Common Welder Qualification Test for Jobs
When it comes to job site testing there are a few common combinations of tests. The tests vary in positions, welding processes, and the type of welding inspection to be used. Some job sites may only do a visual inspection, others might conduct a bend test, and for most pipe welding jobs it is likely your weld will be x-rayed. Do not get the impression that a welder qualification test is easier than a welding certification. In many cases the welder qualification test is harder than passing a welding certification. On top of that even if you are certified in a processes and position you will still need to retest to the company’s standards!
Structural Welder Qualification Tests for Industrial Construction
For most construction jobs you will most likely encounter a 3 and 4G combo welding test. Most of the time the test will be either Stick or Flux Cored Arc Welding test or both at the same time. In some cases you might be asked to do a 3 and 4G combo MIG welding test.
Structural Welder Qualification Tests for Shipyards
Shipyards jobs typically test Stick welders in the 3 and 4G combo welding positions and do not allow weave beads. The tests are usually done with a backing bar. When it comes to Flux Cored Arc Welding the tests are a combination of 2G, 3G, and 4G positions, but it is almost always assumed it will be a open root weld using ceramic backing tape. If you have never used ceramic backing tape to weld then get some and practice before testing!
Pipe Welder Qualification Tests for Power Plant Construction
One of the typically welding test for pipe welders in a power plant construction is a pipe in the 6G position using a TIG root and hot pass with the remainder of the pipe Stick welded out with either a E7018 or a E8018″. The most common test is a 6″ heavy wall schedule 80 in the 6G position with a TIG root and hot pass then the rest is Stick welded with a E8018. Typically this test will be x-rayed and no grinding is allowed but you can use a wire wheel to clean the slag! Any porosity, rough restarts, or trouble spots cannot be fixed when taking this test! If your weld cap is more than 1/8 of an inch high then you have failed based on the visual and weld reinforcement criteria! The pictures below are of a practice test I did and it took me about 4 hours to weld this pipe out. That is 4 hours if you rush the test. The pipe got so hot I needed to use a vice grip to lean on it.
When it comes to nuclear and coal fired power plant construction there are commonly three welding tests you must pass for the job. The first test is a 2″ double heavy wall schedule 160 carbon steel pipe in the 6G position with a TIG root and hot pass then the rest is Stick welded with an E8018“. The second test given is also a 2″ double heavy wall schedule 160 carbon steel pipe in the 6G position but it is TIG welded all the way out. Finally, a 4″ thin wall schedule 5 or 10 stainless steel pipe TIG welded all the way out.