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Welding Inspectors are employed to assist with the quality control (QC)
activities that are necessary to ensure that welded items will meet specified
requirements and be fit for their application.
For employers to have confidence in their wor! Welding Inspectors need to
have the ability to understand"interpret the various QC procedures#$$% and also have
sound nowledge of welding technology.
&isual inspection is one of the 'on()estructive *+amination disciplines and for
some applications may be the only form of ')*.
For more demanding service conditions! visual inspection is usually followed by
one or more of the other '), techniques ( surface crac detection and volumetric
inspection of butt welds.
-pplication .tandards"Codes usually specify (or refer to other standards) the
acceptance criteria for weld inspection#$$% and may be very specific about the
particular techniques to be used for surface crac detection and volumetric inspection!
they do not usually give any guidance about basic requirements for visual inspection.
/uidance and basic requirements for visual inspection are given by0
BS EN 970 (Non-de!"#$!%&e E'()%n(!%on o* F#%on We+d - V%#(+ E'()%n(!%on,
1. *' 234 provides the following0
requirements for welding inspection personnel
recommendations about conditions suitable for visual e+amination
the use of gauges"inspection aids that may be needed"helpful for inspection
guidance about when inspection may be required during the stages of fabrication
guidance about information that may need to be included in the inspection records
- summary of each of these topics is given in the following sub(sections.
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&isual Inspection and ,ypical )uties of
Welding Inspectors
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1efore starting wor on a particular contract! 1. 234 states that Welding
Inspectors should0
be familiar with relevant standards ;! rules and specifications for the fabrication
wor that is to be undertaen
(* standards may be National or Client)
be informed about the welding procedure(s) to be used
have good vision in accordance with *' <3= > should be checed every 59
1. *' 234 does not give mae any recommendation about a formal
qualification for visual inspection of welds. ?owever! it has become industry practice
for inspectors to have practical e+perience of welding inspection together with a
recognised qualification in Welding Inspection @ such as a C.WIA Qualification.
1. *' 234 states that the minimum illumination shall be =B4 lu+ but recommends a
minimum of B44 lu+;.
* normal shop or office lighting
-ccess to the surface! for direct inspection! should enable the eye0(
to be within 844mm of the surface being inspected
to be in a position to give a viewing angle of not less than =4C
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=4C (min.)
844mm (ma+.)
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Where access is restricted for direct visual inspection! the use of a mirrored
boroscope! or a fibre optic viewing system! are options that may be used ( usually by
agreement between the contracting parties.
It may also be necessary to provide au+iliary lighting to give suitable contrast
and relief effect between surface imperfections and the bacground.
Dther items of equipment that may be appropriate! to facilitate visual e+amination! are0
welding gauges
(for checking bevel angles and weld profile, fillet sizing, measuring undercut
dedicated weld(gap gauges and linear misalignment (high(low) gauges
straight edges and measuring tapes
magnifying lens
(if magnification lens used to aid visual eamination it should be !" to !#)
1. 234 has schematics of a range of welding gauges together with details of
what they can be used for and the precision of the measurements that can be made.
1. *' 234 states that e+amination is normally performed on welds in the as(
welded condition.#$$% ,his means that visual inspection of the finished weld is a
minimum requirement.
?owever! 1. *' 234 goes on to say that the e+tent of e+amination! and the
stages when some inspection activity is required! should be specified by the
-pplication .tandard or by agreement between Client and fabricator.
For fabricated items that must have high EintegrityF! such as pressure vessels
and piping or large structures inspection activity will usually be required throughout the
fabrication process! namely0
before welding
during welding.
after welding
Inspection EactivitiesF at each of these stages of fabrication can be considered
to be the 5d#!%e o* !6e 7e+d%n8 %n9e$!o": and typical inspection checs that may be
required are described in the following section.
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&isual Inspection and ,ypical )uties of
Welding Inspectors
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,he relevant standards! rules and specifications that a Welding Inspector
should be familiar with at the start of a new contract are all the documents he will need
to refer to during the fabrication sequence in order to mae Gudgements about
particular details.
,ypical do$#)en! that may need to be referred to are0
the -pplication .tandard (or Code)
(for visual acceptance criteria see note below*)
quality plans or inspection chec lists#QIA is referred to Gudge about type of
inspection and e+tent of inspection ! hold points etc %

(for the type $ etent of inspection)
(for assembly%fit&up details and dimensional re'uirements)
QC procedures #elaboration from IH-' qc procedure manual%

(Company (C%() *rocedures such as those for document control, material
handling, electrode storage and issue, +*,s etc)
Note- )lthough most of the re'uirements for the fabricated item should be specified by
National ,tandards, Client ,tandards or various (C *rocedures, some features are not easy
to define precisely and the re'uirement may be given as .to good workmanship standard/0
1amples of re'uirements that are difficult to define precisely are some shape tolerances,
surface damage or the amount of weld spatter0
23ood workmanship/ is the standard that a competent worker should be able to achieve
without difficulty when using the correct tools in a particular working environment0
4n practice the application of the fabricated item will be the main factor that influences what is
5udged to be good workmanship as well as the standard that a particular fabricator has
become used to satisfy particular Clients0
26eference/ samples are sometimes needed to give guidance about the acceptance standard
for details such as weld surface finish $ toe blend, weld root profile and finish re'uired for
welds that need to be dressed & by grinding or linishing0
- Welding Inspector should also ensure that any inspection aids that will be needed
in good condition
calibrated ( as appropriate"as specified by QC Arocedures
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&isual Inspection and ,ypical )uties of
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.afety EconsciousnessF is a duty of all employees and a Welding Inspector should0
be aware of all safety regulations for the worplace
ensure that safety equipment that will be needed is available and in suitable
D#!%e Be*o"e We+d%n8
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Iaterial is in accordance with drawing"WA.
is identified > can be traced to a test certificate
is in suitable condition (free from damage > contamination)
WA.Js have been approved and are available to welders (>
Welding *quipment is in suitable condition and calibrated as appropriate
Weld Areparations are in accordance with WA. (and"or drawings)
Welder Qualifications identification of welders qualified for each WA. to be used
all welder qualification certificates are valid (Jin(dateJ)
Welding Consumables those to be used are as specified by the WA.s are being
stored"controlled as specified by the QC Arocedure
7oint Fit(ups are in accordance with WA. " )rawings
tac welds are to good wormanship standard > to
Weld Faces are free from defects! contamination and damage
Areheat (if required) min. temperature is in accordance with WA.
D#!%e D#"%n8 We+d%n8
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.ite"field Welding ensure weather conditions are suitable"comply with Code
(conditions will not affect welding)
Welding Arocess is in accordance with WA.
Areheat (if required) min. temp. is being maintained in accordance with WA.
Inter(pass ,emp. ma+. temp. is in accordance with WA.
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Welding Consumables are in accordance with WA. > being controlled as
Welding Aarameters current! volts! travel speed! are in accordance with WA.
6oot 6un is visually acceptable to Code (before filling the Goint)
(for single sided welds)
/ouging "/rinding is by an approved method > to good wormanship
Inter(run Cleaning is to good wormanship standard
Welder is on the approval register"qualified for the WA. being used
D#!%e A*!e" We+d%n8
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Weld Identification each weld is mared with the welderJs identification
each weld is identified in accordance with drawing"weld
Weld -ppearance ensure welds are suitable for all '), (profile! cleanness
visually inspect welds and sentence in accordance with
)imensional .urvey chec dimensions are in accordance with )rawing"Code
)rawings ensure any modifications are included on Jas(builtF drawings
'), ensure all '), is complete > reports are available for
6epairs monitor in accordance with the Arocedure
AW?, (if required) monitor for compliance with Arocedure (chec chart record)
Aressure":oad ,est ensure test equipment is calibrated
(if required) monitor test to ensure compliance with Arocedure"Code
ensure reports"records are available
)ocumentation 6ecords ensure all reports"records are completed > collated as
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,he requirement for e+amination records"inspection reports will vary according
to contract and type of fabrication and there is frequently no requirement for a formal
When an inspection record is required it may be necessary to show that items
have been checed at the specified stages and that they have satisfied the
acceptance criteria.
,he form of this record will vary ( possibly a signature against an activity on an
Inspection Checlist or on a Quality Alan! or it may be an individual inspection report
for each item.
For individual inspection reports! 1. *' 234 lists typical details for inclusion such as0
name of manufacturer"fabricator
identification of item e+amined
material type > thicness
type of Goint
welding process
acceptance standard"acceptance criteria
locations and types of all imperfections not acceptable
(when specified, it may be necessary to include an accurate sketch or photo0)
name of e+aminer"inspector and date of e+amination
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&isual Inspection and ,ypical )uties of
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