Use of alternative Standards

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Question:

Versions of AS 2885.2 prior to 2020 allowed weld procedure qualification of AS 2885.1 pipeline assemblies to alternative standards (such as ASME IX). Is this still allowed? If not, what is the reason?

Answer:

The qualification requirements for pipeline assemblies were tightened in the 2020 version of AS 2885.2. If the pipeline assembly is designed to AS 2885.1 then it must be welded using a procedure qualified to AS 2885.2. If it is designed to an alternative standard such as AS 4041 or ASME 31.3, then it can be welded using a procedure qualified to AS 3992 or ASME IX respectively, as long as the fracture testing requirements are met, material yield strength < 450 MPa and the WPS is approved by a Welding Engineer. The detailed requirements can be found in section 6.4.3.

When standards are written in parts, each of the parts needs to be used in conjunction with the other parts. This is the case with the AS 2885 series. In particular, Part 2 is written specifically considering the requirements of Part 1. ASME B31.3 has different design approaches, material requirements, NDT requirements etc. compared to AS 2885. Similarly ASME IX is written to meet the requirements of various standards including ASME B31.3 but does not meet all of the requirements of AS 2885.1. Therefore it is not appropriate to mix these standards

Previous to the 2020 version of AS 2885.2, qualification to alternative standards was allowed, such as ASME IX. This created many issues such as fracture control, NDT acceptance criteria, NDT methods, qualification ranges etc. and with improper application could result in welded joints that are not fit for purpose.


More broadly, see also Clause 1.6.3 of AS 2885 Part 0 which deals with use of other Standards. It requires that where some other Standard is permitted by AS 2885 then that other Standard shall be used in full. This reflects the important principle is that it is not acceptable to pick and choose requirements from different Standards to avoid the possibility of inconsistencies or omissions.