Ken, neither AISC nor AWS prescribe any amount of nondestructive testing,
except for very special circumstances. Howver, AWS D1.1 does require
inspection of certain items, it just doesn't say if the fabricator / erector
can do their own inspection of these items (the default position), or if it
must be done by an outside inspector (which the building code may require.)
Your emphasis should be on in-process inspection, just before and DURING the
welding operations. Do not rely solely upon visual inspection, or even NDT,
of completed welds.
The amount of NDT you may specify depends upon the type of joint you have
and the consequences of failure. Random 10% MT does little good, but you can
specify it for (in your judgement) critical welds if it makes you feel
better. UT for CJP groove welds is fine, but it makes sense for tension
joints, not necessarily shear or compression joints.
I prepared a guide for the US Army Corps of Engineers on welding and
inspection, oriented for building applications. There is considerable
guidance on inspection and NDT. You can link to it from the home page of the
SSTC website, www.steelstructures.com. It's in PDF.
On another note, SAC is wrapping up the guidelines for seismic work, and
there are prescriptive recommendations for inspection and NDT within those
guidelines (to be published by FEMA). They wouldn't apply to your east-coast
industrial building, but could help you along when they get published late
Steel Structures Technology Center
From: Ken Peoples [mailto:lvtakp(--nospam--at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 10:33 AM
Subject: field welding inspection
I would like to know what to specify for
inspecting/testing welds for an industrial building
project. I have an older copy of Masterspec that says
that AISC and AWS do not make any specific
recommendations regarding the frequency of inspection
or method of testing for welded connections. Does
anyone know if this is still the case. Is there any
kind of rules of thumb out there? Someone told me to
do the following:
1. visually inspect all welds
2. magnetic particle inspection of about 10% of field
applied fillet welds (do more testing if problems are
3. ultrasonic inspection of all full penetration field
welds. (is this excessive?)
Does this make sense? Is this too much or too little?
Shouldn't there be some testing of shop full pen
As always, thanks in advance for your help
Ken Peoples, P. E.
Lehigh Valley Technical Associates
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