Welding Qualification Workshop Explores the Roles of WPSs and WPQs

The Welding Qualification Workshop — Best Practices 2022 event was held at the Miller Electric® facility in Houston, Tex., on April 11–13. I organized the event. Thirty-one students were in attendance.

AWS Publications | June 23, 2022 | AWS News and Calendar
Welding Digest ►  Welding Qualification Workshop Explores the Roles of WPSs and WPQs

The Welding Qualification Workshop — Best Practices 2022 event was held at the Miller Electric® facility in Houston, Tex., on April 11–13. I organized the event. Thirty-one students were in attendance.

Lead photo: The instructors were (from left) Walter Sperko, Dr. Richard D. Campbell, Lynn Sturgill, and Mike Rice (at the end). Scott Witkowski (second from right) helped coordinate the pre-event.

Scott Witkowski, Republic Testing Laboratories; Miller Electric; and AWS coordinated the pre-event welding and testing of procedure qualification coupons and the preparation of data packets for each attendee. Nathan Fisk and Charles “Pat” Patrick of Republic Testing Laboratories and Matthew Holt, Zack Stapp, and Josh Allen of Miller Electric provided the welding and testing services. The instructors were Walter Sperko, Dr. Richard D. Campbell, Mike Rice, and me.

Sponsored by Miller Electric and Republic Testing Laboratories, the workshop included both classroom lectures and live demonstrations of welding procedure qualification coupons, including collecting the data required by codes.

I explained the importance of welding procedure specifications (WPSs) and welder qualifications to any fabrication shop’s quality control program. Options for procedure and performance qualification were also discussed, based on the governing industry, pointing to the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section IX as the most used qualification code.

Campbell gave a detailed review of the qualification rules for AWS’s D1.1, Structural Welding Code — Steel, comparing the qualification rules with those of Section IX. He emphasized the engineer’s role in approving alternate qualification rules for a given structural application.

Sperko regaled the class with the mysteries of the qualification rules of ASME Section IX. He explained the different categories of variables (essential, nonessential, and supplementary essential) used by Section IX and how to apply them when writing a code-compliant WPS.

photo 1-Jun-17-2022-05-49-46-22-PMWalter Sperko explains heat input management during the welding qualification workshop.

 

Rice, an expert in welding exotic and high-alloy materials, explained Section IX’s rules for qualifying corrosion-resistant-overlay welding procedures.

The class was divided into four groups. Each group witnessed the welding of a procedure qualification coupon of which test results had already been generated. The students combined the data collected during the welding activity with the test results provided to generate procedure qualification records (PQRs). Those were used to generate WPSs, both with and without toughness, under the watchful eye of the instructors. Welder performance qualification (WPQ) records were also created.

Sperko gave an example of how to comply with ASME Section IX’s QG-106, which requires employers to specify and document the qualifications (skills) of those who supervise welding procedure and performance qualification. I gave a review of AWS’s Best Practices for Performing a Welder Qualification Test, another useful tool for welding supervisors.  

During the three-day event, the class also toured Bechtel’s Welding and Applied Technology Center. This tour was arranged by Campbell and conducted by Dr. Ben Pletcher. Mechanical tests, including tension tests, Charpy V-notch tests, and bend tests, were demonstrated.

All in all, it was a lively, entertaining, and educational event.  

photo 2-Jun-17-2022-05-49-46-20-PMThe class participated in a tour of Bechtel’s Welding and Applied Technology Center.

 

This article was written by Lynn Sturgill (ASNT Level III VT Inspector, 3-A Certified Conformance Evaluator, and president and owner of Sturgill Welding & Code Consulting) for the American Welding Society.