Arc Welding 101: Short-circuit MIG not prequalified in AWS D1.1? No problem …

Practical Welding Today January/February 2014
April 21, 2014
By: Paul Cameron

Q: The company I work for welds with GMAW-S, and all of the weld procedure specifications (WPS) that we have are from prequalified AWS D1.1 welds. When I look in D1.1, I find that GMAW-S is not a prequalified transfer mode. Are all of our WPSs null? If I understand D1.1 correctly, we would need to have a procedure qualification record (PQR) for all of our WPSs because they are GMAW-S. Is this correct?


A: This is a great question! The short answer is yes, but I should clarify what I mean. When you mention GMAW-S, you are referring to short-circuit transfer mode (see AWS D1.1 Annex K, “Terms and Definitions”). You are right to note that GMAW-S use is widespread. You are also correct that GMAW-S is not a prequalified process per AWS D1.1. So what’s up with that?

AWS D1.1 is the Structural Welding Code—Steel. Its intent is that it is to be used for materials that are 1/8 inch or thicker. The concern by those who determine the requirements for prequalified procedures is that the short-circuit transfer mode has the potential to generate a lack of fusion. It has been my experience—after running hundreds of PQRs— that this lack of fusion becomes consistent in material thicknesses greater than 3/16-in. or in certain positions and progressions.

That’s not to say GMAW-S cannot be used with a prequalified procedure. AWS D1.3 is the Structural Welding Code—Sheet Steel. Its intent is for GMAW-S to be used with material 3/16-in. thick or less. Clause 3 of AWS-D1.3 details the requirements for developing prequalified weld procedures using short-circuit transfer.

AWS D1.1, Clause 1.2, “Limitations,” encourages the use of D1.3 on materials that are 3/16 in. thick or less. So using prequalified procedures for short-circuit transfer is possible; it simply has to be done to a different structural welding code.

Paul Cameron

Braun Intertec
4210 Highway 14 East
Rochester, MN 55904

Published In...

Practical Welding Today

Practical Welding Today

Practical Welding Today was created to fill a void in the industry for hands-on information, real-world applications, and down-to-earth advice for welders. No other welding magazine fills the need for this kind of practical information.

Preview the Digital Edition

Subscribe to Practical Welding Today

Read more from this issue