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Welding Codes and How They Are Used

Welding Codes and How They Are Used
Posted in: Building Codes
Nov 23, 2004 - 4:53:00 PM

Almost all design, welding, fabrication, material, repair, testing, and inspection requirements are covered under three main governing organizations. Even the Department of Defense (DOD) has either adopted many of these codes, or used them as a basis to develop their own codes known as Mil-Specs. These codes are recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The following list of codes just barely "scratches the surface" of all existing codes and code organizations. These are the most common codes being used, but there are many others. Many complex jobs fall under multiple codes.

These main organizations are the American Welding Society (AWS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the American Petroleum Institute (API). All of these organizations have multiple specific codes for various types of construction, processes, and/or materials. Design specifications and approved materials are included in these codes.

What I am about to list is only the major codes from these organizations that control metal construction with a brief overview and is not a comprehensive list of every single code that these organizations have available.

This information is taken from the latest codes that are available to me and not necessarily the latest editions of these codes.

Think you just landed a contract that doesn't fall under a code? Think again-and read on!

American Welding Society

# AWS D1.1 This code contains the requirements for fabricating and erecting welded steel structures. This code applies to steels with a thickness of 1/8 inch (3.2mm) or more. When this code is specified in a contract, most of the provisions are mandatory. Optional provisions and examples are shown in an annex included within this code.

# AWS D1.2 This is the Structural Welding Code-Aluminum. The welding requirements are applicable to any type of welded aluminum alloy structure. This code is appropriate for use in fabrication of supporting structures and appurtenances. It is not intended to supplant codes developed for use in specialized fabrication such as the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, aerospace codes, or military codes.

# AWS D1.3 This is the Structural Welding Code-Sheet Steel. This code covers the arc welding of structural steel sheet/strip steels including cold formed members which are equal to or less than 3/16 inch (.188 in./4.8mm) in nominal thickness. Three weld types unique to sheet steel, arc spot, arc seam, and arc plug welds are included in this code.

# AWS D1.4 This is the Structural Welding Code-Reinforcing Steel. This code shall apply to the welding of reinforcing steel to reinforcing steel and of reinforcing steel to carbon or low-alloy structural steel. This code shall be used in conjunction with the prescribed general building code specifications and is applicable to all welding of reinforcing steel using the processes listed in Section 1.4, and performed as a part of reinforced concrete construction. When reinforcing steel is welded to structural steel, the provisions of AWS D1.1 shall apply to the structural steel component.

# AWS D1.5 This is the Bridge Welding Code. This code covers welding fabrication requirements applicable to welded highway bridges. It is to be used in conjunction with the AASHTO Standard Specification for Highway Bridges or the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. This code is not intended to be used for the following: steels with a minimum specified yield strength greater than 690 MPa (100ksi), pressure vessels or pressure piping, base metals other than carbon or low alloy steels, or structures composed of structural tubing.

# AWS D1.6 Structural Welding Code-Stainless Steel. This code covers welding requirements applicable to stainless steel weldments subject to design stress. It shall be used in conjunction with any complementary code or specification for the design or construction of stainless steel weldments.

# AWS D3.5-93R Guide for Steel Hull Welding. This guide is referenced in many contract specifications for building vessels from barges to tugboats.

# AWS D3.6M Specification for Under-Water Welding.

# AWS D3.7 Guide for Aluminum Hull Welding. Similar to the Steel Hull Welding Guide, but with a special emphasis on the unique properties of aluminum.

# AWS D8.8-97 Specification for Automotive and Light Truck Weld Quality: Arc Welding.

# AWS D14.1 Specification for Welding Earth Moving and Construction Equipment. Applies to all structural welds used in the manufacture of earthmoving and construction equipment. This specification reflects the welding practices employed by manufacturers within the industry and incorporates various methods which have been proven successful by individual manufacturers.

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