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Reproduced with permission of AWS for Educational Use

Whatʼs New in ASME Section IX?

Discussed are several issues including waveform-controlled power
supplies, testing of small brazed parts, and a host of new materials


he 2010 edition changes to the droplet shape, the bead shape, penetration, the WPSs should also specify the wire feed

T ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel

Code, Section IX — Welding and
Brazing Qualifications, become manda-
wetting, and arc energy.
One down side of this technology is
that ordinary volt (V) and amp (A) me-
speed range to provide meaningful direc-
tion to the welder.
How does one recognize a waveform-
tory Jan. 1, 2011. Presented here is a dis- ters, even RMS meters, do not measure controlled power source? Power sources
cussion of the significant changes from the the arc energy (i.e., V × A) accurately, and, that support rapidly pulsing processes
previous edition. Editorial and other even worse, the deviation from true en- (e.g., GMAW-P) are the most common
minor changes are readily identified in the ergy when using ordinary meters can de- waveform-controlled power sources.
Summary of Changes beginning on page viate 30% over or under the true arc en- Power sources that are marketed as syn-
(c) of the Addenda. The opinions ex- ergy. Further, there is no predictable pat- ergic, programmable, or microprocessor-
pressed in this article are those of the au- tern, so a simple offset value cannot be controlled are generally capable of wave-
thor and not the official opinions of the used. If the arc energy readings are off, form-controlled welding.
BPV Standards Committee IX. that means that any readings on volt or If you are unsure about your equip-
amp meters are of questionable accuracy. ment’s capabilities, ask the power source
Another downside of this technology is manufacturer. To assist in defining what
Waveform-Shape that it is not cheap. a waveform-controlled power supply is,
Technology Let’s examine the easy change to Section IX has two new definitions:
first. The GMAW waveform- Waveform-controlled welding: A weld-
et us rejoice, for the changes to Sec- controlled power supplies require the ing process modification of the voltage

L tion IX for the 2010 edition are mild

compared to last year’s changes.
There are no new P-numbers and no big
welder to input the wire type and size, the
shielding gas composition, and the wire
feed speed. This allows the software to
and/or current wave shape to control char-
acteristics such as droplet shape, penetra-
tion, wetting, bead shape, or transfer
changes to the P-number table. control the volts and amps precisely and mode(s).
Most of us in the welding industry are rapidly during welding. While the welder Instantaneous power or energy: As
aware that equipment manufacturers have can adjust the arc force (referred to as the used for waveform-controlled welding,
moved from motor-generator welding “arc length” or “trim” by different power the determination of power or energy
power supplies to solid-state power supplies source manufacturers), there is no way for using the product of current and voltage
over the last 30 years. This trend, like ad- the welder to set the voltage since the measurements made at rapid intervals
vancements with computers, has made computer controls it, and the amps. This that capture brief changes in the welding
power supplies smaller, more efficient, and presents a problem when writing a WPS waveform.
more versatile. The latest innovation is since QW-409.8 requires that the voltage Most waveform-controlled power
“waveform shape control technology” that be specified for GMAW. sources can also be used without the wave-
allows the power source to respond very The BPV Committee IX recognized form shape controls active. If this is per-
rapidly to conditions at the arc. With proper that there was no longer a way for the mitted by the WPS, then the voltage must
programming of the power source com- welder to set the voltage when using wave- be specified in the WPS when waveform
puter, welding, particularly gas metal arc form-controlled power supplies, and, of control is inactive.
welding (GMAW), is easier to learn to use course, that any volt and amp meter read- It should be noted that waveform con-
and is more productive than when using ings are of questionable accuracy. Accord- trol does not automatically imply that the
previous generations of power supplies. ingly, the Committee tweaked QW-409.8 transfer mode is pulsed transfer, even
Waveform shape-controlled power sup- to exempt Welding Procedure Specifica- though the power may be pulsing. Wave-
plies sense the volts and amps at sampling tions(WPSs) that specify use of waveform- form-controlled power sources that have
frequencies as high as 10 kHz. This allows controlled welding from specifying the volt- programs suitable for welding open root
the power source designer to do things that age, just like it exempts SMAW and GTAW joints made from one side will be operat-
were impossible before, such as suppress because the welder cannot set or control ing in the short-circuiting transfer mode.
the high-current surge that occurs in the voltage with those processes either. If in doubt, ask the power source manu-
GMAW-S as the molten droplet of metal While voltage does not have to be spec- facturer what the transfer mode is for your
on the end of the wire touches the weld pool ified when using these power supplies, the particular setup.
at the beginning of a short circuit to virtu- WPS will have to provide the welder with On to the more challenging aspect of
ally eliminate spatter. This ability to rap- the wire type and size, shielding gas, and this technology — measuring heat input.
idly control the volts and amps also allows any other information the power source With waveform control of the power
the programmer to control the transfer of needs to activate the correct program to source, ordinary volt and amp meters are
metal across the arc very closely in spray control the arc. Since amperage is mean- useless for determining arc energy. The
pulse welding, precisely controlling the ingless when using these power supplies, only way to measure the arc energy is to

WALTER J. SPERKO (;, P.E., is vice chairman of ASME Subcommittee IX, and presi-
dent of Sperko Engineering Services, Inc., Greensboro, N.C.
44 AUGUST 2010
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measure the volts and amps instanta- use the waveform-controlled power source, nonwaveform-controlled power supplies
neously then integrate those measure- and practice using it, before going into pro- may be revised to specify power or energy
ments over time. duction. Similarly, if a welder has learned per unit length of weld bead when specify-
One can use a specialized hand-held to weld using a waveform-controlled power ing use of a waveform-controlled power
meter such as the Fluke® 345 Power source, he or she should practice using a source without requalification. For wave-
Quality Clamp Meter that samples volts nonwaveform-controlled power source if it form-controlled power supplies that can-
and amps at high frequency and provides will be used in production. The last section not be upgraded to show power or energy,
the required integration to give the power of Appendix H further addresses these con- the use of an external instantaneous power
readings. For some older pulsing power cerns, but it provides no requirements for meter is necessary to accurately measure
supplies, using this type of meter may the welder qualifications. arc power or energy. For PQRs where the
only route available. What if you have a waveform- test coupon was welded using waveform-
Fortunately, for most of us, computer- controlled power source but it does not controlled power supplies without knowing
controlled power supplies are capable of show the joules, power, or watts in the dis- the instantaneous power or energy (i.e.,
measuring and recording the volts and play? Contact the manufacturer — an up- those that you qualified before you knew
amps at the same frequency that the com- grade may be available. For many units, about the need to measure instantaneous
puters control those volts and amps. The this will be a software upgrade. For those power), it may be possible to establish the
computers can perform the necessary cal- who have older waveform-controlled true heat input if sufficient data were
culations of instantaneous arc energy over power sources that cannot be upgraded, recorded on the PQR showing the power
time to provide a display of either accu- the only route to measure power is to pur- source settings and the energy or power is
established by welding a bead on plate using
mulated joules (J) used during the arc-on chase add-on meters that are expected to
an instantaneous power meter.
time or instantaneous energy — J/s, i.e., be on the market soon.
Alternatively, if the exact power source
watts (W). The formulas for heat input Forms QW-482 and QW-483 for the
settings had been recorded and those set-
using instantaneous energy or power WPS and Procedure Qualification Record
tings are what are specified on the WPS,
measurements are as follows: (PQR), respectively, have been revised to it would not be necessary to establish the
For instantaneous energy measure- show a new column for “Power or Energy” instantaneous power or energy. Unfortu-
ments: and also “wire feed speed.” Remember nately, this approach would be manufac-
( )
that these forms are not mandatory. You
Heatinput ⎡⎢ J/in. J/mm ⎤⎥
turer-, model-, and program-specific to be
⎣ ⎦ may develop and use your own forms as valid, so requalification of the WPS may
long as every essential, nonessential, and, be necessary. If this is your situation, keep
Energy (J) when the construction code requires that
( )
in mind that the test coupon you weld for
Weld BeadLength ⎡⎢ in. mm ⎤⎥ the WPS be qualified with impact testing, impact tested qualifications only has to be
⎣ ⎦ the supplementary essential variables are big enough to extract the required impact
For instantaneous power measure- addressed. test specimens, and that tension and bend
ments in J/s or W: Now for the tricky part. What if you have testing normally does not have to be re-
WPSs qualified with nonwaveform-con-
( )
peated (see QW-401.3).
Heatinput ⎡⎢ J/in. J/mm ⎤⎥ trolled power sources and you need to write Any time heat input limits are specified,
⎣ ⎦
WPSs for use with waveform- the directions to the welder should be given
Power (J/s or W) × arctime (s)
= controlled power sources? How about the
( )
in a form that is easy for the welder to work
WeldBeadLength ⎡⎢ in. mm ⎤⎥ reverse of that scenario? The Committee with. Using the power or energy route, the
⎣ ⎦
prepared Appendix H to provide guidance WPS can specify that the power or en-
Other work where the control of heat on these matters. In brief, when qualifying ergy/in. of weld may not exceed some value.
input is required is for the application of a new WPS that will specify using a wave- The welder deposits a weld bead of some
corrosion-resistant weld metal overlay form-controlled power source, the instan- length, measures that length, then divides
and temper bead welding. The heat input taneous power or energy must be used to it into the power or energy × s shown on the
variables refer back to QW-409.1 for the calculate the heat input qualified using the power or energy meter. That is, if the max-
appropriate formula when using wave- appropriate instantaneous power formula. imum heat input qualified is 39 kJ/in. and
form-controlled power sources. When When a waveform-controlled power the welder deposits a weld bead 10 in. long,
waveform-controlled power sources are source is used in a nonwaveform mode, ei- the welder is within the heat input limit of
operating in the nonwaveform-controlled ther the instantaneous power or energy or 39 kJ/in. if the energy meter shows less than
mode, the ordinary heat input formula is the traditional formula using V and A shall 390 kJ to make that weld bead. For the more
applicable: be used to calculate the heat input. Once traditional measurement, a convenient way
the heat input is determined and recorded to give the welder guidance is with a table.
⎣ ( )
Heatinput ⎡⎢ J/in. J/mm ⎤⎥

on the PQR, the WPS must specify the heat
input limits. When the WPS specifies wave-
Again, assuming the same qualified maxi-
mum heat input, one might specify a volt-
Volts × Amps × 60 form-controlled welding, the instantaneous age range of 28 to 30, then using 30 V, pre-
⎣ (
Travel Speed ⎡⎢ in./min mm/min ⎤⎥
⎦) power or energy per unit length of weld
bead must be specified. When the WPS
pare the following table:

specifies nonwaveform-controlled welding Volts Minimum Travel

Appropriate instruction needs to be pro- using a waveform-controlled power source, Amps (max) Speed (in./min)
vided to the welder on how to apply the either the instantaneous power or energy
meter readings to determine the required per unit length of weld bead or the more 70–85 26 3.4
travel speed for the power that he or she traditional volts, amps, and travel speed 86–100 26 4.0
will be using. Section IX does not require limits must be specified. When the WPS 100–115 26 4.6
any separate testing of the welder when specifies a conventional power source, the 116–140 26 5.6
using waveform-controlled power sources, WPS must specify the more traditional 141–160 27 6.4
but they are sufficiently different that a volts, amps, and travel speed limits. 161–180 27 7.2
welder qualified for using an ordinary One obvious conclusion is that WPSs 181–210 28 8.5
power source should get training on how to that have been qualified using traditional 211–250 30 10.0

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This way the welder only has to deter- when using ultrasonic examination. Base Metals and Filler
mine the travel speed. The WPSs should The big limit on using ultrasonic exami-
not simply specify the “heat input shall nation on performance qualification tests,
not exceed 39 kJ/in.” unless the welder has however, is that the coupon or production
s a result of last year’s removal of
been carefully taught how to calculate the
required travel speed for any given set of
volts and amps.
On to simpler changes. Table QW-451
weld must be ½ in. thick or thicker.
Forms QW-484A and QW-484B have
been revised to add a check box choice of
RT or UT when volumetric NDE is
A S-numbers, some materials were
reevaluated and deleted from
QW/QB-422. This was due to inadequate
has a new footnote limiting the thickness performed. chemical composition limits in the speci-
of base metal and weld metal qualified to One subtle change that was not di- fications. Deleted are A-148, structural
2T or 2t, respectively, for electrogas weld- rectly associated with addition of ultra- castings; A-521, die forgings; and A-688,
ing. There was no limit the way the table sonic examination of performance test high-strength forgings. Tensile strengths
was written before. coupons, but resulted from discussion listed for some materials previously were
Several supplementary essential vari- during the meeting, is that QW- removed and replaced with “• • •” be-
ables such as QW-403.6, QW-406.3, QW- was revised. That paragraph said that cause the material specification did not
407.4, QW-409.1, and QW-410.9 state that when a welder qualified on a production have a specified minimum tensile
they do not apply when the weld is heat weld, the acceptance criteria were those strength. A sentence was also added to
treated above the upper transformation specified in the Code Section applicable QW-420 saying that, for materials listed
temperature or an austenitic material is to the component that was being built. in QW/QB-422, only those that have a
given a solution heat treatment because No more. When a welder or operator is specified minimum tensile strength may
the effects of base material thickness, in- qualified on a production weld, the ac- be used for groove weld procedure quali-
terpass temperature, and heat input are ceptance criteria are the same as for a fication test coupons.
wiped away by these heat treatments. So- test coupon. Many new materials were added to
lution heat treating a duplex stainless steel The sketches in QW-462.4 and QW- QW/QB-422, including several European
has the same effect, and these addenda 462.5 were revised to eliminate hidden materials. SA/EN 10028-1, Grades
revised the above variables to make them lines where cuts were to be made for ex- P335GH of C-Mn-Si plate similar to SA-
not applicable when either an austenitic amination of metallographic cross sec- 516 Grade 70 was added as P-1, Group 2,
or a duplex stainless steel is solution heat tions. The sketches now show only cut and Grade P275NM, similar to SA-516
treated. Duplex stainless steel is P-10H. Grade 60 was added as P-1, Group 1.
SA/EN 10222-2, Grades P-280GH,
Last year, I mentioned inquiry IX-07-
P305GH, 13CrMo4-5, 13CrMo9-10, and
Welder Qualification 11, which asked if a person making ad-
X10CrMoVNb9-1 were assigned to P-1,
justments of the volts, amps, wire feed
(QW-300) Changes speed, or other settings at the direction
Group 1, P-1, Group 2, P-4, Group 1, P-
5A, Group 1, and P-15E, Group 1, respec-
of a qualified welder or welding opera-
tively. SA/EN 10216-2 Grades P235GH,
elders and welding operator test tor had to also be a qualified welder or

W coupons and production welds

will be allowed to be ultrasoni-
cally examined as of the 2010 edition of
welding operator. The reply was, “No.”
The following definitions were revised
(shown in italics) to address this issue:
P265GH, 16Mo3, 13CrMo4-5, 13CrMo9-
10, and X10CrMoVNb9-1 were assigned
to P-1, Group 1, P-1, Group 1, P-3, Group
1, P-4, Group 1, P-5A, Group 1, and P-15E,
Section IX. Generally, where the term welding, operator: one who operates
Group 1, respectively. SA/EN-10088-2
“radiography” or its derivatives have been or directs the operation of machine or au-
Grade S235JR plate and SA/EN 10217
used in Section IX in the past, the phrase tomatic welding equipment.
Grade P235TR2 ERW tube were added as
“or ultrasonic examination” has been welding, machine: welding with
P-1, Group 1, and SA/EN 10088-2,
added or “volumetric NDE” is used. QW- equipment that has controls that are X6CrNiMoTi 17-12-2 was added as P-8,
191.2 on the ultrasonic examination manually adjusted by the welding oper- Group 1. SA/EN 10028-4, Grades X7Ni9
method has been added, and, paralleling ator or adjusted under the welding opera- and X8Ni9, quenched and tempered 9%
the requirements for radiography, refers tor’s direction in response to visual ob- nickel steel, was added as P-11A, Group
to ASME BPV Section V for technique. servation of the welding, with the torch, 1; and SA/EN 10028-2, Grade 13CrMoSi5-
The acceptance criteria are similar to gun, or electrode holder held by a me- 5+ QT was added as P-4, Group 1.
those for radiography. It also specifies that chanical device. I encourage readers outside the United
technicians performing ultrasonic exami- It’s reassuring to know that if a weld- States to bring materials manufactured to
nations have to be qualified in accordance ing operator hollers, “Joe, gimme five local specifications for pressure applica-
with the manufacturer or contractor’s more amps!” that Joe does not have to tions to ASME for incorporation into the
written practice, which has to meet ASNT be qualified to run the machine. Boiler Code. See ASME Section II Part D,
SNT-TC-1A, or they may be qualified by Finally, Table QW-452.5, which covers Mandatory Appendix 5, for more details
ASNT Central Certification or CP-189. qualification of welders by fillet weld test, about the information that is required for
The limits of QW-304 for welders and has been revised to allow use of test materials to be adopted.
QW-305 for welding operators regarding coupons 3⁄16 in. (5 mm) thick or greater. ASTM A-199 seamless alloy tube,
using radiography instead of visual exam- Previously, the first line of the table re- Grades T11, T22, T21, T5, and T9 were
ination plus bend testing apply when the quired test coupons to be 3⁄16 to 3⁄8 in. (5 to added with P-numbers of 4, 5A, 5A, 5B,
test coupon will be ultrasonically exam- 10 mm) thick. This change was the result and 5B, respectively. These grades were
ined, except that ultrasonic examination of an intent interpretation that asked if also added as A-234 fittings. A-691, fu-
may be used to examine test coupons that the committee really meant to limit the sion welded pipe, was added as Grade
were welded using GMAW in the short- test coupon thickness — and we couldn’t 91 with a P-number of P-15E, Group 1.
circuiting transfer mode. While incom- find a good reason for the limit — so we It should be noted that the ASTM spec-
plete fusion defects, the rogue flaw char- made it more open and flexible. The sec- ification for this material requires it to
acteristic of GMAW-S, can be difficult to ond line of the table covers test coupons be normalized and tempered after weld-
find using radiography, that is not the case less than 3⁄16 in. thick, and is unchanged. ing. UNS S34565 was added as a super-

46 AUGUST 2010