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The Answer Is IT Winter 10:Layout 1 12/21/09 3:56 PM Page 12

the answer is...

The Society is not responsible for any statement made or opinion expressed herein. Data and information developed by the authors
are for specific informational purposes only and are not intended for use without independent, substantiating investigation on the
part of potential users.


Q: I have a question about welder welded (for example, what you describe in of any certifications that are required to
qualification. My company builds your question would be a workmanship operate this equipment and/or report
and repairs mining equipment. We sample), followed by a production sample the results. Although, at a minimum,
have a few welders who work in the (this would essentially be successful com- companies performing this work would
field and all they do is repair cracks pletion of one of your field repairs). We want to properly train each operator in
on big shovels and draglines. The recommend you procure a copy of AWS the safety, correct use, and results (doc-
base metal is sometimes 8 in. thick. D14.3 and evaluate it against your needs. umentation) for each instrument from
We qualify guys to the unlimited different manufacturers.
thickness test of AWS D1.1, Q: What is PMI testing, and what
Structural Welding Code Steel, but are the certification requirements? Q: Can you tell me what exactly is
that doesnt seem to be a good indi- meant by the term open arc? Ive
cator of how well they can do these A: PMI is short for positive material seen it in some articles about self-
repairs. Ive been thinking about identification. PMI involves using an shielded flux core welding.
designing another test where the instrument that can accurately deter-
welder would also have to gouge a mine different types and grades of mate- A: Open arc is jargon for which I doubt
suitable repair excavation. It would rials (both ferrous and nonferrous) as there is a universally agreed upon defin-
be 12 in. thick, square groove with well as provide a numerical value for a ition. For example, AWS A3.0, Standard
no root opening. The welder would large number of select alloys that com- Welding Terms and Definitions; Including
have to gouge about halfway through prise that material. These instruments Terms for Adhesive Bonding, Brazing,
the plate and weld the first side in are battery powered, very portable, and Soldering, Thermal Cutting, and Thermal
the flat position, and then flip it over capable of testing several hundred dif- Spraying, makes no mention of the term
and gouge and weld the second side ferent material types and configurations open arc. One common use of this term
in the overhead position. The prob- a day. Some of these instruments can is to describe an arc welding process in
lem is it doesnt seem that AWS also determine and classify different which the arc is visible. So per that defi-
D1.1 allows this kind of test. What types of wood and paint. The instru- nition, welding processes such as sub-
do you think? ments primarily use a secured internal merged arc welding (SAW) and elec-
X-ray tube that emits low-energy radia- troslag welding (ESW) would not be
A: Our first thought is to ask why this tion that reacts differently with each open arc (note that ESW is not techni-
repair work is being performed in accor- material composition. Because radiation cally an arc welding process as the arc is
dance with AWS D1.1. Is this due to a is emitted while the unit is in operation, extinguished early in the process).
customers requirement? Or is your com- there are some minor safety concerns Based on that definition, examples of
pany an original equipment manufactur- involved with which each user should be open arc processes are flux cored arc
er (OEM) and has chosen for some rea- familiar. This information is contained welding (FCAW) and electrogas welding
son to use AWS D1.1? My reason for ask- within each manufacturers operational (EGW). Take the case of EGW, for
ing is that your application (mining manual. instance. Electrogas welding is per-
equipment) would seem to be better Every year we see more and more formed in a uphill welding progression on
served by AWS D14.3, Specification for project specifications that require some square groove butt or T-joints with cooled
Welding Earthmoving, Construction, and form of material sampling for which PMI copper backing shoes to contain the weld
Agricultural Equipment. can be used. This generally involves pool, and an externally supplied gas blan-
AWS D14.3 recognizes that the type of materials that are not the so-called ket and small amounts of flux from the
welding to be found in the fabrication of stock materials such as duplex stain- electrode core provide the shielding. This
earthmoving equipment can vary greatly less steels and piping with higher configuration creates a well into which
in base material type, configuration, etc., chrome alloy percentages. Because this the electrode is continuously fed. If the
and as such provides an alternate method activity is related to material testing, it is amount of slagging materials in the elec-
for welder qualification testing (called generally categorized into the Testing trode core were to be increased (while
Method B in D14.3). Method B specifies a or Quality Control segments of most keeping all other variables unchanged),
workmanship sample be successfully project specifications. We are not aware the well would eventually fill up with

Inspection Trends encourages question and answer submissions. Please mail to the editor (mjohnsen@aws.org).

KENNETH ERICKSON is manager of quality at National Inspection & Consultants, Inc., Ft. Myers, Fla. He is an AWS Senior
Certified Welding Inspector, an ASNT National NDT Level III Inspector in four methods, and provides expert witness review and
analysis for legal considerations.

CLIFFORD (KIP) MANKENBERG is a construction supervisor for Shell International Exploration & Production, Houston, Tex. He is
an AWS Senior Certified Welding Inspector and an ASNT National NDT Level III Inspector in five methods.

The Answer Is IT Winter 10:Layout 1 12/21/09 3:56 PM Page 13

molten slag such that it would extinguish

the arc (this would effectively change the
process to ESW, though in normal prac-
tice ESW is not performed with flux cored
electrodes) and the process would no T R E N D S
longer be open arc.

Q: When visual (VT) inspection is

required on piping welds, does this
Open your
also include the visual inspection of
the root or weld inside diameter? Editorial Exposure
Reprints of INSPECTION TRENDS are a simple way
A: First, consult with the inspection pro- to put information directly into the hands of your
cedure and/or specification to which you
target audience. Having been featured in a well-
are working. Generally, the inside diame-
ter of compete-joint-penetration welds respected publication adds the credibility of a
(root weld) that are accessible by visual third-party endorsement to your message.
means will be visually inspected along
with the outside diameter (weld cap). This
I Conferences/
may be accomplished by direct visual
means or with the aid of tools such as an
Reprints are ideal for: Speaking Engagements
extendable mirror. It may also be required
I PR Materials and Media Kits I Recruitment and
that other means be employed to visually Training Packages
inspect the root of the weld with equip- I Direct Mail Enclosures
ment such as boroscopes or fiberscopes.
I Customer and Prospect
I Trade Shows/Promotional Events Communications/Presentations
In any event, make sure that you are
familiar with the acceptance criteria for
both the weld cap and the weld root when SM
this applies. In addition, final visual inspec-
Give yourself a competitive advantage with reprints!
tion reports need to be clear and concise
on what area(s) of each weld were inspect- For additional information, please contact FosteReprints,
ed, the results pertaining to each location, the official reprint provider for INSPECTION TRENDS.
and the method/tools/ equipment used to Email: sales@fostereprints.com or call 866-879-9144
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