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Thickness range for welder qualification and

procedure qualification (ASME Section IX)

Thickness range for performance qualification (welder


qualification test):
ASME BPVC section IX has provided guidelines for the thickness range up to which a
welder can weld. This can be found in Table – QW 452.1(b) of ASME BPVC Section IX
(2017 edition). A simplified version of that table is given below;

According to this table three important points can be drawn:

1. The maximum thickness which a welder can weld is 2T, where T is the thickness of
the deposited weld metal on the test coupon by that welder.
2. There are no criteria for minimum thickness
3. If a welder deposits weld metal of thickness 13 mm or more (with a minimum of three
layers) then he qualifies for an unlimited thickness.

For the range of outside diameter of pipes (Groove weld) for which a welder can weld is
also provided in ASME BPVC Section IX. The table which we have to refer for this is
QW 452.3 (2017 edition). A simplified version of that table is given below;
From the above table we can conclude that;

1. If the outside diameter of the test coupon is less than 25 mm (or 1 inch) then the
minimum outside diameter for which the welder gets qualified is same that of the test
coupon and the maximum outside diameter which he can weld is Unlimited.
2. For outside diameter 25 mm (or 1 inch) to 73 mm (or 2-7/8 inch), the minimum
Outside diameter for which the welder gets qualified is 25 mm (or 1 inch) and
maximum outside diameter which he can weld is Unlimited.
3. If outside diameter of the test coupon is more than 73 mm (or 2-7/8 inch) then the
minimum Outside diameter for which the welder gets qualified is 73 mm (or 2-7/8
inch) and maximum outside diameter which he can weld is Unlimited.
4. One very important point can be observed from this table that ASME BPVC has not
given any limitation for the maximum outside diameter, there is only restriction for the
minimum outside diameter of the pipe which a welder can weld.

Thickness range for procedure qualification (Procedure


qualification record):
To qualify a proposed Welding procedure specification (PWPS), we need to carry out
the procedure qualification which includes the following steps;

 Preparation of test coupon


 welding of test coupon and
 sending it to lab for destructive test

During welding of the test coupon all real-time data is recorded and after satisfactory lab
test report, the welding procedure specification (WPS) gets qualified. It is also called as
procedure qualification and and all the real-time welding data along-with the lab test
report is known as Procedure qualification record (PQR).
Now, we have a thickness limit for procedure qualification too. It means that a particular
welding procedure specification (WPS) gets qualified for a particular thickness range
and if we have to weld beyond that thickness range then we need a new WPS and
procedure qualification.
The thickness range for which a Welding procedure specification (WPS) gets qualified is
given in ASME BPVC section IX Table QW 451.1 (2017 edition). A simplified version of
that table is given below;

From the above table one can easily find out the thickness range for which a Welding
procedure can be qualified or a welding engineer can prepare a welding procedure
specification (WPS) accordingly.
One important point to be noted that for performance qualification (welder
qualification) the thickness which is considered is that of the deposited weld
metal but in case of procedure qualification it is the thickness of the test coupon
which is considered.