Richard L. Holdren

Principal Welding Engineer – Welding Consultants, LLC.

Biography & Abstract

Mr. Holdren is a 1973 graduate of The Ohio State University in Welding Engineering.  He currently serves as President/Principal Welding Engineer of Welding Consultants LLC in Columbus, Ohio and Senior Welding Engineer of ARC Specialties Technical Services in Houston, TX.  Mr. Holdren is a registered PE in Welding in the State of Ohio.  Additionally, he is qualified as an IIW International Welding Engineer, an AWS Certified Welding Engineer, an AWS Senior Certified Welding Inspector, and an ASNT Level III. 

He has published numerous papers related to welding and welding inspection technology.  Mr. Holdren has been actively involved as a volunteer on numerous AWS technical, education, and certification committees for more than 40 years.  He currently serves as Director-at-Large on the AWS Board of Directors and is AWS Vice President-elect.

The Art and Science of Welding Procedure Qualification for H2S Applications

Welding procedure qualification in accordance with ASME Section IX is a relatively routine activity for most welding engineers.  However, when faced with qualification of welding procedures to meet the stringent requirements for applications where the welded components will be exposed to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) service.  Even brief exposure to H2S can result in catastrophic failures.  Consequently, whether qualifying corrosion-resistant overlays (CROs) or joining steels (strength welds) for these applications, the qualification activity becomes much more involved and expensive.  Consequently, careful planning is a necessity.

In addition to the requirements of ASME Section IX, qualification and the limits of that qualification are also dependent on requirements of applicable API standards and NACE MR0175.  But it doesn’t end there — a supplier also has to comply with the additional limitations imposed by the various OEMs.  So, there exists a risk that a procedure may be qualified to satisfy one OEM, but that doesn’t mean that it will satisfy others.

Success cannot be guaranteed, but careful planning, selection of welding parameters, control of the welding process, and attention to detail such as weld bead placement are all critical.  The manner in which the testing is performed can also have an effect.

It is hoped that this presentation will help you understand the complexity of this qualification activity and be able to navigate through the minefield to successfully qualify welding procedures for these applications.