Written by Aidan Davey
What is a WPS?
A weld procedure specification (WPS) is a document that lists all the relevant parameters to perform a weld. Anyone can create a WPS for a weld they have done for the weld to be prequalified it needs to align with the requirements of AS/NZS 1554, this requires a working knowledge of the standard.
What welds need to be completed to meet AS/NZS 1554?
Generally any welds on any equipment that need certification should be completed to AS/NZS 1554. This is a series of standards that outlines the requirements for welding of steel structures. If it lifts something or safeguards human life it probably needs it.
How do I know if the weld repair needs to be certified?
Whether or not a repair strictly needs to be certified can be found in the individual Approved Code of Practice and standards that relate to the particular equipment in question.
As a general rule of thumb if the piece of equipment being repaired requires certification, any repairs should also be certified as damage to the wrong areas may undermine the integrity of the equipment. Some examples are:
What is a prequalified weld?
A weld is pre qualified if the joint preparation, welded material, and welding consumables are all pre-qualified. These welds are listed in AS/NZS 1554 and have been macro and hardness tested.
What if the joint prep/material/ consumable I want to weld are not pre qualified?
If the any of the above differ from the prequalified welds given in AS/NZS 1554 then the weld must be qualified. To qualify a new weld, the fabricator shall establish a welding procedure and list the parameters in a weld procedure qualification record (WPQR or PQR). A sample weld is then to be be tested. The level of testing depends on the degree that the weld differs from a prequalified weld but could include hardness testing, macro test, as well as destructive tests such as tensile and bending. A WPS can then be produced to allow other welders to complete the same weld.
What is a qualified welder?
AS/NZS 1554 requires that all welders are suitably qualified to carry out welding procedures for which they are employed and that acceptable evidence of this should be provided, this applies to all welders. Qualification of a welder to an appropriate standard laying down welder qualification tests are acceptable as evidence of ability. In some industries or if the design engineer specifies it the welder must be qualified to a relevant welding standard.
What standards can I be qualified to?
AS/NZS 2980:2007 – Qualification of fusion welding for steels
AS/NZS 3992:2015 – Pressure Equipment welding and brazing qualification
ISO 9606-1 – 2012 – Steels
How do I get qualified
Becoming qualified to one of the above standards generally involve welding a sample weld under the supervision of a welding supervisor and having that weld tested. The standards are aimed at assessing the welder’s ability to manipulate the electrode/torch and therefore a qualification test can qualify a welder for multiple positions or weld types.