Unlocking the Key to Safe and Quality Welding: An Overview of CSA Standard W47.1

CSA Standard W47.1 is a critical standard in the field of welding and fabrication. This standard is developed by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and is used to regulate welding procedures, qualifications, and certifications in Canada.

Welding is an important aspect of many industries, including construction, automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding, and ensuring that welding work is done safely and up to industry standards is crucial.

This article will provide an overview of CSA Standard W47.1, including its purpose, scope, and requirements.

We will discuss the different types of welding covered by the standard, the qualifications and certifications required for welders and welding inspectors, and the procedures that must be followed for welding work to meet the standard.

Additionally, we will explore the benefits of complying with CSA Standard W47.1, such as improved safety, quality, and reliability in welding work.

Whether you are a welding professional, an employer, or a customer looking for welding services, understanding CSA Standard W47.1 is essential for ensuring that welding work is done to the highest standards of quality and safety.

CSA Standard W47.1

CSA Standard W47.1: General

The CSA W47.1 Standard has become the primary code for structural welding qualifications in Canada, outlining necessary personnel and condition requirements for certification.

The unique concept of company certification under W47.1 has been adopted not only by Canada’s welding industry but also by other countries worldwide, with the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) administering the program.

Compliance with CSA W47.1 is mandatory in Canada, as it is mandated by various CSA Design Standards and National and Provincial Building Codes for buildings, bridges, and other major governing design specifications.

For instance, CSA S16-01, Limit States Design of Steel Structures, emphasizes the importance of certification to the W47.1 Standard in its introduction.

Company Certification to CSA Standard W47.1

To achieve CSA W47.1 certification status, a candidate company must follow a specific set of procedural steps. These steps are briefly explained below to give an overview of the certification process.

Applying for the Certification: Application

According to W47.1, a formal application for certification must be submitted by each company to the Bureau and signed by the CEO. The application is specific to the plant or site identified in the application.

The company must also indicate which division it wishes to be certified under, which includes Division 1 (requiring a full-time welding engineer), Division 2 (requiring a part-time welding engineer), and Division 3 (not requiring a welding engineer).

However, it is important to note that all divisions must employ a full-time qualified welding supervisor.

Designate Key Personnel by CEO

In order to comply with W47.1, the CEO must assign engineering, shop, field supervisory, and quality control personnel to their respective work areas and grant them the necessary authority to act on behalf of the company.

These designated individuals must be identified on a form signed by the CEO, indicating their responsibilities and areas of authority.

Curriculum vitae for the Welding Supervisors and Designated Welding Engineer

Welding Engineers are required to have a minimum of five years of welding-related experience.

If the engineer responsible is retained, he/she must report in writing to the Bureau on their effective participation in the company’s welding operations.

Certified companies (for all divisions) must have at least one full-time welding supervisor, who meets the criteria for work experience, including a minimum of five years of welding-related experience, thorough knowledge of the company’s welding procedures, ability to read drawings, interpret welding symbols, and knowledge of weld faults, quality control, and inspection methods.

For Engineering Personnel, each engineer must be a member of a professional engineering association and meet educational requirements, including academic background and tangible evidence of additional courses of study involving examinations on welding-related areas.

These additional courses of study would include subjects such as weldability of metals, fatigue and brittle fractures, welding procedures and practices, welded joints and connections, welding processes, equipment and materials, weld faults, and methods of control of quality.

Additionally, engineers must have knowledge of applicable welding codes and standards.

Provide list of Welding Equipments & QC system

The list of equipment will establish the welding scope of the company’s operations, and will aid the Bureau in evaluating the qualifications of designated welding personnel.

Provide a list of Welding Personnel

This roster pertains to welders, welding operators, and tack welders. Prior to the company’s certification approval, every individual in these positions must qualify for the welding process(es) and welding position(s) that they will be working in.

Provide list of Manufacturer Welding Standards

The company is responsible for developing a set of Welding Standards that includes Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) and related Welding Procedure Data Sheets (WPDS), which must be reviewed and approved by the Bureau.

The Bureau will accept welding procedures that use joints designated as prequalified in the relevant code and that meet the procedural requirements for the welding process.

Welding procedures that do not meet these conditions and lack sufficient testing data must undergo procedure qualification testing, as outlined in the W47.1 Standard. During testing, the Bureau’s representative will oversee the welding of the test assemblies.

Welder & Operator Performance Qualification

In accordance with W47.1, there are specific test assemblies for plate and pipe welding that must be passed for welder, welding operator, and tack welder qualification.

In some cases, non-standard test assemblies may be permitted if special welding conditions exist due to equipment or plant operations. The qualification process is determined by classification, welding process, mode of process application, and position of welding.

The qualification tests for all welding personnel shall be witnessed by the Bureau’s representative and a record showing each person’s welding qualification shall be issued.

It should be noted that the welding qualification is subject to special validating conditions and is only recognized while the welder/operator or tack welder is employed by a company certified under CSA W47.1. After certification, the company is required to report to the Bureau with the names and qualifications of all welding personnel, including tack welders, welders, and welding operators.

Welding Processes

CSA W47.1 covers a range of welding processes, including shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), metal cored arc welding (MCAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), electroslag welding (ESW), and electrogas welding (EGW).

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