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Approved weld procedure specifications:

For vertical tank construction and repairs and pipeline construction and
repairs a weld procedure specification is required.

This is to ensure:
- weldability of the existing steel (ie the existing steel is an unknown!)
- compatibility of the filler material (ie how will the joint mechanically

Also there is a need to exercise a degree of control (the degree depends on

judgement) of how all the above has occurred.

This note will refer mainly to tank repairs, but pipelines and piping will be
discussed briefly.

For vertical tanks built to API 650 and repaired in accordance with API 653, it
is stated in these documents that welding is to be in accordance with section
IX of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (often called ASME 9).
Australian standard AS 3992 is very similar and I consider, in the interim,
should be accepted in lieu. However I would like to investigate this further.

For piping (ie inside the Terminal) weld procedures should be to AS 4041.
For pipelines (ie outside the Terminal) weld procedures should be to AS

Note the terminology and the meaning. (Note the below is to aid
understanding, not to overwrite what is in the respective standards)

Weld procedure specification. This is how the weld is to be undertaken,

describing all the essential variables and the limits that this technique can be
used for. If testing of the specification is required, this will have been
performed using a welding procedure test (recorded in a procedure
qualification record PQR or weld procedure qualification record WPQR).
The PQR number is recorded on the WPQ.

Welder qualification test. A documented test undertaken by a welding

person to a weld procedure specification.

However note there are certain parameters when mechanical testing is not
required. A whole variety of parameters needs to be obeyed, but one
example is wall thickness between 3mm and 13mm (AS 3992). The
documentation, however is still necessary. AS 3992 calls this “pre-qualified
welding procedure specifications”. ASME IX calls this “standard weld
procedure specification”s. ASME IX does not allow a “standard weld
procedure specification” to be used for welds that may be subject to brittle
fracture. Brittle fracture is dealt with in API 650 and relies on thickness and
So it may be possible that some of the repairs are covered by “pre-qualified
welding procedure specifications” or “standard weld procedure specifications”.

However, regardless, the WPS must be documented, and the tank material
must be checked to see that it conforms with the WPS. (eg check for carbon
equivalent. Spark testing techniques by various NDT firms may be

I attach some extracts from standards, that illustrate the points. These
extracts do not substitute for viewing the entire standards.

Barry Clearwater
23 June 2003