Welder Qualification Test (Performance Qualification)

Welder Performance qualification (WPQ) is also known as welder qualification test (WQT) or Performance qualification test. Welder qualification test is a very basic and most important step before assigning the job to a welder. The welder qualification test (WQT) is done to determine whether the welder or the welding operator can produce a sound weld or not. Each welder or welding operator shall be qualified for each welding process to be used in production (or fabrication) welding. The welder is required to weld a test coupon in accordance with the qualified welding procedure specification (WPS), the test coupon is then send for Radiography test or Mechanical test (as per the requirements of the applicable code). After satisfactory test report the welder may be employed for the production welding (or fabrication welding). Following important factors shall always be considered before conducting the welder qualification test (WQT);

  • Welding Procedure Specification (WPS)
  • Welding Process
  • Size of test coupon
  • Position of the test coupon

Welding Procedure Specification: All the welding parameters viz. welding current, voltage, base metal, filler/electrode etc. shall be in accordance with the qualified welding procedure specification.

Welding Process: For each welding process a welder has to be qualified separately. Suppose if a welder qualifies for SMAW then he shall be employed only for SMAW welding. In case if our requirement is MIG welding then the same welder will have to weld a different test coupon by MIG welding process then only he can be allowed for MIG welding.

Size of the test coupon: Size of the test coupon is very important because of two things:

  1. It determines the performance qualification thickness limits i.e. upto what thickness the welder can weld. For example, if a welder qualifies with a 10” thickness plate then he can weld upto a maximum of 20” thickness (as per AWS D1.1). Two very widely used welding codes are AWS D1.1 and ASME BPVC Section IX. In ASME BPVC Section IX the performance qualification thickness limit for groove weld is given in ASME BPVC 2017 edition, Table QW452.1(b) and outside diameter range for groove weld is given in ASME BPVC 2017 edition, Table QW452.3

  2. Length and width of the test coupon shall be sufficient enough for the final test (i.e. Radiography or Mechanical test).

A brief summary of qualified thickness limit for groove welding (as per ASME BPVC Section IX, 2017 edition) is given below;

Thickness limit for welder qualification test

A brief summary of qualified diameter limit for groove weld in pipe (as per ASME BPVC Section IX, 2017 edition) is given below;Diameter limit for welder qualification test

Position of the test coupon: For plate welding we have four different positions such as 1G,2G,3G,4G OR 1F,2F,3F,4F. For pipe welding also we have multiple positions for example 1G,2G,5G,6G OR 1F,2F,4F,5F. If the welder qualifies in 2G position then he can weld horizontal and flat welding only. On the other hand if the welder qualifies in 2G, 3G and 4G positions then he qualifies for all positions (As per ASME Section IX). Please note that there is a slight difference in AWS D1.1, for qualification in all position the welder needs to weld in 3G and 4G positions only. For Limitation of positions for welder qualification test (WQT), one can refer Table QW 461.9 of ASME Section IX, 2017 edition. To learn more about welding positions, please click here.

In addition to the above factors some more points shall be taken care of during welder qualification test (WQT):

  1. Preheating and post heating shall be as per the Welding Procedure Specification. The temperature shall be checked before starting the welding. To check the temperature one can use Pyrometer or Temperature chalk.
  2. Voltage and Amperage shall be maintained strictly as per the WPS, during the welder qualification test (WQT). To check the Voltage and Amperage we can use a Clamp meter.
  3. The Root run may be checked visually (or by using Dye Penetrent Test). If the welder qualifies the root run then only he can be permitted for further welding

After satisfactory radiography (or Mechanical test) report of the test coupon, A certificate and an Identity card shall be issued to the welder and the welder shall keep the Identity card with him and he shall show his Identity card if asked by the welding Inspector.

Also read: Welding Symbols

Also read: Welding Positions

Also read: How to write a welding procedure specification (WPS)

Also read: P-number, F-number and A-number in welding

Please watch the below video for a live demonstration of Welder performance test.

14 thoughts on “Welder Qualification Test (Performance Qualification)

    1. Dear Mr. Sandro,
      Thank you for visiting my website. I am sorry to say that I don’t have ASNT RT questions and answers 3rd edition, but I do have some useful study materials and questions for RT. If you are interested then I will email you. All the books are in English only
      Sandeep Anand

  1. Thanks Mr sandeep to share this very important and basic information. Matter to us. People must be know that those who have been working in relevant field .

  2. My name- anil kumar sharma
    Study from C.I.T.S kanpur
    Sir nowadays, the question of multi choice question type in welding is being asked, so you have created a little multi-choice question that is coming in computation and exam.

  3. Dear sir please explain in brief PQR,WPS,WPQ
    Also if you know about post heatong and pre heating, post weldingand heat treatment please explain.

  4. Hello sandip sir, your videos and website so is useful for us, I watched your every video and I gain to much knowledge from here, I am so grateful to you. Thanking you to provide this useful information. Sir I Want to know about pwht, please help me and i kindly request to make another video on this topic.

  5. Sir,
    I want to know what thickness qualifications can make me unlimited qualified?
    For different materials should I need to go for individual material qualifications test?
    Please advise.
    Thank you.

  6. I need to know whether if two welders are performing for wqt eg 14″, one welder is passed and other one rejected by RT.
    1. then we can accept the passed one?
    2. what about the rejected one?
    3. give ur comments as per code and sec vice.

    thanks in advance

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