What Is ASME-Code Welding?

When you need a boiler pipe or other pipe welded, you may see potential welders claim that their services are up to ASME code standards. What is ASME and why is code-compliant welding important? Here are some answers.

ASME Is a Premier Membership Organization

Leaders of industry, construction, and fabrication have founded well-regarded non-profit societies to promote their trades and share knowledge. Skilled-trade-related societies establish standards of best practices within their spheres of influence.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is an important membership organization that was formed in 1880 to address key engineering challenges for industries. ASME develops, maintains, and publishes over 500 standards relating to a wide variety of subjects including cranes, piping, hand tools, and power-plant operation.

The word standard is another term for code. A standard consists of technical definitions and guidelines for various types of projects. Instructions for best practices are included in ASME standards.

Codes, or standards, help define proper procedures for:

  • Designers
  • Manufacturers
  • Installers
  • Inspectors
  • Operators
  • Maintenance staff

Standards may be several paragraphs long or hundreds of pages long depending on the complexity of the subject matter.

ASME Is a Top Standard Developer of Boiler Welding Procedures

ASME is not the only developer of welding standards for boilers and other industrial infrastructure. Several other trade organizations and industry-related societies publish their own standards.

However, ASME welding standards are generally considered superior to most other welding codes. The American Welding Society (AWS) is another well-regarded standard developer, but their welding certification process differs in several ways from ASME welding certification procedures

While codes including D1.1. from the AWS address fabrication, erection, inspection, welding procedure certification, and welder certification, ASME Section IX pertains only to welder and welding procedure certification.

Fabrication and other aspects of welding are covered by other sections of ASME code. Separate standards means increased training and testing for each step of welding work rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to welding projects.

Another difference between ASME and AWS welding standards are the tables of materials covered under welding process specifications. AWS standards deal with welding procedures for structural steel, petroleum pipelines, chemical refineries, and sheet metal.

However, standards for the manufacture of boilers and pressure vessels are some of ASME’s most well-respected and longstanding product-certification programs.

AWS welding process specifications require the use of precisely specified materials, while ASME does not. To use a material not listed in the AWS tables, a written procedure-qualification record must be provided and special testing of the material must be performed.

Welders have fewer restrictions on the sizes and strengths of materials under ASME standards. Unusual or custom pipe-welding materials can be welded to ASME standards without ponderous processes to prequalify the welding procedures.

ASME Testing Ensures Welders Meet Procedure Qualifications

Welding standards help welders and welding-equipment suppliers develop skilled welding techniques, safe welding processes, adequate material management, and better welding equipment. Certified welders must meet stringent qualifications to produce ASME-standard-compliant welds.

All welders who want to be ASME-qualified prove that they can meet welding procedure specifications. If they’re fabricating pipe, they must pass additional qualification tests.

Welding trainees must attend accredited welding schools to show they can meet ASME standards for welding procedures. The results of ASME-accredited training are welded pipes and boilers that are safe and able to sustain high pressures in a variety of environments.

Choose ASME code-compliant welding companies for all of your boiler projects. ASME-certified businesses provide well-researched and well-tested welding procedures for all of your boiler pipe and other pipe needs.

Ensure your industrial process piping or boiler installation project in the Quad Cities region is safe and up to code by contacting Ragan Mechanical today. We offer ASME code-compliant welding for residential, industrial, and commercial clients throughout Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

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