 bar g and 200C. Basically the same rules mentioned above for the welder approval
apply.
Acceptance Standards
In general welds must show a neat workman like appearance. The root must be fully fused along the entire length of
the weld, the profile of the cap should blend in smoothly with the parent material and the weld should be significantly
free from imperfections. Reference should be made to the acceptance standard for precise details.
Its a good idear to ensure that you can achieve the appropriate standard before you call in an Inspection Body.
Penetration defects and lack of fusion can often be easily detected by sectioning welds and bending them.

Welding Procedure Specifications

Welding Procedure Specification Example


A WPS is a document that describes how welding is to be carried out in production. They are recommended for all
welding operations and many application codes and standards make them mandatory
What information should they include?
Sufficient details to enable any competent person to apply the information and produce a weld of acceptable quality.
The amount of detail and level of controls specified on a WPS is dependant on the application and criticality of the joint
to be welded.
For most applications the information required is generally similar to that recorded on a Procedure Qualification
Record (PQR) or Welding Procedure Approval Record (WPAR), except that ranges are usually permitted on
thicknesses, diameters, welding current, materials, joint types etc.
If a WPS is used in conjunction with approved welding procedures then the ranges stated should be in accordance with
the approval ranges permitted by the welding procedure.
However careful consideration should be given to the ranges specified to ensure they are achievable, as the ranges
given by welding procedure standards do not always represent good welding practice. For example welding positions
permitted by the welding procedure standard may not be achievable or practical for certain welding processes or
consumables.
EN ISO 15609-1 (formally EN 288 Part 2) European Standard For Welding Procedure Specifications
EN ISO 15609 Defines the contents of a Welding Procedure Specification in the form of a list of information that should
be recorded. For some applications it may be necessary to supplement or reduce the list. For example only in the case
of a procedure requiring heat input control would there be a necessity to quote travel speed or run-out length for manual
processes.
ASME IX American Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code

QW 250 Lists the variables for each welding process, all the variables stated should be addressed. The range permitted by the WPS is
dictated by the PQR or PQRs used to qualify it.

Typical Items That Should Be Recorded On W.P.S:Common to all Processes

Procedure number
Process type
Consumable Size, Type and full Codification.
Consumable Baking Requirement if applicable
Parent material grade and spec.
Thickness range.
Plate or Pipe, Diameter range
Welding Position
Joint Fit Up, Preparation, Cleaning, Dimensions etc.
Backing Strip, Back Gouging information.
Pre-Heat (Min Temp and Method)
Interpass If Required (Maximum Temperature recorded )
Post Weld Heat Treatment. If Required (Time and Temp)
Welding Technique (weaving,max run width etc.)
Arc Energy Limits should be stated if impact tests are required or if the material being welded is sensitive to heat
input.

Specific To Welding Processes


Welding current

MMA

TIG

MIG
MAG
FCAW

SUB
ARC

yes

yes

yes

yes

Type of Welding current AC/DC Polarity

yes

yes

yes

Arc voltage

If Auto

yes

yes

Pulse parameters (Pulse time and peak & backgound current)

If Used

If Used

yes

yes

Welding Speed If Mechanised

yes

Wire configuration

yes
yes

Shielding gas (comp,flow rate)

yes

yes

Purge gas (comp & flow rate)

If Used

If Used

Tungsten electode Diameter and type.

yes

Nozzle diameter

yes

yes

Type of Flux Codification & Brand Name

yes

Nozzle Stand Off Distance (Distance from tip of nozzle to


workpiece).

yes

Sketches
A sketch of the joint configuration is required which should include the basic dimensions of the weld preparation. Some
indication of the run sequence is also beneficial, particularly if the correct sequence is essential to ensure the properties
of the weld are maintained.
Production Sequence
Whilst this is good practice it is not a requirement of either ASME 9 or EN288 Part 2; it could be issued as a separate
QA procedure if preferred.

Non Destructive Testing


A WPS is primarily concerned with welding not N D T, this activity should be covered by separate N D T procedures.

Welding Procedure Specification:- Example


Weld Procedure Number

30 P1 TIG 01 Issue A

Qualifying Welding Procedure (WPAR)

WP T17/A

Manufacturer:

National Fabs Ltd


25 Lane End
Birkenshaw
Leeds

Location:

Workshop

Welding Process:
Joint Type:

Manual TIG
Single Sided Butt Weld

Revision History
Date
Issue
26/11/2000

A First Issue

Method Of Preparation
and Cleaning:
Parent Metal Specification:
Parent Metal Thickness
Pipe Outside Diameter
Welding Position:
Welding Progression:

Changes

Machine and Degrease


Grade 304L Stainless Steel
3 to 8mm Wall
25 to 100mm
All Positions
Upwards

Authorization
Jack Straw

Jack Straw

Welding Procedure Specifications

ASME 9 - Introduction
These articles are intended as a very general guide to ASME 9. They are a collection of my own personal notes which
were written to aid my understanding of the code. Their are certain exceptions in the code that are not covered in these
articles, therefore you are urged to study the code carefully before using its rules to carry out any welding

qualifications.
Brief Introduction
Download ASME suggested forms
Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)
Welding Performance Qualification (WPQ)
ASME definitions for welding processes, consumables and welding positions
ASME Approval Range Calculator
ASME P Material Numbers
Graphic Representation of Welding Positions
Brief Introduction
Welding qualifications to ASME 9 are for use with the ASME boiler and pressure vessel code or the ASME pipework
codes. For use with any other code or standard agreement between all contracting parties should be obtained.
The ASME boiler and pressure vessel code embraces its own QA system which revolves around satisfying the rules of
the code. This demonstrates that an accredited fabricator has some degree of competence permitting them to perform a
large amount of their own inspection without the involvement of an Independent Inspection Body, which would be
required by other standards for similar inspections.
This is why welding qualifications carried out under the ASME code do not require Independent Inspection, a fabricator
can qualify his own procedures and welders using the ASME code rules. However this may not be acceptable to the
European Pressure Equipment Directive which requires all welding qualifications in inspection categories two and
above to be approved by a Notified Body.
However there is nothing stopping anybody using any of the rules of the ASME code without being ASME approved,
but to prove your competence in welding an Independent Inspection Body is recommended to approve your welding
tests.
The advantage of ASME 9 is that its very workable and very comprehensive, if you have a question you will almost
certainly find an answer somewhere in the code, which is more than can be said for its European equivalent EN ISO

15614-1 (formerly EN288-3).


The ASME code may at first glance appear complex and very legalistic but once you understand the basic rules they are
very easy to apply in practice. Its main advantage is that it requires very few welding procedures unlike EN ISO 156141 which requires a ridiculous number if it is applied correctly.
The main advantages of ASME welding procedures are: All joint types approve each other. i.e. A double sided weld approves a single sided weld and vice versa.
No limits on diameter approval for pipe. A plate procedures can be used to weld any diameter of pipe
Materials and welding consumables are listed in groups, unfortunately only American grades are included!
Any butt weld will qualify all fillet weld sizes on any parent metal thickness.
A welding procedure qualified in one position approves all positions unless impact tests are required then only a
vertical up approves all positions.
The code covers wide range of welding processes and applications such as hard facing, stud welding, brazing etc.
If you have difficulty in appreciating the above advantages you need to understand the basic philosophy behind welding
procedure tests described in the Basic Guide.
The main advantages of ASME welder approval tests are: There is no minimum parent thickness, only maximums, and they are applied to the deposited thickness of the weld
not the parent metal thickness.
There is no upper limit on diameter approval, only a lower limit.
Any butt weld approval will qualify all fillet weld sizes on any parent metal thickness. {Unfortunately unlike
EN287 a butt weld carried out in the flat position will not qualify a fillet weld in the conventional horizontal
position, to qualify this your butt weld approval must include the horizontal position}.

The main problem with the ASME code is that it treats all welding processes separately and imposes separate
restrictions for each on both procedures and approvals. It is therefore prudent to check what the code says about the
welding process you intend to use before you carry out any welding tests.
The ASME code covers a very wide range of welding processes and applications such as hard facing, stud welding,
brazing etc.
Application standards such as the B31 pipework code may impose additional requirements and limitations in some
cases.
The code is divided into 4 parts as follows:
QW100

General introduction to testing requirements etc.

QW200

Procedure Qualification details.

QW300

Performance Qualifications (Welder Approvals) details.

QW400

Welding Data. This is the biggest section of the code and covers data for
both procedure and performance qualifications. It includes : Material and consumable data
Test requirements.
Approval ranges for thickness, diameter, joint configuration and welding positions

Definitions used in the code.

Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)


Welding Performance Qualification (WPQ)

ASME definitions for welding processes, consumables and welding positions

Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)


PQR's are not required if Standard Welding Procedures are used, see below for details.
This document contains details of the welding test, it must include details of all the parameters listed as variables in tables QW250 to
QW265 for each process involved and all the destructive test results.
The relevant variables for each type of welding process are clearly defined in tables QW250 to QW265. The left hand column of each
table defines the section and paragraph where each variable and its application to the table is explained in the code.
Welding Variables
Variables used in a welding procedure test are divided into 3 categories : Essential Variables Are variables that have a significant affect on the mechanical properties of a joint. They must not be
changed except within the limits specified by this code. e.g. Material thickness range, Material Group etc.

Non-Essential Variables Are variables that have no significant affect on mechanical properties. They can be changed without re
qualification of the PQR.

Supplementary Variables Are variables that have an affect on the impact properties of a joint. They are classed as Non-Essential
if impact testing is not required

All variables listed as essential, non-essential or supplementary should be addressed on both the WPS and the PQR. If any of the
variables do not apply to the particular application then they should be specified as not applicable.
Joint Configuration
Either plate or pipe can be used for the test piece (plate approves pipe and vice versa ref. QW211), any welding position approves all
positions providing no impact tests are required ref. tables QW250 to QW265 and any joint geometry approves all geometry's, e.g.
single V, double V, U prep, backed or unbacked.
A butt or groove weld approves branch and fillet welds but not the converse, ref. QW202. Non pressure retaining fillet welds in pipe or
plate can be tested but they must be double sided if plate and at least the dimensions illustrated in QW462.4a, ref. QW202.2c. Pressure
retaining branch welds must be qualified by groove (butt) welds.
Material Grouping
Materials are assigned P numbers in QW420; a test in one P number approves all materials listed under that P number, except where
impact tests are required then approval is restricted to materials listed in the group number within the P number. Other P number
groupings are permissible ref. QW424.1 for details. Ref QW 424.1 for further details.
It is normally permissible if the material is not listed in QW422 to assign it to a P number which lists materials with the same

metallurgical and mechanical properties although this is not in strict conformance with the code. Typically BS1501 151 430A low
carbon steel could be regarded as P1 and stainless steels such as 316, 304 as P8.
Note P5, 9 & 10 are divided into sub groups eg 5A,5B etc., Treat each sub group like a separate P Number
Dissimilar materials are acceptable providing they are compatible. For example P1 to P8, but this does not cover P1 to P1 or P8 to P8.
Note S numbers are for pipework to B31, a P number covers an S number but not the converse
Consumables
The ASME code uses its own specifications for consumables SFA. which is almost identical to the AWS specification.
NOTE A change in consumable is only permissible providing it has the same F number and A number (if applicable) as the P.Q.R..
Thickness Limits
Thickness limits Groove welds. See QW451 for precise details.
When Impact tests are required the minimum thickness approved is restricted. See QW403.6
More than one PQR may be required to qualify dissimilar thickness
The thickness little 't' of deposited weld metal for each process involved is approved from 0 to 2xt except: MIG/MAG (GMAW/FCAW) dip transfer weld of deposited thickness less than " approves maximum thickness of 1.1 x t only
Ref: QW255 (QW403.10)

If any Pass in a single or multipass weld > " then the thickness approval equals 1.1xT

Dissimilar Thickness QW202.4:- The thicker and thinner part must be qualified, Except P8 and P4X the thinner part can be qualified if
no Impacts and test coupon > 6mm thick.
Thickness limits for fillet welds as per QW462.4a or QW462.4d qualify all fillet weld sizes on all base material thicknesses and all
diameters in one test.
Testing Requirements (Ref QW 463 for location of specimens)
Unlike EN288 there is no requirement for any non-destructive testing such as radiography or MPI/DPI, although I would recommend
radiography for butt welds.
The testing requirement for groove welds are as follows: Two Transverse tensile tests (QW150).

Two Root bends and Two face bends unless the plate thickness exceeds 3/8" then 4 side bends are required. All bend tests
should be done to QW160 using the correct former ref. QW466 to an angle of 180 degrees. Longitudinal (all weld) bend tests
are not recommended unless the base/weld materials differ markedly in bending properties. See QW 466 for exceptions and

precise details.
The testing requirement for fillet welds on plate is 5 macro sections only, for Pipe fillet welds 4 macro sections. No fracture test
required.

Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS)


This document details the practical application of the Procedure Qualification Record (PQR). It should contain enough information to
give direction to the welder and should address all variables associated with the welding process defined in QW250 including non
essential and supplementary.
A WPS can combine welding processes from other PQR's but all the relevant variables must be addressed including parent metal
thickness. There is an exception to this rule for root runs from PQR's that are greater than 1.5 inches thick (38.1mm), see code for
details.
Standard Welding Procedures Specifications (SWP's)
Standard welding procedures listed in annex E of ASME IX can be purchased from the 'American Welding Society' and used without
qualifying a PQR. Section V of ASME IX gives details of essential variables and restrictions. A successful welder performance
qualification must be carried out to demonstrate the SWP's before a manufacturer can use it.

Brief Introduction
Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)
Welding Performance Qualification (WPQ)

ASME definitions for welding processes, consumables and welding positions


Welder Performance Qualification (WPQ)

Materials
The purpose of this test is to determine the welders ability to deposit a sound weld therefore the base material is not considered as
critical as it is in the PQR. Hence a performance test on any material in P groups 1 to 11 approves all those groups and sub groups, also
P34 and P4X (P40-P49). Providing a compatible consumable exists with the same F number used in the qualification test. (QW423.1)
Note a single sided weld is classed as a weld without backing and a double sided weld or weld with sealing run is classed as a weld

with backing
Consumables
The F number cannot be changed without re qualification of the welder except that for performance qualification only using SMAW
(MMA) F numbers up to and including 4 approve all lesser F numbers for double sided or welds with backing only. One Consumable
from F41 To F45 approves any of these consumables, except SAW. Ref. QW404.11.
Note 'A' numbers do not apply to welder approval tests.
Variables
For each welding process there is a list of essential variables in QW352 to QW357 and QW360 for welding operators, these are not
necessarily the same as the ones for the PQR. Essential variables cannot be changed. Explanations of all these variables is given in
section IV of the code.
Diameter and Thickness Ranges
Diameter limits for all circular welds including groove welds, branch welds and fillet welds is given in QW452.3. there are no upper
limits on diameters approved and pipe covers plate
Note for branch welds the diameter considered for the above limits is the one containing the weld preparation.
Thickness limits, groove welds.
The thickness limit only applies to the deposited weld metal thickness not the plate thickness and any groove weld approves all fillet
weld sizes.
For t greater than 12.5mm there is no restriction on the size that can be welded (Providing the test weld deposit contains at least 3
layers of weld).
Thickness limits, fillet welds.
A test on plate greater than 3/16" approves all base metal thicknesses and fillet weld sizes ref. QW452.5. (Note the above diameter
limits apply unless the fillet weld is qualified by a groove weld)
Joint Configuration
Joint geometry, a double V (or U) is considered the same as a joint with backing and does not qualify a single V (or U) without
backing, but a single full penetration joint without backing qualifies all joint configurations.
Approval Range
Extent of approval is very well explained in QW461.9. Take particular note of welding positions which are also explained in QW461,
for example to qualify a fillet weld in the normal horizontal-vertical position with a groove weld, the groove weld must be qualified in
at least the 2G position. The welding positions defined in QW461.1.& QW461.2 should be referred to in the WPS. The position
designations: 1G ,2G ,3G ,4G ,5G ,6G (Groove Welds) and 1F ,2F ,3F ,4F (Fillet Welds) are test positions
Period of Validity/Renewal of Qualifications (QW 322.2)
Providing the welder uses the process for which he is qualified and there is no reason to question his ability then his qualification lasts
indefinitely.

If the welder does not use the welding process for which he is qualified for a period of 6 months or more then he must perform a new
test in pipe or plate, any parent material, thickness and position, if successful all the welder approvals for that welding process are
renewed in one test.
Testing Requirements
Test requirements for groove welds QW452 consists of either: One face bend and one root bend except for welding positions 5G & 6G which require 4 bends (Ref QW452.1 Note 4). If the
plate exceeds 3/8" side bends may be used. See QW 466 for precise details and exceptions.
Note:- Bend Tests can in most cases be replaced by Radiography {See Below}.

Radiography is optional and must be supplemented by bend tests when using GMAW (MIG/MAG) with dip transfer (Short
Circuiting Arc) or when welding some special materials. Ref. QW304.
Note:- Ultrasonic Examination in lieu of Radiography is not permitted

Test requirements for fillet welds in plate ref. QW452.5: One macro section (QW 184) and One fracture test (QW182).
The location where each specimen has to be taken is defined in QW463
Radiography Ref QW 191
A length of at least 6" must be examined for plate or the entire circumference for pipe.
If the pipe circumference is less than 6" then more samples must be welded up to a maximum of 4. Ref QW 302.2.
Visual Examination Ref QW 302.2 & QW 190
Performance test coupons must show complete joint penetration with full fusion of the weld metal and base metal.
The welder performance test must follow a properly qualified W.P.S. Once qualified the welder must always work within the extent of
approval of any properly qualified W.P.S. and his W.P.Q.
The welder who qualifies the P.Q.R. is automatically approved within the limits specified in QW304, QW305 and QW303. Ref
QW301.2.
Specialist Processes
Such as corrosion resistant overlay or hard facing are covered in QW 453.
Procedure variables are defined with all procedure variables in QW252 and in QW380 for welder approval.
Min base thickness approved = size welded or 1", QW 453
Min Deposit Size Approved:- Point Where Chemical analysis taken No upper limit QW402.16 (462.5a) Welding Positions QW405.4
Performance Qualification approves all deposit thickness No min.QW381

ASME Definitions, Consumables, Welding Positions


ASME P Material Numbers Explained
ASME has adopted their own designation for welding processes, which are very different from the ISO definitions adopted by
EN24063.

Designation
OFW
Oxyfuel Gas Welding
SMAW
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (MMA)
SAW
Submerged Arc Welding
GMAW
Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG/MAG)
FCAW
Flux Cored Wire
GTAW
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG)
PAW
Plasma Arc Welding

Description

Straight polarity = Electrode -ve


Reverse polarity = Electrode +ve

ASME F Numbers
F Number
1
2
3
4
5
6

General Description
Heavy rutile coated iron powder electrodes :- A5.1 : E7024
Most Rutile consumables such as :- A5.1 : E6013
Cellulosic electrodes such as :- A5.1 : E6011
Basic coated electrodes such as : A5.1 : E7016 and E7018
High alloy austenitic stainless steel and duplex :- A5.4 : E316L-16
Any steel solid or cored wire (with flux or metal)

2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Aluminium and its alloys


Copper and its alloys
Nickel alloys
Titanium
Zirconium
Hard Facing Overlay

Note:- X represents any number 0 to 9

ASME A Numbers
These refer to the chemical analysis of the deposited weld and not the parent material. They only apply to welding procedures in steel
materials.

A1
Plain unalloyed carbon manganese steels.
A2 to A4 Low alloy steels containing Moly and Chrome Moly
A8
Austenitic stainless steels such as type 316.
ASME Welding Positions Graphic Representation
Note the welding progression, (vertically upwards or downwards), must always be stated and it is an essential variable for both
procedures and performance qualifications.
Welding Positions For Groove welds:-

Welding Position
Flat
Horizontal
Vertical Upwards Progression
Vertical Downwards Progression
Overhead
Pipe Fixed Horizontal
Pipe Fixed @ 45 degrees Upwards

Test Position
1G
2G
3G
3G
4G
5G
6G

ISO and EN
PA
PC
PF
PG
PE
PF
HL045

Pipe Fixed @ 45 degrees Downwards


Welding Positions For Fillet welds:Welding Position
Flat (Weld flat joint at 45 degrees)
Horizontal
Horizontal Rotated
Vertical Upwards Progression
Vertical Downwards Progression
Overhead
Pipe Fixed Horizontal

6G

JL045

Test Position
1F
2F
2FR
3F
3F
4F
5F

ISO and EN
PA
PB
PB
PF
PG
PD
PF

Welding Positions QW431.1 and QW461.2


Basically there are three inclinations involved.
Flat, which includes from 0 to 15 degrees inclination
15 - 80 degrees inclination
Vertical, 80 - 90 degrees
For each of these inclinations the weld can be rotated from the flat position to Horizontal to overhead.

Welder Performance Qualification (WPQ)


Materials
The purpose of this test is to determine the welders ability to deposit a sound weld therefore the base material is
not considered as critical as it is in the PQR. Hence a performance test on any material in P groups 1 to 11
approves all those groups and sub groups, also P34 and P4X (P40-P49). Providing a compatible consumable
exists with the same F number used in the qualification test. (QW423.1)
Note a single sided weld is classed as a weld without backing and a double sided weld or weld with sealing run
is classed as a weld with backing
Consumables
The F number cannot be changed without re qualification of the welder except that for performance qualification
only using SMAW (MMA) F numbers up to and including 4 approve all lesser F numbers for double sided or
welds with backing only. One Consumable from F41 To F45 approves any of these consumables, except SAW.
Ref. QW404.11.
Note 'A' numbers do not apply to welder approval tests.
Variables
For each welding process there is a list of essential variables in QW352 to QW357 and QW360 for welding
operators, these are not necessarily the same as the ones for the PQR. Essential variables cannot be changed.
Explanations of all these variables is given in section IV of the code.
Diameter and Thickness Ranges
Diameter limits for all circular welds including groove welds, branch welds and fillet welds is given in
QW452.3. there are no upper limits on diameters approved and pipe covers plate
Note for branch welds the diameter considered for the above limits is the one containing the weld preparation.

Thickness limits, groove welds.


The thickness limit only applies to the deposited weld metal thickness not the plate thickness and any groove
weld approves all fillet weld sizes.
For t greater than 12.5mm there is no restriction on the size that can be welded (Providing the test weld deposit
contains at least 3 layers of weld).
Thickness limits, fillet welds.
A test on plate greater than 3/16" approves all base metal thicknesses and fillet weld sizes ref. QW452.5. (Note
the above diameter limits apply unless the fillet weld is qualified by a groove weld)
Joint Configuration
Joint geometry, a double V (or U) is considered the same as a joint with backing and does not qualify a single V
(or U) without backing, but a single full penetration joint without backing qualifies all joint configurations.
Approval Range
Extent of approval is very well explained in QW461.9. Take particular note of welding positions which are also
explained in QW461, for example to qualify a fillet weld in the normal horizontal-vertical position with a groove
weld, the groove weld must be qualified in at least the 2G position. The welding positions defined in
QW461.1.& QW461.2 should be referred to in the WPS. The position designations: 1G ,2G ,3G ,4G ,5G ,6G
(Groove Welds) and 1F ,2F ,3F ,4F (Fillet Welds) are test positions
Period of Validity/Renewal of Qualifications (QW 322.2)
Providing the welder uses the process for which he is qualified and there is no reason to question his ability then
his qualification lasts indefinitely.
If the welder does not use the welding process for which he is qualified for a period of 6 months or more then he
must perform a new test in pipe or plate, any parent material, thickness and position, if successful all the welder
approvals for that welding process are renewed in one test.

Testing Requirements
Test requirements for groove welds QW452 consists of either:

One face bend and one root bend except for welding positions 5G & 6G which require 4 bends (Ref
QW452.1 Note 4). If the plate exceeds 3/8" side bends may be used. See QW 466 for precise details and
exceptions.
Note:- Bend Tests can in most cases be replaced by Radiography {See Below}.

Radiography is optional and must be supplemented by bend tests when using GMAW (MIG/MAG) with
dip transfer (Short Circuiting Arc) or when welding some special materials. Ref. QW304.
Note:- Ultrasonic Examination in lieu of Radiography is not permitted

Test requirements for fillet welds in plate ref. QW452.5: One macro section (QW 184) and One fracture test (QW182).
The location where each specimen has to be taken is defined in QW463
Radiography Ref QW 191

A length of at least 6" must be examined for plate or the entire circumference for pipe.
If the pipe circumference is less than 6" then more samples must be welded up to a maximum of 4. Ref
QW 302.2.

Visual Examination Ref QW 302.2 & QW 190


Performance test coupons must show complete joint penetration with full fusion of the weld metal and base
metal.
The welder performance test must follow a properly qualified W.P.S. Once qualified the welder must always

work within the extent of approval of any properly qualified W.P.S. and his W.P.Q.
The welder who qualifies the P.Q.R. is automatically approved within the limits specified in QW304, QW305
and QW303. Ref QW301.2.
Specialist Processes
Such as corrosion resistant overlay or hard facing are covered in QW 453.
Procedure variables are defined with all procedure variables in QW252 and in QW380 for welder approval.
Min base thickness approved = size welded or 1", QW 453
Min Deposit Size Approved:- Point Where Chemical analysis taken No upper limit QW402.16 (462.5a) Welding
Positions QW405.4 Performance Qualification approves all deposit thickness No min.QW381

ASME P Material Numbers


This is a general guide ASME P numbers and their equivalent EN288 groupings. Groups referred to in the Base
Metal column are ASME sub groups. EN288 material groups are included for comparison only.
P No.

EN288

Base Metal
Carbon Manganese Steels, 4 Sub Groups
Group 1 up to approx 65 ksi
Group 2 Approx 70ksi
Group 3 Approx 80ksi

Group 4 ?

Not Used

3 Sub Groups:- Typically half moly and half chrome half moly

2 Sub Groups:- Typically one and a quarter chrome half moly

5A

Typically two and a quarter chrome one moly

5B

2 Sub Groups:- Typically five chrome half moly and nine chrome one moly

5C

5 Sub Groups:- Chrome moly vanadium

6 Sub Groups:- Martensitic Stainless Steels Typically Grade 410

Ferritic Stainless Steels Typically Grade 409

Austenitic Stainless Steels, 4 Sub groups


Group1 Typically Grades 304, 316, 347
Group 2 Typically Grades 309, 310
Group 3 High manganese grades

Group 4 Typically 254 SMO type steels

9A, B, C

Typically two to four percent Nickel Steels

10A,B,C,F,G

Mixed bag of low alloy steels, 10G 36 Nickel Steel

10 H

10

Duplex and Super Duplex Grades 31803, 32750

10J

Typically 26 Chrome one moly

11A Group 1

9 Nickel Steels

11 A Groups
2 to 5

Mixed bag of high strength low alloy steels.

11B

10 Sub Groups:- Mixed bag of high strength low alloy steels.

12 to 20

Not Used

21

21

Pure Aluminium

22

22a

Aluminium Magnesium Grade 5000

23

23

Aluminium Magnesium Silicone Grade 6000

24

25

22b

26 to 30

Not Used
Aluminium Magnesium Manganese Typically 5083, 5086
Not used

31

Pure Copper

32

Brass

33

Copper Silicone

34

Copper Nickel

35

Copper Aluminium

36 to 40

Not Used

41

Pure Nickel

42

Nickel Copper:- Monel 500

43

Nickel Chrome Ferrite:- Inconel

44

Nickel Moly:- Hastelloy C22, C276

45

Nickel Chrome :- Incoloy 800, 825

46

Nickel Chrome Silicone

47

Nickel Chrome Tungstone

47 to 50

Not Used

51, 52, 53

Titanium Alloys

61, 62

Zirconium Alloys

Automatic/Machine Welding
Definitions
Mechanised welding :- Adjustment during welding possible

Automatic Welding :- Adjustment during welding not required

European Standards
Qualify procedure using an appropriate part of EN ISO 1614 (formerly EN288), or EN ISO 15613 (formerly
EN288 Part 8) if the joint geometry is complex. A manual weld may qualify a machine weld using the same
welding process as mechanisation should not significantly affect the mechanical properties of the weld, however
this will be subject to agreement between contracting parties.
The qualification of welding operators should use EN 1418 Approval of welding operators :- Fusion and
Resistance Welding. This standard can also be used for testing the person who sets up the welding machine if
they have more influence on weld quality than the operator. Operators that cant adjust the equipment. i.e. Button
pushers, dont need testing.
EN 1418 offers four different methods of qualification:

Adopt EN ISO 15614 for testing, but approval range for thickness and diameter based on capacity of
equipment used. A WPS must be followed.

Pre Production test to EN ISO 15613 or equivalent. Must follow a WPS and approval range same as
above

Production sampling, Set up equipment and sample test production welds. Test method subject to
agreement between contracting parties.

Function Test, On the job Job Knowledge test:

Knowledge of welding
Parameters V welding results
Setting up equipment to WPS
Test equipment to WPS
Knowledge of malfunctions

ASME 9
In general a manually qualified PQR will support a WPS for a Automatic/Machine weld. However addition or
deletion of filler will require re-qualification.
Welder performance is a grey area however we would argued that the definition in QW 490 for a Welder and a
Welding operator are different therefore manual welders cant operate mechanised welding without being retested.
An operator does one test and he is qualified for all thickness and diameters as per QW 360. However the
approval range for welding position is the same as manual welding.