Welding Essentials: Questions and Answers

Chapter 14: Qualification & Certification

Ignorance once dispelled is difficult to reestablish.

Laurence J. Peter


Most welding codes, standards, and specifications include a plan to assure that production welds provide the quality required for the product. These plans usually include methods to verify that the weldors who will apply the welds have the skill needed; this is done by weldor qualification and certification. We will consider why welding codes are used, where they come from, which ones are most commonly used, and where they are required. We will present typical qualification test specimens, weld test methods, and weld acceptance criteria.

Welding Codes

Why are welding codes (including standards and specifications) used?

Since codes have evolved over many years, they contain a body of collective experience on how to make sound welds. By following established codes, weld reliability is greatly increased. Codes are updated continually as processes and product requirements change.

Where do welding codes come from?

Many codes are issued by professional organizations such as the American Welding Society (AWS) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and trade associations like the American Petroleum Institute (API). They are known as consensus standards. Committees of senior engineers and scientists within these organizations meet to establish and update these codes. Frequently government organizations adopt consensus codes outright giving them the force of law. Sometimes governments use them as a basis for their laws and adding their own modifications.

Who determines which code to use for an application?

Federal, state, city, and provincial laws mandate codes...


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