Arc Welding 101: When to use updated AWS D1.1

Practical Welding Today September/October 2010
June 2, 2014
By: Paul Cameron

Q: I currently use the AWS D1.1-2006 edition and was wondering if I should get the 2010 edition.

Dan C.

A: Take a look at Section 4.2.1 of your D1.1-06 edition, referred to as “Clause” in later editions. It states, “The use of earlier editions shall be prohibited for new qualifications … ”

A lot of us have old versions of welding references that we use from time to time to answer welding questions. If you’re using your D1.1-06 as a reference, that should be fine. I use a 2004 edition often for reference because it’s a searchable PDF. It gets me where I need to be quickly. Once there, I’ll back up what I’ve found with the current revision. That works for me, but only with D1.1.

If you’re making welding decisions for someone under a contract, most likely you will need to upgrade. Somewhere in the contract documents, often right on the design prints, the code of record is mentioned. All of your answers need to come out of this code. If you are developing new weld procedures or qualifying welders, doing so required you to use the latest revision.

I just did a quick scan of my codes and standards library and count 60+ documents. Purchasing all of those can be pricey. Some are the latest revision, others are old, well-used, and being held for sentimental reasons (Sigh: Remember that Beloit project? Shimmyin’ along 20-in. Sch. 80 pipe, 30 ft. up, in 24-degree temperatures in the rain. Those were the days … ) I’ve been able to build that library by asking those I contract with to supply me with a nonpirated copy of the referenced code. Having the correct revision is critical to ensuring you’ve made the right call. Today all my most referenced codes and standards are stored on a memory stick. Having what is needed to make the decision at the job site is as close as my car keys.

Technical committees review codes on a regular basis. At regular intervals these groups come together to address suggested changes, sharing their experiences and knowledge and hammering out that next revision.

In the past, D1.1 was revised every two years. Starting in 2010 those revisions will be on a five-year cycle (pocket books rejoice). So this is a good time to be replacing that old code.

Many of us keep an old code revision around that we use as a reference from time to time, but if your customers understand that “Welding shall comply with the latest revision of AWS D1.1—Structural Welding Code—Steel,” or if you are currently qualifying welders or procedures to D1.1, then you’re going to need an update.

Paul Cameron

Braun Intertec
4210 Highway 14 East
Rochester, MN 55904

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