As a coded welder, you will possess the skills required to work in some of the most highly regulated sectors and on a range of safety-critical applications such as pressure vessels and pressure pipework.
So What is a Coded Welder?
A coded welder is a terminology used for an approved welder. The qualification or standard you are approved for will not mention the term coded welder.
The name coded welder is a technical term to describes a time served and skilled welders. Who will have completed a welder approval testing to a specification or standard such as ASME IX.
Why have Coded Welders?
Applying standards of practice ensure that a welded joint has an acceptable level of quality and integrity required for the job. As a coded welder in the UK you will be working to one of the following:
- National British Standard (BS)
- European British Standard European Standard (BS EN)
- US American Welding Society (AWS) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
- International Standards Organisation (ISO)
Standards for specific industries and job roles:
- Welder Approvals for Pressure vessels – BS EN ISO 9606, ASME Section IX
- Welder Approvals for Process pipework – BS 4872, BS EN ISO 9606, ASME Section IX
- Welder Approvals for Structural fabrication – BS EN 287, BS 4872, BS EN ISO 9606, AWS D1.1/ D1.2/ D1.6
- Welder Approvals for Storage tanks – BS 4872, BS EN ISO 9606, AWS D1.1/ D1.2/ D1.6
Class 1 Welder Coding
Welder approval testing is carried out by a competent welder observed by a welding inspector. An assessment of the weld quality using non-destructive (X-ray, UT) and mechanical (Bend Tests) testing techniques takes place in a UCAS approved laboratory. Once both elements pass, the welder becomes approved.
Approval tests examine a welder’s skill and ability under pressure. Testing demonstrates that a welding procedures design is fit for purpose, producing a welded joint that will meet the mechanical and quality requirements for the job.
Usually, testing is job-specific. You will be tested to that specification to qualify thus becoming a coded welder.
ISO 9606 and ASME Section IX are appropriate for welders working on pressure vessel, piping, off-shore structures and for other products where the consequences of failure are catastrophic such as structural steel.
Class 2 Welder Coding, BS 4872
In less demanding situations, such as small to medium building frames and non-structural work, an approved welding procedure may not be necessary. However, to ensure an adequate level of skill, welders are often recommended to a less stringent standard such as the BS 4872.
The BS 4872 offers a measure of competence to people who are using welding for maintenance or as a small part of their job role.
Being a coded welder in a particular specification does not cover you for all standards. Each specification requires welder training, welding tests and examination. People who have passed multiple tests for different standards are called multi-coded welder.