Quiz – Section 6 Qualification of Welders – CWI Part C- 8 Questions
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Section 6: Qualification of Welders
The purpose of welder qualification is to prove the welder’s ability to make sound welds using qualified procedures. Welders must qualify by testing before they perform any production welding. A welder who satisfactorily completes a welding procedure qualification test is also qualified as long as all of the test specimens required by subsection 6.5 are successfully tested. These standards also require qualification to be conducted in the presence of a representative acceptable to the company.
The essential variables for welder qualification are different than the essential variables for procedure qualification. The essential variables for welder qualification are listed in paragraphs 6.2.2 and 6.3.2 and will be discussed in detail below.
There are two options for qualifying welders: (1 ) a single qualification and (2) multiple qualifications.
The multiple qualifications qualify the welder for the widest range of variables and is generally preferred.
6.2 Single Qualification
Single qualification requires separate qualification tests for fillet and groove welds. Note that a fillet weld qualification will qualify for welding both socket welds and branch connection welds. However, butt welds do not always qualify the welder to make fillet welds in API 1104.
Paragraph 6.2.1 describes the requirements for the single qualification. In this test, the welder qualifying to make butt welds will make a butt weld in either the fixed or rolled position with the axis of the pipe either horizontal, vertical, or inclined from horizontal at an angle of no more than 45 degrees. The welder qualifying to make branch connections or fillet welds will make a branch or socket connection weld in the position and orientation specified by the welding procedure. The test welds shall meet the requirements of subsection 6.4 (visual examination) and either subsection 6.5 (destructive testing) or 6.6 (nondestructive testing for butt welds only).
Paragraph 6.2.2 is entitled “Scope,” but it really just lists the essential variables for the single qualification of welders. The welder who has completed the single qualification test must requalify if he changes any variables outside the following ranges:
(a) A change in the welding process or combination of welding processes (with the exception that a welder qualified separately for each process used in the combination is also qualified to use the processes in combination).
(b) A change in the direction of welding from uphill to downhill or vice versa.
(c) A change in filler metal classification from Group No. 1 or Group No. 2 to any other group or from any Group No. 9 filler metal to a Group No. 1 or Group No. 2 filler metal. Note that this implies that a welder qualified for SMAW may switch between Group No. 1 electrodes (E601 0, E6011, E701 0, and E701 1 ) and Group No. 2 electrodes (E801 0, E801 1, and E901 0) without having to requalify. However, if a welder qualifies for SMAW using a low-hydrogen electrode (Group No. 3), he must requalify to weld using an E601 0 electrode (Group No. 1 ). In addition, each filler metal classification not listed in Table 1 requires a separate qualification.
(d) A change from one OD group to another (note that OD group was NOT an essential variable for the qualification of welding procedures).
(e) A change from one wall thickness group to another.
(f) A change in position with the following exceptions: a welder who qualifies for fixed (position) welding is also qualified to perform roll welding; a welder who qualifies for making butt welds is also qualified to make lap fillet welds (socket welds), but NOT branch connection welds; a welder who qualifies by making a butt weld in the fixed position at a 45 ° angle is qualified to make butt welds and lap fillet welds (but NOT branch connection welds) in all positions.
(g) A change in the joint design, such as the deletion of a backing strip or a change in edge preparation from a V bevel (i.e. V groove) to a U bevel (i.e. U groove), although this variable is rather
6.3 Multiple Qualification
Multiple qualifications qualify a welder to weld in all positions, on all wall thicknesses, joint designs, and fittings. However, the widest range of pipe diameters qualified depends on the diameters he welded during the test.
Paragraph 6.3.1 describes the requirements for the multiple qualifications, which require the welder to complete two test weld joints. They are:
(a) A butt weld in the fixed position with the axis of the pipe either horizontal or inclined from horizontal at an angle of no more than 45 degrees. The weld shall be made on pipe with a minimum outside diameter of 6.625 inches and a minimum wall thickness of 0.250 inches. The weld is also required to be welded without a backing strip.
The weld must meet the requirements of API 1 1 04 subsection 6.4 (visual examination) and either subsection 6.5 (destructive testing) or 6.6 (nondestructive testing).
(b) A branch-on-pipe connection weld, for which the welder is required to layout, cut, fit, and weld two pipes of equal diameter together in the form of a T (see Study Guide Figure 5.1 ). The weld shall be made with the axis of the run pipe horizontal and with the branch connection extending vertically down, such that the weld is made in the overhead position.
In addition to the workmanship requirements of paragraph 6.3.1, four nick break specimens shall be removed from the weld as shown in Figure 1 0 and they must also meet the nick break test requirements of subsection 5.8.3.
Paragraph 6.3.2 describes the essential variable rules for multiple qualifications. A welder who successfully completes the butt weld test on pipe 1 2.750 inches in diameter or larger and the branch connection weld on pipes 1 2.750 inch in diameter or larger is qualified to weld in all positions, on all wall thicknesses, joint designs, fittings, and on all pipe diameters. Successful testing on pipes smaller than 1 2.750 inches in diameter qualifies for welding in all positions, on all wall thicknesses, joint designs, fittings, and on all pipe diameters equal to or less than that on which he tested.
A welder holding multiple qualifications shall be required to be requalified if any of the following are changed:
(a) A change from one welding process to another process or combination of processes (aging with the exception that a welder qualified separately for each process used in the combination is also qualified to use the processes in combination).
(b) A change in the direction of welding from uphill to downhill or vice versa.
(c) A change in filler metal classification from Group No. 1 or Group No. 2 to any other group or from any Group No. 3 through 9 to Group No. 1 or Group No. 2. Also, a change in filler metal classification not listed in Table 1 to any other filler metal or vice versa.
6.4 Visual Examination
Visual examination of the test weld must precede any preparation of samples for mechanical testing. If the visual examination reveals cracks, inadequate penetration, burn-through, or unacceptable amounts of undercut, rejection is automatic and another test weld must be prepared. In addition, an inspector may reject the weldment if it does not present a neat, workman-like appearance. Welds made by semiautomatic (e.g. GMAW) or mechanized (e.g. SAW) processes may be rejected if too much filler wire protrudes into the interior of the pipe (sometimes referred to as “bird’s nests” or “whiskers”), although API 1104 offers no definition of what “shall be kept to a minimum” means.“
6.5 Destructive Testing
Paragraph 6.5.1 details the testing requirements for butt weld qualifications. Test specimens shall be cut from the test welds at the locations shown in Figure 1 2 on page 28. The number and type of specimens required are listed in Table 3 on page 30. Figure 1 2, Table 3, and paragraph 6.5.1 should be used together for determining welder qualification test requirements. The test specimen locations are exactly the same as those required for procedure qualification, shown in Figure 3 on page 1 8. The number and type of specimens required for welder qualification, however, are slightly different. Table 3 for welder qualification on page 30 is arranged the same as Table 2 for procedure qualification on page 1 9. The only difference is in the number of specimens required. The similarity of these two tables makes them easy to confuse. Make sure you are referencing the correct table in API 1104: Table 2 on page 1 9 when welding procedures are being qualified and Table 3 on page 30 when welders are being qualified.
Since smaller pipes have less material from which to remove specimens, for pipes less than 2.375 inches in OD, it may be necessary to weld an additional test joint to obtain the required number of test specimens. Furthermore, for pipe 1 .31 5 inches in OD or less, footnote a of Table 3 on page 30 (and Note 2 of Figure 1 2 on page 28 and paragraph 6.5.1 ) provides the option of pulling a single full-section tension test specimen in lieu of performing the required two root bend and nick break tests.
When welders qualify by making butt welds, paragraph 6.5.2 states that the specimens shall be prepared for tensile strength, nick break, and bend tests, as applicable, and the tests shall be performed as described for procedure qualification testing in subsection 5.6. Since the purpose of welder qualification is to determine the welder’s ability to deposit sound weld metal, it is not necessary to determine the tensile strength of the tension test specimens. The tension test may even be omitted, in which case the specimens designated for the tension test shall be subjected to the nick break test.
The tensile strength test requirements for welder qualification are detailed in paragraph 6.5.3. This test is really just a weld metal soundness test. If any of the reduced-section specimens or the full section specimen fails in the weld or at the junction of the weld and the base metal, the fractured surface must meet the soundness requirements of paragraph 18.104.22.168, which is the acceptance criteria for the fractured surface of a nick break specimen. If the specimen fails in the parent material, the weld metal is considered to be acceptable.
Paragraph 6.5.4 gives the requirements for the nick break tests for welder qualification and states that these specimens must meet the same acceptance criteria as those for procedure qualification. See paragraph 22.214.171.124.
The requirements for the bend tests for welder qualification are given in paragraph 6.5.5, which references the same acceptance criteria as those for procedure qualification in paragraphs 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52, as applicable. However, there are two exceptions: Welds in the high-strength pipe may crack or break before they bend to a full U shape. In that case, the specimen is acceptable as long as the exposed surfaces meet the requirements for nick break tests as given in paragraph 184.108.40.206. The other exception is that the company may permit the testing of an additional bend specimen removed from the same test weld to replace a failed bend specimen if, in their opinion, the failure was not representative of the weld. The welder shall be disqualified if this additional specimen fails.
Paragraph 6.5.6 requires that fillet welds be tested using nick break specimens, as shown in Figure 1 0 on page 25. Four specimens shall be removed from locations approximately 90 degrees apart to qualify each welder.
Paragraph 6.5.7 gives the instructions for cutting, preparing, and testing the nick break specimens for welder qualification. When specimens are removed from a complete circumferential test weld, subsection 5.8 and Figures 1 0 and 1 1 on page 25 apply. If the test weld consists of multiple pipe segments (weldments), each segment must supply the same number of specimens. The acceptance criteria for each specimen are given in paragraph 5.8.3.
6.6 Nondestructive Testing (NDT) – Butt Welds Only
At the company’s option, the qualification butt weld may be examined by radiographic testing or automatic ultrasonic testing instead of mechanical testing and meet the requirements in 9.3 or 9.6, respectively. It is not permitted to use NDT methods to purposely locate sound areas or defective areas and subsequently making tests of such areas to qualify or disqualify a welder. Be aware that jurisdictional limitations may override API 1 1 04 and, in doing so, may restrict the use of NDT methods in lieu of mechanical testing for welder qualification.
If a welder fails a test but the company and the welder’s representatives mutually agree that the welder wasn’t at fault, the welder may be given a second chance to qualify. If the welder fails the second time, the welder must submit proof of additional welder training that is acceptable to the company before taking the test for the third time.
A record that documents the test results for each welder shall be maintained. Furthermore, a list of welders and the procedures for which they are qualified shall also be maintained. If the abilities of a welder come into question, the welder may be required to requalify.