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2015-02-04

ASME refers to ISO welding standard

ISO 9606-1 on the qualification of welders will also apply in the US

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For the first time ever, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has referred to an ISO welding standard in its pressure vessel code. The new July 2015 edition of Section IX "Welding and Brazing Qualifications" of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) will refer to ISO 9606-1:2012 "Qualification testing of welders - Fusion welding - Part 1: Steels" in its Appendix ZZZ. It will also cite ISO 14732:2013 on the "Qualification testing of welding operators and weld setters for mechanized and automatic welding of metallic materials". In Germany the latter standard is published as DIN EN ISO 14732. This means that, in terms of the qualification of welders and welding operators, the two ISO Standards can be considered as being equivalent to the ASME Code and thus apply in the US as well.

This will be a great advantage for many European and international companies. Up until now, in order to gain a foothold on the US market European welding specialists had to obtain certification to ASME and/or AWS rules in addition to their DIN EN 1090 certification ("Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures"). Once this new July edition takes effect, however, companies can save a considerable amount of money by avoiding multiple qualifications.

Throughout the world, the reaction to this news has been very positive:


"…The appendix would help a lot to bridge different qualification standards. This is a job well done. Many congratulations to you and your colleagues." (Prof W. Zuh, Singapore)


"…Excellent work and accomplishment." (W. Sindel, China)


"…This is really great news. Almost 20 years of subtle discussions with ISO and CEN resulted in this fantastic statement." (H. Bodt, Belgium)


Paving the way for welding procedure testing as in DIN EN ISO 15614?

A similar development is possible for welding procedure testing: During the revision of ISO 15614-1:2004 "Specification and qualification of welding procedures for metallic materials - Welding procedure test - Part 1: Arc and gas welding of steels and arc welding of nickel and nickel alloys" (in Germany, DIN EN ISO 15614-1:2012), the introduction of a two-step model is being considered. Step 1 involves the basic requirements for welding procedure testing, and the scope of testing is largely based on ASME codes. Step 2 comprises the testing requirements specified in the current edition, DIN EN ISO 15614-1:2012.

If ASME takes on this new concept, unchanged, and refers to it in the BPVC as well, this would be a further success story for the welding world. 

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Holger Zernitz

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