For cross country pipeline welding in Canada, welding procedures shall be qualified in accordance with the requirements of CSA Z662 Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems. For pipeline facility and fabrication welding on systems designed in accordance with CSA Z662 or ASME B31.4, welding procedures qualified in accordance with the requirements of ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code Section IX are permitted and generally preferred.
Welding procedures qualified in accordance with ASME IX provide advantages for pipeline facility and fabrication applications as a result of the flexibility achieved through the larger essential variable ranges. The resulting welding procedures have broader coverage on material thickness, diameter, joint configuration and welding positions. Similarly, ASME IX is more flexible on welder performance qualification requirements and accordingly a welder will have wider range of performance qualifications. When applied correctly, the use of ASME IX welding procedures often means significantly fewer welding procedures and welder performance qualifications are required for a given scope of work.
Even though ASME IX qualified welding procedures have been widely used in pipeline facility and fabrication welding, it is not well understood on how to qualify the welding procedures in accordance with ASME IX and meet the additional requirements of the governing code or standard such as CSA Z662 in Canada. One significant consideration is that ASME IX refers to the construction code for the applicability of notch toughness requirements for welding procedure qualification, yet CSA Z662 and ASME B31.4 are both silent on notch toughness requirements for welding procedure qualification.
This paper explains one preferred method to establish and develop an effective ASME IX welding procedure qualification program for pipeline facility and fabrication welding while ensuring suitability for use and appropriate notch toughness requirements. The paper discusses topics such as base material selection, welding process, welding consumable consideration and weld test acceptance criteria.