Welding Certifications

Hiring a welding or fabrication company that does not require its employees to carry welding certifications can lead to disappointing results. That’s McMahan Industrial, there is a lot of emphasis on being certified welders. Our welders carry the AWS D 1.5 certification. Welding (AWS) certification assures that the welder has the experience, training and work efficiency necessary to handle challenges that occur in the field. It is one way to provide peace of mind to customers. It ensures that they are hiring a qualified company to take on their projects.

What is AWS Certification?

The American Welding Society most commonly deal with structural codes usually involved with buildings and bridges. Welding certifications come in many positions, metal thickness, welding processes, and metal types. Common types are plates or “structural welding” and pipe welding. For a welding plate there are two different joint types, fillet welds and groove welds. Then there are four welding positions: flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead. Each position and joint has a number and letter association.

  • 1: Flat
  • 2: Horizontal
  • 3: Vertical
  • 4: Overhead
  • Groove Weld: G
  • Fillet Weld: F

D 1.1 vs D 1.5

There are different levels of certification that can be obtained. The D 1.1 is the standard certification required for fabricating and erecting welded steel structures. The structural welding code is covered by the D1.1. There are approximately 62 classification of base metal approved for welding under the D 1.1 code.

The D 1.5 is a more precise certification. It is the standard for bridge projects and requires a higher caliber weld to pass the testing procedure. The bridge welding code covers fabrication requirements for shop and field fabrication of steel bridges and bridge components.

A welder that has a D 1.5 certification is acceptable for work under the D 1.1 code but a welder with a D 1.1 certification is not permitted to weld under the D 1.5 code.

D 1.1

SMAW, FCAW, GMAW, SAW, and GTAW processes are prequalified.

Test Requirements:

  • Root and Face or Side Bend
  • Reduced Section Tensile Test
  • Macroetch Tests for Partial Penetration Welds
  • Test Inspections:

    • Visual
    • Radiographic (x-ray)
    • Bend Testing
    • Radiography

    D 1.5

    SMAW is the only process that prequalifies. All others must be qualified by PQR testing.

    Test Requirements:

    • Macroetch Tests
    • Side Bends
    • Reduced Section Tensile Test
    • All-Weld-Metal Tension Test
    • Charpy Impact Tests
    • Root and Face Bends

    Test Inspections:

    • Visual
    • Magnetic Particle
    • Radiographic (x-ray)
    • Ultrasonic testing

    How to Obtain and Maintain?

    There are different tests for the different types of welds. The most common type to get for a welding certification is is a 3G and 4G combination.

    The basic testing structure consists of:

    • Welding the materials in the position the test is designed for by following a set of instructions
    • Laying the weld according to the instructions and preparing them for a quality test
    • Testing the weld according to the procedure

    There are various quality tests that may be performed such as a bend test, radio graphic (x-ray), or a visual examination. If your weld passes the quality test you have obtained your welding certification.

    For the AWS D1.1 or D 1.5 test you must first locate an AWS approved testing site. The test often consists of 3G and 4G welds on 1 inch with hand tools for cleaning (D 1.1 allows grinders and power tools) and usually takes around 2-5 hours depending on the test or combination of tests that you choose to take.

    You must renew the certification every 6 months by providing verification or employer proof to the American Welding Society that you are still doing the weld that you originally tested for.

    If there are any questions or concerns on whether the welding contractor that you are thinking about hiring’s AWS certification is up to date, you can check online by going to https://www.aws.org/certification/onlinecertificationverification. You will need to know last name and the certification number.

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