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ASME V Radiology Introduction

By Carlos Molina

This time we are going to check radiographic testing for welds in new tanks, an introduction. The BOK for the API 653 exam says:

2. Radiographic Examination:

The inspector should be familiar with and understand:

1. The Scope of Article 2 and general requirements [of ASME V].

2. The rules for radiography as typically applied on butt welded AST horizontal and vertical seams such as, but not limited to:

required marking type.


number, and placement of IQIs.

allowable density control of backscatter radiation

location markers

3. Records

I will try to simplify this subject as much as posible for the people who is studying for the API 653 exam. Keep reading


By Carlos F Molina

Today´s artice is about hydrostatic testing in tanks. In my workplace, it became a common ocurrence for the people to say that “the hydrostatic test in a tank is just a tightness test”. Some gals say that “the most important thing to do with hydrostatic testing is settlement measurement”. This illustrates that not everybody understands hydrostatic testing fully.

In this article, we will see how the hydrostatic test is made for various types of tanks and which parts of a tank are evaluated with an hydrostatic test. Keep reading


To professionals all around the industry, I am here to present you a problem. We have  shortage of personnel for our industry. The average age of a welder in the USA is 55; the wave of coming retirements will leave manufacturers at a disadvantage. The American Welding Society estimates that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 290,000 professionals, including inspectors, engineers, and teachers. “We’re dealing with a lost generation”, they say (link)

As of now, I am taking steps to promote the API´S Indiviual Certification Program more. In November 2013, API had granted 28725 certifications of its Individual certification Program worldwide. In April 2015, that number had grown to 34961. API increased certifications from 11 to 13.. As you can see, interest in API certifications is growing at a steady pace.

That´s why we have this guest post Matt Smith, Creator of Water Welders, specifically tailored for Underwater welders

Most commercial divers are quite familiar with organizations like the IMCA )International Marine Contractors Association), HSE, ADC and IDSA (International Diving Schools Association). As a professional diver, you’ve already earned your commercial diving certificate and can operate in open water.

But you’re also subject to major employment competition. Welding is one area that many divers aren’t adept in.


Picture taken from the Tanker Loader Unit TLU in Coveñas, Colombia

Big Movers: Inspection & Welding Certification Organizations

To operate at a high level in the construction industry in the Gulf, I recommend gaining certification through the American Welding Society (AWS) and American Petroleum Institute (API). The British Standard uses welding equivalency certifications for our UK friends.

Divers may perform underwater hyperbaric and wet welding on oil rigs and offshore vessels. The AWS manual 3.6 offers training in multiple classes of underwater welds.

API’s Influence in Your Career

The API has a major voice in construction safety, standardization and job growth. Because underwater welders in the offshore industry don’t work year around, it’s beneficial to have other certifications besides diving so that you can find construction work.

API certifications allow for this.

Underwater Welders: API Certifications

The API also offers multiple certifications for welders, inspectors and metallurgy professionals. I recommend these certifications as most beneficial to a commercial diver and underwater welder:

  • API 570 – Piping Inspector
  • API 1169 – Pipeline Inspector
  • API 1104
  • API TES – Tank Entry Supervisor
  • API 571 – Corrosion and Materials Professional
  • API 577 – Welding Inspection and Metallurgy Professional
  • API 580 – Risk Based Inspection Professional
  • CSWIP  Demand for CSWIP underwater courses continues to expand worldwide

Cotecmar´s ship elevator in Cartagena, Colombia

How to Earn Certs

Employers – both inland and offshore – look for divers with these qualifications. Inspections are routine throughout the maritime industry, along pipelines, tanks and hulls. You can earn certification by taking the following steps:

  1. Selecting your program
  2. Applying for the certification
  3. Finding testing center near you

Upon earning certification, you’ll need to maintain and practice your skill. You may do this as an apprentice under another qualified individual with the same certification.

Written by Matt Smith, Creator of Water Welders. Water Welders exists to educate, train and resource prospective and current underwater welders, focusing on all aspects of commercial diving and welding.

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By Carlos F Molina

Hi. This is the final installment of these series of articles containing the 27 variables that a SMAW WPS should contain (other proccesses have different essential variables). Here we will consider variables 19 to 27 that should be given a value in a WPS, according to ASME IX. This is written for the basic level, for the person that is studying for the API 653 exam. Keep reading


The variables on a WPS (Part 2)

By Carlos F Molina

Hi again. I hope you have found my last post useful. Here is the continuation of it: variables 13 to 18 that should be given a value in a WPS, according to ASME IX.


wps smaw positions

13. QW-405.1 The addition of other welding positions than those already qualified. see QW-120, QW-130, QW-203, and Qw-303.

A common mistake made by beginners is to think that the position chosen for procedure qualification limits the position of the production weld. In fact, qualifying a procedure in any welding position approves all positions providing no impact tests are required. Weld position is a non-essential variable.

Keep reading


The variables on a WPS (Part 1)

By Carlos F Molina

Hi again, dear readers. I am greeting you after a long hiatus in my writing, in relation with my work, the caring after my baby boy and my health. Anyway, I am back again and today I will be writing further about  ASME IX, for you to better understand WPSs and PQRs. Remember, my post are oriented for the people that will take the API 653 certification exam. Keep reading


Introduction to ASME IX

By Carlos F Molina

One of the content areas that worked out best for me during my exam three years ago was welding. In the time I presented the exam, the number of questions was different from nowadays. From a total of 16 questions about welding, I got 15 right (nowadays they ask only 8). It helped me a lot knowing about welding.

The body of knowledge gives a broad guide of what will appear in the exam related to welding. It says the following:

The inspector should have the knowledge and skills required to review a Procedure Qualification Record and a Welding Procedure Specification or to answer questions requiring the same level of knowledge and skill. Questions covering the specific rules of Section IX will be limited in complexity and scope to the SMAW and SAW welding processes.
1. Questions will be based on:
a) No more than one process
b) Filler metals limited to one
c) Essential, non-essential, variables only will be covered
d) Number, type, and results of mechanical tests
e) Base metals limited to P1
f) Additional essential variables required by API-650 or API-653
2. The following are specifically excluded:
a) Dissimilar base metal joints
b) Supplemental powdered filler metals and consumable inserts
c) Special weld processes such as corrosion-resistant weld metal overlay, hard-facing overlay, and dissimilar
metal welds with buttering
d) Charpy impact requirements and supplementary essential variables
e) Any PQR and WPS included on the examination will not include heat treatment requirements.

As you can see, some of the questions are based on ASME IX. With this in mind, I decide to put on some articles on successfully reading and reviewing a WPS and a WPQ. Let´s check an introduction. Keep reading


By Carlos Molina

Pitting is almost a common denominator of all types of localized corrosion. In fact, pitting in tanks can be a consequence of CUI (Corosion under Insulation), MIC (Microbiologically induced corrosion), Soil corrosion, Sour water corrosion, etc, all damage mechanisms mentioned in the BOK for the API 653 exam.

Having this in mind, how can we evaluate shell pitting in tanks? Please keep reading, as the explanation in the API 653 is very short.

Keep reading

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By Carlos Molina.

Any time that a tank construction project is about to begin, there is this critical part of the trade that is welder´s qualification. Strict control of welders and their qualifications, as the welding procedure specifications, is needed to ensure traceability of your welded joints, for integrity purposes. This webpage usually speaks about the API 653 examination, but today we are talking a little about welders qualifications based on ASME IX. (I assume my readers to know something about welding) Keep reading

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By Carlos F Molina


What we are going to do is to dissect the diagram in FIG. 4.1 of API653 until we truly understand it. and there will be no way we fail any of the questions related to this in the exam. First of all we are going to see the following diagram.


Look at the vertical sections drawn in the picture. Remember that hoop stresses (stresses that are tangential to the shell of the tank) are higher in vertical planes than in horizontal planes. Keep reading