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Thread: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

  1. #1
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    AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    We have a new prospective client that does maintenance and customization of aircraft. They have a lot of machining and fabrication capability, but no serious welding department. So we are hoping to become their go to guys for welding. Our business is still just my partner and myself, so we have low enough overhead to take on smaller jobs and still benefit from them. I personally am quite strong with TIG, which is almost exclusively what we will be doing for them. But I will need to get an AWS D17.1 certification (fusion welding for aerospace applications). This seems to be one of the most demanding standards I have ever seen, everything Class A and B goes for NDT. So my question is if anybody on here has ever certified to this standard or something similar. And if there are any keys to prepping for such high grade welding, especially thin aluminum.

    I have a pretty good idea how we are going to approach this type of welding. We have already spoken with some industry professionals. But with the safety risk associated, and high cost of NDT. I want to make sure that we develop a procedure that incorporates all best practices. Input or experience from any highly demanding (X-rayed) welding would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank-you.

  2. #2
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    I don't really know a lot about Alu tig practises and what you're looking for is well over my head, but I do snoop around on the net occasionally. I ran across this site last year:

    http://www.weldreality.com/discussion/

    This site deals mainly with mig, but Ed is a very knowledgeable guy on large scale and production welding and consults to industry throughout the world, as you will see on the site, maybe he can point you in the direction you need to look. I also clicked through to the "Tip Tig" site, an interesting new twist on Tig welders, this too may interest you. I hope that this info can help lead you to where you need to get to.

    http://www.tiptigusa.com/



    When a welder tells you to "stick it", what do they really mean?

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

  3. #3
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    Welcome!

    Where are you located?

    I assume you possess a copy of AWS D17.1? Did you purchase the AWS "Guidelines for alum welding"? You say alum tig is a strong point of yours. In what alloys, and what thicknesses, and what shapes?

    Is you tig welder analog or digital, and is it calibrate-able? Boeing is pretty strict in that regard.

    Please post some pictures of your work for evaluation.
    Last edited by shovelon; 10-02-2014 at 12:30 AM.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  4. #4
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    I hold the aws 17.1 cert, stainless, carbon steel and alum. It really focuses on sound techniques and basic welding principals. I had to pass bend tests and x ray. Shovelon has some good points and questions above... I did everything on a calibrated and verified dynasty 350lx.

    Depending where you are you could take a course for was 17.1 along with the test.
    AWS 17.1, D1.1 and ASME IX (GTAW)
    Miller Syncrowave 350LX, Maxstar 150sth, Maxstar 200DX and Millermatic 252 w/ Spoolmatic 30a
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  5. #5
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    Sounds like a tough cert. And hopefully that's your biggest hurdle. Hopefully, you can slide under your clients ins policy. Not trying to discourage you, but it would be a heartbreaker to get through all that, and someone(s) want to be named on your multi mil $ ins. It may be why the machine shop don't weld. There may be a clause in there policy not allowing it. Underwriters don't like fire and hot things. But then again, it's amazing how some of the most obvious and important things at big companies get overlooked.

  6. #6
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    I too am seeking my D17.1 certs in aluminum and chromoly. I am interested in what members here say about this standard. I do occasional welding on fuselages welding both 4130 and 1025. I still need to purchase a copy of the standard.
    -Jonathan

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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    Quote Originally Posted by Superior Welding View Post
    I too am seeking my D17.1 certs in aluminum and chromoly. I am interested in what members here say about this standard. I do occasional welding on fuselages welding both 4130 and 1025. I still need to purchase a copy of the standard.
    -Jonathan
    Luckily AWS D17.1 covers all of the aerospace alloys in one volume.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

  8. #8
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    Thanks for the support everybody.

    Ill have a look at those forums soon bearston, thanks.

    Shovelon, I am located in Ottawa, ON, Canada. I do have a copy of the standard itself, but not the guideline that you mentioned.

    As for my TIG experience, I do a lot of stainless sheet, tube, and pipe now. But have worked on a fair bit of aluminum, mostly 6061. The most demanding was at a shop I used to work at, for seats that were to go in the Stryker light armoured vehicles. We had to do a destructive test every day at the start of our shift. But It was fairly thick material, mostly .25"+. At the same shop we did a lot of aluminum electronics cabinets, boxes, etc. which could get quite thin, down to .030" but it wasn't certified stuff. All of that was mostly sheet/plate, but also tubing as well.

    I don't have much for pictures, but I think I have a couple. I'll post those soon to show a little bit of what I've done.

    I've got a Dynasty 200DX, so digital. But I don't have experience with celebrated machines.

    Also I should mention that most of the aircraft parts I will be welding will be repair work. I would imagine if it was new manufacturing there would be more set procedures I could use. If this goes well hopefully we could get into that in the future as well.

  9. #9
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    Ok, so do you have the 2010 revision of AWS D17.1? Page 17, figure 5.6 gives you the plate configurations. Page 18 gives you the fillet configuration. You need to figure out which thickness you want to use. Before starting you need to write a procedure for each coupon, and stick to it, page 23. Keep the test reports for your metal and filler. Unfortunately AWS does not have a standard procedure to purchase.

    You will need to find an inspection facility that can handle the examinations. I have macro, tensile, penetrant, and radiograph close to me, which is invaluable. You can to the bend tests yourself if you have a competent third party verify and document. After you compile all of the reports, you could ask the third party to verify the package as well.

    I would still pick up a copy of the welding guidelines.

    Good luck and let us know how it progresses.
    Last edited by shovelon; 10-02-2014 at 06:06 PM.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

  10. #10
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    My father used to take all those tests regularly. And I know he made up copper jigs to hold the material, and act as a heat sink for the test. He did aero space welding for over 40 years.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick

  11. #11
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap.Weld.&.Fab.Co. View Post
    We have a new prospective client that does maintenance and customization of aircraft. They have a lot of machining and fabrication capability, but no serious welding department. So we are hoping to become their go to guys for welding. Our business is still just my partner and myself, so we have low enough overhead to take on smaller jobs and still benefit from them. I personally am quite strong with TIG, which is almost exclusively what we will be doing for them. But I will need to get an AWS D17.1 certification (fusion welding for aerospace applications). This seems to be one of the most demanding standards I have ever seen, everything Class A and B goes for NDT. So my question is if anybody on here has ever certified to this standard or something similar. And if there are any keys to prepping for such high grade welding, especially thin aluminum.
    I'm a few years late to this discussion, but if others are still looking to understand certification, hopefully these tips will help. Folks likely haven't replied to you because the path is not straighforward or easy. First, if you're running a business (Inc. or LLC.), you can internally qualify your welder. You'll need to set up a WPS (fig. 5.13) and PQR (fig. 5.14) for each weld test (also look at test record form fig. 5.1), have traceability certs for both the test material and the filler metal you're using (typical certs don't cut it), and have the NDT certs on file for the customer to inspect. Certification technically should be done through AWS if you're setting yourself up as an independent contractor to have portable certs (see http://www.aws.org/certification/pag...welder-program). Keep in mind internal qualifications are only good while working directly in that business. Questions re: maintenance and machining; are they manufacturing parts or repairing parts? Are there blueprints with material/weld specifications and weld callouts? Who is/are the Prime manufacturers? Is your prospective client an FAA repair station, or are they AS9100 or ISO? What class work will you be doing for the most part for them? (if you're regularly doing class B or A, keep in mind that a good NDT lab will be a critical relationship)

    Consider setting up a quality system (really, it will save your butt in the long run--you should have a documented process of everything you do); AS9100 and Nadcap are both starting places, as most places requiring D17.1 are ultimately beholden to one of the aerospace primes and they flow down quality system requirements to sub-tiers, not just first tier suppliers. We've gone the independent Nadcap shop route, and it is expensive but has a long term payout--it has allowed us to get access to work we'd otherwise never see. If you're looking to make shortcuts, you may lose out on the work long-term.

    As for aluminum, go with the recommended alloy for the group (6061), and get a really good aluminum cleaning reagent. We use Dynaflux Aluminum Cleaner (should be able to special order through Airgas or other suppliers). Make sure both the filler metal and the plates are super-clean. Never clean with muriatic acid--you'll introduce hydrogen inclusions and will never pass x-ray (we only know this because of bad advice from a CWI).

    Look over Table 5.3 (p.12 in D17.1/D17-1M:2010) and read all of the footnotes over very carefully. Also read over 5.3.3.1 (Qualified thickness range). Determine from the prints what thickness range you will need (your test plate needs to cover the range: .67t - 4t, where t is the test plate thickness), and understand that if you go below .063" in material thickness (the actual material you're welding is <.042), you will have to test for both groove and fillet tests. If you're looking for fillet coverage and don't want to have to pay for destructive testing of the fillet, make sure your thickness range is >.063 (but if you're welding really thin aluminum, you may not have a choice).

    I have a pretty good idea how we are going to approach this type of welding. We have already spoken with some industry professionals. But with the safety risk associated, and high cost of NDT. I want to make sure that we develop a procedure that incorporates all best practices. Input or experience from any highly demanding (X-rayed) welding would be greatly appreciated.
    It isn't an easy read, but read the whole 2010 D17.1. It's a merging of MIL-STD-1595A and MIL-STD-2219A, and they've definitely improved on the 2001 rev.

  12. #12
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    Re: AWS D17.1 aerospace certification

    Good breakdown AIMZ!

    Googling up free downloads of Mil-Std-1595A and Mil-Std-2219 and mastering these super easy specs will make deciphering AWS D17. 1 a whole lot easier.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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