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BSI

BRITISH STANDARD

Code of practice for

Welding on steel pipes


containing process
fluids or their residuals

ICS 25.160.10

BS 6990:1989
Including
Amendment No. 1 not
issued separately

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BSI

BS 6990:1989

This British Standard, having


been prepared under the
direction of the Welding
Standards Committee, was
published under the authority
of the Board of BSI and comes
into effect on
28 February 1989

Committees responsible for this


British Standard
The preparation of this British Standard was entrusted by the Welding
Standards Committee (WEE/-) to Technical Committee WEE/21, upon which
the following bodies were represented:
Associated Offices Technical Committee
British Gas plc
British Non-Ferrous Metals Federation
British Steel Industry
Electricity Supply Industry in England and Wales
Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association
Health and Safety Executive
Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association
Institute of Refrigeration
Institution of Gas Engineers
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Joint Industry Board for Plumbing Mechanical Engineering Services in
England and Wales
National Association of Plumbing, Heating and Mechanical Services
Contractors
Power Generation Association (BEAMA Ltd.)
Stainless Steel Fabricators Association of Great Britain
Tubes Investments Limited
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
Water Tube Boilermakers Association
Welding Institute
Welding Manufacturers Association (BEAMA Ltd.)
The following bodies were also represented in the drafting of the standard,
through subcommittees and panels:
Association of Consulting Engineers
British Institute of Non-destructive Testing
Department of Energy (Petroleum Engineering Division)
Institution of Production Engineers
Pipeline Industries Guild
United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association
Water Research Centre

BSI 04-1999
First published as DD 39,
July 1974
First published as BS 6990,
February 1989
The following BSI references
relate to the work on this
standard:
Committee reference WEE/21
Draft for comment 86/78728 DC
ISBN 0 580 16672 4

Amendments issued since publication


Amd. No.

Date of issue

Comments

9772

February 1998 Indicated by a sideline in the margin

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BS 6990:1989

Contents
Page
Committees responsible
Inside front cover
Foreword
ii
Section 1. General
1
Scope
1
2
Definitions
1
3
Information, items to be approved and items to be agreed and to
be documented
2
Section 2. Safety considerations
4
Legal requirements
4
5
Preliminary considerations
4
6
Factors affecting safety
4
Section 3. Welding
7
Pipe thickness, temperature and internal pressure
6
8
Pipe material
6
9
Fitting material
6
10 Welding equipment
6
11 Electrodes and filler metals
6
12 Shielding gases
7
13 Approval and testing of welding procedures
7
14 Approval and testing of welders
12
15 Preparation of pipe
12
16 Inspection of fittings
13
17 Fusion faces
13
18 Preparation for encirclement fitting
13
19 Preparation for set-on fitting
16
20 Alignment of flanged fittings
16
21 Working clearance
17
22 Stray arcs
17
23 Weather conditions
17
24 Preheating
17
25 Sequence of welding
17
26 Inter-run cleaning
18
27 Inspection
18
28 Non-destructive testing acceptance criteria
19
29 Rectification of welds
19
Figure 1 Typical fittings
3
Figure 2 Typical longitudinal weld preparation for fitting: dimensions
and tolerances
14
Figure 3 Attachment of run-on/run-off plates to backing material
15
Figure 4 Typical yoke-type clamp for encirclement tee fittings
16
Table 1 Welding procedure details
10
Table 2 Changes affecting procedure approval (essential variables)
11
Publications referred to
Inside back cover

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BS 6990:1989

ii

Foreword
This British Standard Code of Practice has been prepared under the direction of
the Welding Standards Committee. It is based on an up-dating of Draft for
Development DD 39 which is withdrawn. It reflects the latest knowledge in the
welding on steel pipelines and pipework which contain or have contained process
fluids or the residuals of such process fluids, and covers welding operations where
attachments are required and where it is not necessary or practical to
decommission and/or decontaminate the system.
This method of attachment is sometimes, but incorrectly, termed hot tapping.
Reference to current legislation is essential before any attempt to undertake work
of this nature, and to follow the details of this code.
Since the preparation of DD 39 in 1974 considerable experience has been gained
as the result of both on-shore and off-shore North Sea developments. To this
knowledge has been added the expertise gained in the process plant field,
resulting in an unified code which covers both spheres. Although new
developments and refinements can be expected to emerge in the future,
particularly with regard to off-shore exploration, the methods and
recommendations in this code are considered to reflect up to date knowledge and
sufficient experience of practical use to merit their adoption.
The up-dating has been extensive, covering practically every aspect of the
technical changes in materials, welding technology and non-destructive testing.
The main purpose of this code is to give general details for welding, testing and
acceptance criteria. Since the design, choice of materials and methods of
construction are not covered by this code, reference should be made to the
appropriate standards, such as CP 2010-2, BS 4515, BS 2633, BS 4677 and
BS 8010-1.
To ensure that the workmanship and welding follow the details of this code, it
would be normal for the contractor as well as the organization undertaking this
specialist work to have and employ a suitable quality control system such as is
recommended in BS EN ISO 9000.
Because of the wide range of pipelines and pipework and the products that can be
conveyed and the range of attachments that may be required, general guidance
has been given on some aspects. Specific details will be for agreement between the
contracting parties after due consideration of the prevailing service conditions.
The techniques and equipment described herein require extensive facilities and
specialist personnel and as such should not be attempted without such specialist
equipment and personnel.
The use of the words imperfection or flaw or other phrases containing the
words imperfection or flaw in this code is not intended to imply a defective
condition or any lack of integrity of the weld as it is known that all welds contain
certain features described as artefacts, flaws, imperfections or discontinuities.
The acceptance criteria have been based on the present technical analysis of the
various types, sizes, shapes and positions of these anomalies and on the
suitability of the whole weld for its specific service.
Pipe dimensions. Unless otherwise qualified, for the purposes of this code
nominal values of outside diameter and thickness of pipe apply.
It has been assumed in the drafting of this code that the execution of its
provisions is entrusted to appropriately qualified and experienced people.

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BS 6990:1989

A British Standard does not purport to include all the necessary provisions of a
contract. Users of British Standards are responsible for their correct application.
Compliance with a British Standard does not of itself confer immunity
from legal obligations. (See clause 4).

Summary of pages
This document comprises a front cover, an inside front cover, pages i to iv,
pages 1 to 20, an inside back cover and a back cover.
This standard has been updated (see copyright date) and may have had
amendments incorporated. This will be indicated in the amendment table on
the inside front cover.
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iii

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iv

blank

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BS 6990:1989

Section 1. General
1 Scope
This code covers operations relating to and
involving arc welding on ferritic steel and austenitic
stainless steel land or offshore pipelines and process
plant pipework which contain or have contained a
process fluid and which are at least 5 mm thick. It
gives details of procedures prior to, during and after
all these operations.
NOTE 1 Welding on pipes of thickness below 5 mm is not
covered by this code although it can be undertaken.

The code covers manual, semi-automatic and


mechanized arc welding by the following processes
or combination of processes:
a) manual metal-arc welding;
b) MIG/MAG welding;
c) TIG welding;
d) flux cored arc welding;
e) non-shielded welding.
It is essential that the items listed in clause 3 should
be fully documented and followed.
Welding operations needing post-weld heat
treatment for adequate weld quality are not within
the scope of this code.
This code is not applicable to a pipeline or pipework
that has been fully isolated and decontaminated or
has not been commissioned. These are covered by
other standards such as BS 2633, BS 4677 and
BS 4515.
This code does not relate to a pipeline or pipework
containing a process fluid or its residuals that will
become explosively unstable upon the application of
heat or will affect the pipe material by rendering it
susceptible to ignition, stress corrosion cracking or
embrittlement.
NOTE 2 The titles of the publications referred to in this code
are listed on the inside back cover.

2 Definitions
For the purposes of this code the definitions given in
BS 499-1 apply together with the following.

2.3
inspector
the body, association or employee that ensures that
the materials and construction are in accordance
with this code
2.4
statutory authority
the body or organization that, through the power
vested in it by Government Statute, regulates the
requirements with which particular pipelines or
pipework have to comply
NOTE One way in which such requirements may be
promulgated is by making reference to British Standards.

2.5
joint
the completed weld joining two sections of pipe, a
section of pipe to a fitting or two fittings
2.6
welding procedure*
a specific course of action followed in welding,
including a list of materials and, where necessary,
tools to be used
2.7
welding procedure test
the making and testing of a welded joint,
representative of that to be used on an actual job, in
order to prove the feasibility of a welding procedure
NOTE This term is not usually applied to any tests that may
have been made during the development of a welding procedure.

2.8
approved welding procedure
a documented welding procedure that has been
approved by an inspecting authority either by
means of a welding procedure test or as a result of
authentic documented experience gained with the
welding of joints similar to that to which the welding
procedure applies
2.9
welder*
the operator who performs the welding

NOTE Terms marked with an asterisk (*) are taken from


BS 499-1.

2.10
approved welder

2.1
employer

a welder who has demonstrated his ability to


produce welds meeting the details of this code

the owner of the pipeline or pipework

2.11
root run*

NOTE The employer may act through a consultant, an


inspector or other authorized representative.

2.2
contractor
the firm undertaking the contract and any
subcontractors engaged in work covered by this code

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the first run deposited in the root of a multi-run


weld
NOTE Also known as a stringer bead in vertical-down
welding.

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BS 6990:1989

2.12
positional welding
welding wherein the pipe or assembly is held
stationary
2.13
semi-automatic welding*
welding in which some of the welding variables are
automatically controlled, but manual guidance is
necessary
2.14
mechanized welding*
welding in which the welding parameters are
controlled mechanically or electronically and may
be manually varied during welding to maintain the
required welding conditions

3 Information, items to be approved


and items to be agreed and to be
documented
3.1 Information to be supplied by the employer
The following information to be supplied by the
employer should be fully documented and followed.
a) The location and identification of the pipeline
or pipework.
b) The type of process fluid and its temperature,
pressure and flow rate. (See also 5.3 and 5.8.)
c) The composition of the pipe material if known.
d) The type of fitting to be used and its position on
the pipe.
NOTE

Typical fittings are shown in Figure 1.

e) Whether batch testing of electrodes and filler


metals is required (see 11.1).
f) The interval before testing the test welds if
other than 24 h [see 13.2 4) ii)].
g) The period for which records of approved
welding procedures should be kept (see 13.3).
h) Whether prevailing weather conditions are
such that welding is not to be carried out
(see clause 23).

3.2 Items to be approved by the employer


The following items to be approved by the employer
should be fully documented and followed.
a) The minimum tensile strength of weld metal
for fillet welds when this need not be as high as
the minimum specified for the parent metal
[see 11.1 b)].
NOTE The agreement of the statutory authority may also be
required.

b) Electrodes and filler metals to be used


(see 11.1).
c) Documentation relating to welding procedure
approval (see 13.3).
d) Use of diameter and thickness grouping for
welding procedure approval [see 13.4 b)].
e) Use of a plate butt joint to simulate a
longitudinal butt weld for welding procedure
approval [see 13.4 c)].
f) The welding procedure used for repairing
defects in an encirclement fitting (see 18.1).
g) The thermal cutting method for making large
modifications to the radius of a set-on fitting
(see 19.1).
h) Repair or rejection of arc strikes
(see clause 22).
i) Non-destructive testing procedures (see 27.1).
j) Inspection personnel (see 27.1).
3.3 Items to be agreed
The following items to be agreed between the
contracting parties should be fully documented and
followed.
a) The minimum pipe thickness on which welding
is to be carried out when the conditions are other
than those detailed in clause 7 (see clause 7).
b) The specification of the material for a fitting
(see clause 9).
c) The definition of a batch when batch testing of
electrodes and filler metals is required (see 11.1).

NOTE This information may not be able to be supplied until


the appropriate stage of the work is reached.

i) The methods of non-destructive testing


(see 27.1, 27.3, 27.4 and 27.5) and the
Examination Level to be used when ultrasonic
examination in accordance with BS 3923-1 is to
be applied (see 27.5).

NOTE The agreement of the statutory authority may also be


required.

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BS 6990:1989

Figure 1 Typical fittings

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BS 6990:1989

Section 2. Safety considerations


4 Legal requirements
All persons involved in welding operations on steel
pipes have a duty to make themselves aware of all
current legislation relative to their industry.

5 Preliminary considerations

5.1 The application of heat to a pipe containing a


process fluid or a residue during preheating or
welding operations can be, potentially, very
hazardous. Flammable substances may explode,
toxic materials may escape and some chemicals
when heated may react with the metal of the pipe
itself. For these reasons all such operations should
always be carefully considered before any work is
started so that the risks are known and fully
understood.
5.2 Before any work is started involving the
application of heat to a pipeline or pipework that
may contain or have contained a process fluid, it is
essential to identify the relevant chemical and
physical characteristics of the process fluid, or any
residue it may leave and of any contaminant that
may arise and be present inside the pipe. This may
include hydrogen present in the pipe material
introduced as a product of corrosion or other
reactions. If there is any doubt as to the nature or
the properties of the fluid inside the pipe, work
involving the application of heat should not start
until that doubt is resolved, by sampling and
analysis if necessary.
5.3 Once the chemical and physical properties of all
substances inside the pipe have been established, it
is essential that expert advice is taken as to the
effect of heat on those properties, including any
reaction between the pipe metal and the substances
and any long or short-term effect on the corrosion
resistance and integrity of the finished weld and the
heat-affected zone.
5.4 Pre-heating or welding operations should not be
carried out on pipes that contain the following.
a) Mixtures of gases or vapours within their
flammable range.
b) Substances which undergo any reaction or
decomposition that leads to a dangerous increase
in pressure, explosion, or attack or embrittlement
of the metal.
c) Any chemical that may cause corrosion or
stress corrosion cracking.
In particular welding operations should be avoided
on pipes containing acetylene, other unsaturated
hydrocarbons, oxygen, hydrogen or ammonia.

5.5 In all cases, where potential hazards are


identified, the first consideration should be to
remove the hazardous substances and to ensure
that any remaining inside the pipe will no longer
present a risk to health and safety.
5.6 However, circumstances do arise when the
removal of the process fluid may not be practicable,
may cause operational difficulties or may in itself
create hazards greater than those presented by the
welding operation. In these circumstances, and if
the risks associated with welding are known to be
acceptably small, welding operations may be carried
out.
5.7 Text deleted
5.8 If toxic or reactive substances are present in the
pipe detailed guidance should be sought on the safe
approach to the welding operation. In many cases
this advice will be available from the owner of the
contents in the pipe, the factory occupier or the
pipeline operator. In other instances the advice may
be available from HM Factory Inspectorate.

6 Factors affecting safety


6.1 General
In drawing up a safe system of work there are a
number of factors that need to be taken into account.
In all cases procedures should be written down and
fully understood by those involved in the operation.
Documents should include not only the details of the
welding procedures but also safety instructions and
an indication of who is responsible for each of the
items. The list that follows is intended to be a check
list, not detailed guidance, and expert advice should
always be sought.
6.2 Initial requirements
a) Establish the necessity for welding on pipe
containing a process fluid or residuals.
b) Identify the pipe and process conditions (fluid
content and its pressure, temperature and flow
rate) and verify that adequate experimental work
has been completed to prove the safety of the
operation.
c) Ensure compliance with legal requirements.
d) Produce detailed plan of action, including the
responsibilities of each individual, taking into
account the requirements of a permit to work and
any exemption certificate.
e) Confirm welding procedure, services required,
approval requirements, equipment required and
fittings required.

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BS 6990:1989

f) List the services required (e.g. communications,


cranage, compressed air and gases, electrical
power). It is particularly important that a
communication system is established between
the proposed work site and the pipeline control
centre in order that pipeline or pipework
conditions may be controlled prior to and during
welding.
6.3 Documentation
a) Provide location plan showing access routes
including emergency access.
b) Prepare drawing or sketch of work area
showing excavations, obstructions and any other
adjacent pipes including the proximity of drains
and ducts where hazardous liquids and vapours
may be present and valves which are carrying
hazardous liquids.
c) Check notice of entry to site.
d) Ensure compliance with employers
requirements and procedures.
e) Check distribution of procedures to necessary
personnel and establishment of communications.
f) Issue courtesy notices to common wayleave
users (e.g. gas, electric, oil, chemical and water)
and to all affected landowners and occupiers, fire
and police.
g) Provide emergency procedures.
6.4 Site preparation
a) Provide good access to and from site.
b) Ensure adequate excavation and shoring or
scaffolding where necessary. If possible access by
ramp is preferable to step ladders, particularly
for escape routes.
c) Provide adequate support for pipe preferably
of non-combustible materials.
d) Check provision for removal of ground water
and protection from the weather.
e) Ensure the welding area is adequately
ventilated.
f) Provide adequate lighting.

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6.5 Emergency services


a) Ensure first aid is available.
b) Ensure firefighting equipment is available.
c) Ensure breathing apparatus is available.
d) Ensure resuscitation equipment is available.
6.6 Action immediately prior to welding
a) Check pipe is correct one and that the required
non-destructive testing has been carried out.
b) Check process conditions (pressure,
temperature, flow rate and fluid) are within
limits authorized.
c) Check all approved welders and supervisors
have a clear understanding of the approved
welding procedure.
d) Check provision of portable ammeter for
accurate measuring of welding current.
e) Check welding cables are routed away from
areas containing flammable fluids.
f) Check adequate quantities of the correct
welding consumables are available and that they
are stored under correct conditions.
g) Check temperature of pipe wall and fitting.
h) Re-check to ensure hazard-free conditions still
exist.
6.7 Action during welding
Whenever possible the pressure, temperature and
flow rate in the pipeline should be monitored during
the welding operation. Where these exceed the
previously agreed and authorized limits, welding
should cease.
6.8 Action on completion
a) Prior to reinstatement, check all work and
testing is completed.
b) Restore work site to original condition.
c) Install marker posts if necessary.
d) Prove area is hazard free.
e) Stand down emergency services.
f) Advise all necessary persons of completion and
remove all equipment.
g) Clean and test all equipment used prior to
return to storage.
h) Carry out de-briefing among key personnel.

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BS 6990:1989

Section 3. Welding
7 Pipe thickness, temperature and
internal pressure

It is necessary to ensure that during the welding


operation the material in the region of the weld pool
has sufficient strength to contain safely the internal
pressure and avoid a blow-out. The risk of blow-out
is a complex interaction of welding conditions, pipe
material, pipe thickness, pipe temperature and hoop
stress. Experience and research show that for
materials of yield strength not greater
than 450 N/mm2, operating at temperatures of not
greater than 350 C and with a hoop stress of not
greater than 72 % of the specified minimum yield
stress, blow-out can be prevented during welding
provided the minimum pipe thickness is not less
than 5 mm. For other materials or conditions, a
minimum pipe thickness of 5 mm or greater should
be agreed between the contracting parties, based on
either specific previous experience and/or data from
trials.
NOTE For some products, due to chemical reaction, the safe
pipe temperature may be much lower than 350 C, see 5.4.

8 Pipe material
Under no circumstances should any welding be
undertaken on pipe of an unknown material.
Normally the type and condition of the pipe material
can be obtained from records. If this is not possible,
it is essential that sufficient information is
determined about the pipe material to enable a
welding procedure to be developed. The following
are examples of features that can be checked for this
purpose:
a) chemical composition, e.g. by wet chemical,
chromatographic, radiation pattern or
spectrographic analysis;
b) hardness (portable hardness tester);
c) microstructure (replica technique);
d) colour;
e) magnetism;
f) reaction to chemical etchants (identification
kits).

9 Fitting material
The specification of the material for a fitting should
be agreed between the contracting parties. The
selection of the material for a fitting should take
account of the composition of the pipe, the operating
conditions and the process fluid.

10 Welding equipment
The contractor should maintain all welding plant
and ancillary equipment in good working order.
Welding plant, instruments, cables and accessories
should comply with the requirements of
the appropriate British Standard where it exists,
e.g. BS 638, BS EN 167, BS EN 168, BS EN 169,
BS EN 60974-11 and BS EN 60974-12.
Adequate means of measuring current should be
available, either as part of the welding plant or by
the provision of a portable ammeter. In the case of
mechanized and semi-automatic welding, means
should be provided for measuring the arc voltage.
All instruments should be calibrated regularly
(see BS EN 30012-1). The welding equipment
should be capable of controlling the parameters
given in Table 2 to within the limits stated in that
table.
The return current cable connecting clamp should at
all times be connected to the work at a point as close
as possible to the actual weld. Return paths via pipe
hangers, steelwork or structures should not be used.

11 Electrodes and filler metals


11.1 General
The electrodes, filler wires or rods used should
produce weld metal that has a minimum tensile
strength either:
a) at least equal to the minimum specified for the
parent metal, or;
b) as an alternative, for fillet welds only, a level
approved by the employer lower than the
minimum specified for the parent metal.
NOTE The agreement of the statutory authority may also be
required.

In the case of joints between dissimilar metals, the


weld metal should have a tensile strength at least
equal to that of the lower strength parent metal.
Particularly when welding austenitic stainless steel
or low alloy ferritic steel pipes, the weld metal
should be of a composition which is compatible with
that of the parent metal.
Only electrodes and filler metals which have
received the prior approval of the employer should
be used. When required by the employer batch
testing of electrodes and filler metals should be
carried out, in which case the definition of a batch
should be agreed between the contracting parties.
Guidance on the appropriate British Standards
covering suitable types of weld metal for welding
carbon, carbon-manganese and low-alloy ferritic
steels is given in BS 2633.

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BS 6990:1989

Guidance on suitable types of weld metal for


welding similar and dissimilar austenitic stainless
steels is given in BS 4677, including the relevant
British Standard designations.
11.2 Storage and handling
Electrodes, filler wires and rods should be stored
and handled so as to avoid damage or deterioration
to them and to the containers in which they are
transported. When the electrode manufacturer
makes specific recommendations for re-drying
and/or storage of electrodes, the contractor should
follow such recommendations. Electrodes, filler
wires and rods that show signs of damage or
deterioration should not be used.

12 Shielding gases
12.1 General
Where appropriate, gases or gas mixtures of the
following quality should be used:
a) argon complying with BS EN 439;
b) carbon dioxide complying with BS EN 439;
c) gas mixtures that have been proved to be
satisfactory as a result of procedure approval
tests.
When a gas mixture is used which has specified
additions, e.g. 2 % O2, 5 % CO2, the variation of such
addition should not exceed 10 % of that stated.
Moisture content should correspond to a dewpoint
of 30 C or lower.
12.2 Storage and handling
Shielding gases should be kept in the containers in
which they are supplied and these should be stored
away from extremes of temperature.
In the field, only gases specified in 12.1 as supplied
by the manufacturers, in specially marked
containers, should be used. Gases that are of
questionable purity and those in containers which
show signs of damage should not be used.
There should be no mixing of gases in the field,
unless this is an integral part of a mechanized
process which utilizes a fail-safe cut-off when the
proportions fall outside those specified in the
approved welding procedure.

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13 Approval and testing of welding


procedures
13.1 Safety considerations in formulating a
welding procedure
13.1.1 General. The development of a welding
procedure for welding on pipe containing a process
fluid or residuals requires the careful consideration
of a number of items and some of these should be
verified experimentally. Detailed consideration of
the metallurgy and welding are also required.
Detailed consideration of the metallurgy and
welding are also required.
The final welding procedure chosen will be a balance
between the safety of the technique on one hand and
the prevention of unsatisfactory material properties
on the other. Safety is obviously of paramount
importance and this will involve, among other
considerations, limiting the maximum heat input to
avoid blow-out. However, with a low heat input it
may not be possible to avoid high cooling rates in the
weld area and this could give unsatisfactory
hardness. Thus a compromise has to be reached and
if the maximum heat input allowable for safety is
insufficient to provide adequate material properties,
then additional precautions, e.g. preheating or weld
bead placement, will have to be included.
There will be many instances where the allowable
heat input will be adequate to provide good
properties and the above balance will not be critical.
However, there may be occasions where the desired
balance is unobtainable and under these
circumstances it may be necessary to reduce the
pressure or flow rate of the product to maintain safe
operation.
13.1.2 Welding processes and consumables. The
most common process is manual metal-arc welding;
it is also the best documented. Other processes have
been investigated, e.g. MIG/MAG and flux cored arc
welding, but these are in less common use. An
increased safety factor may be attained by the use of
basic, low hydrogen electrodes where the depth
penetration of this type of electrode is less than with
others, thus reducing the possibility of blow-out: the
low hydrogen deposit is also of advantage where the
weld and heat-affected zone may be of high
hardness. In MIG/MAG welding, the use of
argon/CO2 mixtures reduces penetration as
compared to pure CO2.
13.1.3 Welding parameters. The principal welding
parameters of concern in formulating a safe
procedure are welding current and travel speed.

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BS 6990:1989

The welding current and travel speed should be


adjusted to ensure that the penetration is
insufficient to cause blow-out but sufficient to avoid
lack of fusion. The principal means of determining
these parameters is by experimentation on similar
materials under simulated pressure.
The travel speed is less easy to control than the
welding current, but a minimum travel speed
should be determined to avoid heat build-up. It may
be advisable to control or eliminate the weld weave
to ensure limited local heating. One successful way
of controlling travel speed is to utilize vertical-down
welding where the speed of travel is controlled by
the fluidity of the weld pool, rather than the use of
vertical-up welding where the speed is a function of
the welders personal performance and where
excessive weaving may be practised.
Electrode polarity can also be used effectively to
reduce penetration. If the electrode is made
negative then penetration may be reduced by up
to 25 %.
13.1.4 Operating conditions. Product pressure and
flow rate can have a considerable influence upon the
safety of welding. High pressure will increase the
possibility of blow-out but it is less significant than
other factors. The flow rate, coupled with the nature
of the product, can greatly influence the heat
extraction rates from the preheated area and from
the weld pool. A low flow rate may allow a greater
build-up during welding which may have a lower
safety factor.
The flow conditions during welding should be
maintained within the range used for procedure
development to avoid such increases in cooling rates
or build-up of heat which could affect the
heat-affected zone micro-structure or the safety of
the pipeline or pipework.
13.1.5 Prevention of unsatisfactory micro-structures.
The flow of product through the pipe may exert a
considerable cooling effect upon the weld area which
may result in the weld and/or its heat-affected zone
having an unsatisfactory micro-structure. High flow
rates and consequent rapid cooling may lead to
excessive hardening and the possibility of
associated hydrogen cracking in ferritic steels.
Consideration should be given to the effect of heat
input on the in-service performance of corrosion
resistant pipe. A reduction in the corrosion
resistance of the internal surface can result from
microstructural changes and oxide scaling.

Chemical analysis and thickness of both pipe and


fittings will influence the hardness. Comparisons of
hardness may be made between materials welded
under identical conditions by comparing carbon
equivalent values but, because of the influence of
the product flow, absolute values can only be found
by experimentation.
The welding process can affect the micro-structure:
MIG/MAG welding is a low heat input process and
thus the hardness tends to be high but it has the
advantage of being a low hydrogen process. Manual
metal-arc welding with basic electrodes will have
comparatively moderate hardness and the low
hydrogen characteristics are of advantage.
Preheating can have a considerable influence upon
the micro-structure but unfortunately there can be
difficulties in applying preheat as it is affected by
the temperature and flow rate of the product which
may rapidly remove the heat. It may be necessary to
develop special preheating techniques with this
phenomenon.
Normal methods of post-weld heat treatment are
usually impossible to apply as the strength of the
material decreases at higher temperatures and the
pipe probably will not be able to withstand the
internal pressure. However it is possible to
influence the hardness of the weld and in particular
the weld toe by the judicious placement of weld
beads and/or the use of heating electrodes to
temper the weld toe.
13.2 Stages in obtaining approval
Before a contractor carries out welding in
accordance with this code he should either:
a) obtain exemption from making welding
procedure tests by submitting previously
approved welding procedures for inspection by
the employer, or
b) satisfactorily carry out the relevant welding
procedure test(s) as detailed below.
When required as in b) above, the approval and
testing of welding procedures should consist of the
following stages.
1) The contractor should submit to the employer
details of the proposed welding procedure.
2) The employer should indicate his acceptance of
the proposed welding procedure, after any
discussion with the contractor.
3) Before site welding begins, a test weld using
the procedure should be made by the contractor.
NOTE Welding procedure approval tests carried out in
accordance with this code and witnessed by an independent
inspector may be offered for consideration by other employers
provided that all the provisions have been fulfilled.

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4) The quality of the test weld should be


determined by non-destructive and destructive
testing after the weld has been allowed to cool to
ambient temperature in simulated site conditions
and held for either:
i) 24 h after completion of welding; or
ii) a duration specified by the employer.
If water spraying to cool the pipe will be used on
site to facilitate rapid inspection the same
conditions should be simulated in the welding
procedure approval.
5) For the procedure to be approved, the results of
the tests on the welds should show that sound
welds having the required mechanical properties
can be made using these procedures.
6) Recorded details for each welding procedure
approval test should be submitted by the
contractor to the employer for his acceptance
(see 13.3).
7) The agreement of the statutory authority
should be obtained when required.
13.3 Records
The details of each approved procedure should be
recorded and should show the complete results of
the procedure approval tests. All documentation
relating to procedure approval welds including the
test results (see 13.6) should be submitted to the
employer for acceptance prior to the commencement
of the approval of welders. The documentation
should include authenticated results of mechanical
tests and a chemical analysis carried out on the
parent metal used for procedure approval.
The period for which records should be kept should
be specified by the employer.
13.4 Welding procedure
During the establishment of a welding procedure,
sufficient development work should be done,
including such simulation as is necessary, to show
that the procedure is safe. Alternatively it should be
shown that there is adequate documentary evidence
from authenticated sources that the procedure is
safe.
Where welding procedure tests are undertaken they
should adequately reflect the conditions that would
be encountered when the welding is done. In
particular the effect on weld quality and service
performance of such parameters as the product, its
flow, pressure and temperature, should be
considered. If the simulation test uses actual
product it is essential that the safety of the
simulation is carefully considered (see section 2).
The welding procedure should include those items
detailed in Table 1.

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NOTE Although it is not always possible to simulate content of


pipe, temperature of pipe and its contents, and pressure and flow
rate (see items t), u) and v) in Table 1), these are parameters
where changes can affect the relevance of a welding procedure to
a particular situation (see items q), r) and s) in Table 2), and
should therefore always be carefully checked.

Procedure approval tests should be carried out


using a pipe and fitting of similar specification and
composition as those for the pipe and fitting on the
actual job. Procedure approval tests should be
carried out on one of the following:
a) a pipe and fitting of the same respective
outside diameters and thicknesses as those to be
used for the actual job; or
b) when approved by the employer, a pipe and
fitting of diameters and thicknesses from the
same respective groups in Table 1 c) and
Table 1 d) as those to be used for the actual job.
c) when approved by the employer, use of a plate
butt joint to simulate a longitudinal butt weld.
All weld runs should be cleaned until free from slag
and visible flaws prior to the deposition of
subsequent runs. Weld stop/start positions should
be staggered.
Welds should be inspected by the employer during
the deposition of individual weld runs to ensure, as
far as possible, that the procedure employed is
consistent with that specified.
13.5 Changes affecting procedure approval
(essential variables)
When any of the changes given in Table 2 are made
to a welding procedure, it should be regarded as a
new welding procedure and as such should be fully
re-approved.
13.6 Testing of joints for procedure approval
Except for the hardness survey, procedure approval
test joints should be tested and assessed in
accordance with BS 4515 or BS EN 288-3 as
appropriate. Consideration should be given to
carrying out any special tests relevant to the service
conditions, e.g. corrosion.
For the hardness survey for ferritic steels the
testing method and requirements should be in
accordance with BS 4515.

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BS 6990:1989

a)

b)
c)

d)

e)

f)
g)
h)

i)

j)
k)
l)
m)
n)
o)
p)
q)

10

Table 1 Welding procedure details


Welding process
The specific arc welding process using a manual,
semi-automatic or mechanized process or a combination of
those processes.
Material specification
Pipe and fitting specifications.
Pipe diameter group and fitting diameter The groups for outside diameter of pipes and inside
group (see 13.4)
diameter of fittings are:
Up to and including 114.3 mm
Over 114.3 mm
Pipe thickness group and fitting thickness The thickness groups for pipes are:
groups (see 13.4)
5 mm up to and including 12.5 mm
Over 12.5 mm up to and including 25.0 mm
Over 25.0 mm
The thickness groups for fittings are:
Up to and including 12.5 mm
Over 12.5 mm up to and including 25.0 mm
Over 25.0 mm
Joint configuration
1) Longitudinal joint preparation including shape of
groove, angle(s) of bevel, size of root face, width of root gap
and use of backing material.
2) Shape and dimension of fillet welds.
Filler metal and number of runs
1) Size, trade name and classification of filler metal for
each run.
2) Number and sequence of runs.
Shielding gas and flow rate
Composition of gas and flow rate.
Electrical characteristics
Current (a.c. or d.c.), polarity, voltage and current value
for each size of electrode or filler metal.
The type and model of the welding power source and the
type and length of the secondary cable should be recorded.
Pipe and fitting position
For pipe:
1) Within 20 of horizontal. Pipe containing test weld to be
fixed horizontally.
2) Within 20 of vertical. Pipe containing test weld to be
fixed vertically.
3) Between 20 to vertical and 20 to horizontal. Pipe
containing test weld to be fixed at 45 to vertical.
For fitting:
For any of above pipe positions, fitting to be positioned as
for actual job.
Direction of welding
Vertical-up or vertical-down; torch or gun leading or
trailing.
Number of welders
See item r).
Partially completed weld
Minimum number of runs before joint is allowed to cool to
ambient temperature.
Cleaning
Whether by power driven or hand tools.
Preheating
Method, minimum and maximum temperatures,
temperature control and method of temperature
measurement [see item s)].
Interpass temperature
Minimum and maximum temperatures.
Temper bead technique
Technique details when applied.
Welding heat input
Full details of relevant parameters, including run-out
length, weaving and speed of travel.

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Table 1 Welding procedure details


r) Sketches and tabulations

Sketches on separate detail sheets showing diameter and


thickness of pipe and fitting, joint configuration, weld run
sequence, number of welders and electrical
characteristics.

s) Ambient temperature

Minimum ambient temperature below which preheating


is to be applied [see item n)].

at)

Content of pipe

Product conveyed by the pipe.

au)

Temperature of pipe and its contents

Temperature range of pipe and its content at the time of


welding.

av)

Pressure and flow rate of content of pipe

Pressure range and flow rate range of content of pipe at


the time of welding.

These parameters cannot always be simulated in a welding procedure test, but should always be carefully checked, as any
changes may affect welding procedure approval (see note to 13.4 and items q), r) and s) of Table 2).

Table 2 Changes affecting procedure approval (essential variables)


a) Welding process

Any change from one arc welding process to another.

b) Material specification

Any change in specification of steel for pipe or fitting.

c) Outside diameter of pipe or inside


diameter of fitting or thickness

Any change in diameter or thickness of pipe or fitting,


except as permitted in 13.4.

d) Joint configuration

Any change in joint configuration outside specified


tolerances.

e) Filler metal type

A change from one trade name or classification to another.

f) Filler metal size

An increase or decrease in diameter of electrode or filler


metal.

g) Shielding gas and flow rate

Any change in gas, gas mixture or flow rate.

h) Electrical characteristics

Any change in type of current (a.c., d.c.) or change in


polarity.

i) Pipe and fitting position

Any change in pipe position outside the group in which


approval was obtained [see Table 1 i)] or any change in
fitting position greater than 20.

j) Direction of welding

Any change in direction.

k) Number of welders

Any change in the number of welders.

l) Partially completed weld

Any change in minimum number of runs.

m) Preheating

Any change to the approved procedure.

n) Interpass temperature

Any change to the temperatures.

o) Temper bead technique

Any change to the approved procedure.

p) Welding heat input

Any change in the welding parameters that would result in


a change of heat input greater than 10 %.

q) Content of pipe

Any decrease in the flash point of the product conveyed by


the pipe.

r) Temperatures of pipe and its content

Any change beyond the range specified in the temperature


of the pipe and its content at the time of welding.

s) Pressure and flow rate of content of pipe

Any increase in pressure or any change in flow rate of


content of pipe at the time of welding to outside of the
specified range.

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11

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BS 6990:1989

14 Approval and testing of welders


14.1 General
It is essential that any welder appointed to work on
pipe containing hazardous fluids is familiar with the
precise techniques involved. For the purpose of this
code, the welder who makes the approved manual
welding procedure test is considered to be
sufficiently experienced in the appropriate welding
process and technique not to require testing in
accordance with this clause.
When there is any doubt on this matter the welder
should satisfactorily carry out a demonstration
weld. Consideration should be given to the need for
an approval test in the special techniques referred
to in the approved procedure.
14.2 Butt welds
A welder appropriately approved on either a butt
joint or a branch connection to BS 4515 or
BS EN 287-1 should be considered approved for
welding butt joints to this code within the extent of
his approval.
14.3 Fillet welds
A welder appropriately approved on a fillet weld to
BS 4515 or BS EN 287-1 should be considered
approved for making fillet welds to this code within
the extent of his approval. A welder approved on a
butt joint to BS EN 287-1 should not be considered
approved for making fillet welds to this code.
14.4 Branch connections
A welder appropriately approved on a branch
connection to BS 4515 or BS EN 287-1 should be
considered approved for welding branch connections
to this code within the extent of his approval.

15 Preparation of pipe

15.1 The identity of the pipeline should be


confirmed as being correct and a tag should be
attached. Paint or wrapping material should be
carefully removed from the pipe in the proposed
area of attachment on each side of the proposed
location of the fitting to ensure that there is no
interference with the welding operation.
15.2 The exposed pipe should be checked to ensure
that the dimensions are within acceptable limits
related to the fitting to be used at that particular
location.
15.3 The section of pipe to which the fitting is to be
attached should be thoroughly cleaned with a wire
brush for a distance extending 150 mm on each side
of the location of the fitting. After cleaning, the pipe
should be visually examined for surface
imperfections, pitting and any signs of mechanical
damage.

12

The fitting should be located to avoid minor flaws in


the pipe. Where circumstances do not permit a
change of location, precautions should be taken to
prevent the serviceability of the pipe being affected.
15.4 Prior to welding the weld area should be
properly identified and non-destructively inspected
for:
a) diameter and ovality where applicable;
b) actual pipe thickness;
c) presence of external or internal corrosion;
d) laminations or inclusions in the region where
welding will be carried out (see 15.6);
e) soundness of any existing weld in the vicinity
of the welding area in cases where the distance to
the nearest weld is less than 6 times the
thickness of the thicker material;
f) build-up of process of deposits or fouling inside;
particular attention is required for dead ends of
pipes where deposits may restrict the flow.
Ultrasonic and radiographic examination should be
used for the inspection prior to welding. Previous
inspection reports should also be evaluated, in order
to assess the soundness of the pipe material in the
vicinity of the welding area.
15.5 The area of pipe beneath the fitting location
should be examined ultrasonically to ensure
freedom from lamination which might interfere
with plugging operations.
The area should be scanned on a 75 mm square grid,
and ultrasonic testing practice should be in
accordance with BS 5996. Lamination of an area
exceeding 500 mm2 should be considered
unacceptable for welding.
15.6 The areas where the attachment welds are to
be made should be subject to 100 % ultrasonic
examination and magnetic particle flaw detection
over a band of 150 mm minimum width centred over
the proposed weld locations to check freedom from
laminations which might prejudice welding and to
confirm adequate pipe thickness. Where seamless
pipe is under examination penetrant testing
(see 27.4) may be used as an alternative to magnetic
particle inspection. The ultrasonic technique should
be as in 15.5 and the magnetic particle flaw
detection as in 27.3. Lamination should not
exceed 25 mm in any direction.

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15.7 Positive confirmation of pipe thickness should


be obtained over the complete length of the weld. If
the measured pipe thickness is less than the
nominal pipe thickness, allowing for the negative
tolerance, the employer should undertake a design
study to determine whether such a thickness is
acceptable. If the measured pipe thickness is less
than 5 mm the conditions are outside the scope of
this code.
15.8 Where there is a delay of more than 48 h
between the operations specified in 15.3 to 15.7
inclusive and the start of welding, consideration
should be given to repeating some of these checks
before the start of welding.
15.9 When a fitting that is to be subsequently
drilled after attachment is being located on a
pipeline, care should be taken to avoid where
possible weld seams within the drilling area. If the
pipeline is constructed of longitudinally or spirally
welded pipe, then the choice of location should be
made so that the area where the pilot drill will
penetrate is clear of the weld seam.
15.10 The reinforcement of any welds to be covered
by the fitting should be ground flush with the pipe
surface over a length extending 50 mm beyond each
side of the fitting. This operation should be carried
out under constant supervision.
It is preferable for fittings not to be located at or
within a distance of 6 times the thickness of the
thicker material to existing welds in the pipe.
15.11 The area should be thoroughly cleaned in
preparation for the next operation. Where there is
undue delay between this cleaning and the start of
welding, the appropriate areas should be suitably
protected and re-cleaning should be carried out if
necessary.

16 Inspection of fittings
The following checks should be carried out on the
fitting to be attached.
a) Dimensional check of the fitting.
b) A check that the correct certificate for the
fitting is available.
c) A check that all weld preparations are clean
and are in accordance with the fitting
specification.

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17 Fusion faces
Immediately prior to welding, the fusion faces and
the adjacent material should be free from fins,
planar defects not complying with clause 28, tears,
moisture, scale, rust, paint, grease or other foreign
matter. Cleaning to base metal should extend for at
least 25 mm from the edge of the fusion faces on
both the internal and external surfaces of the parts
to be welded.

18 Preparation for encirclement


fitting
18.1 Any alteration to a weld preparation profile
supplied on a fitting should be carried out by
grinding to a smooth finish with a disc grinder. A
typical weld preparation is shown in Figure 2.
Any defects should be removed by grinding and
repaired where necessary by welding to a procedure
accepted by the employer.
18.2 If backing material, permanent or temporary,
is to be used, it should be compatible with the fitting
material and should be slid into the machined recess
at the roots of the longitudinal seams before
clamping the two halves of the fitting together.
Permanent backing material should be of a
sufficient length to provide at least 50 mm overlap
at each end of the fitting. To each overlap steel
plates should be attached to form run-on/run-off
plates at the ends of the longitudinal seams, as
shown in Figure 3.
The following types of backing material should not
be used.
a) Backing material with integral projections or
spacers intended to facilitate the establishment
and maintenance of root gap.
b) Backing material fitting tightly into machined
recesses with square or sharp corners.
c) Backing material of a shape that restricts
contraction.
18.3 The two halves of the tee fitting should be
clamped together around the pipe. A typical yoke
type clamp is shown in Figure 4.
After clamping the tee fitting, all visible surface
grease in and around the recess of the branch flange
should be removed.
The gap where the branch abuts the pipe should be
packed with clean rag to prevent any grease
contained within the recess melting during
preheating and running down on to the pipe and
into the longitudinal weld preparations.

13

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BS 6990:1989

14

Figure 2 Typical longitudinal weld preparation for fitting: dimensions and tolerances

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Figure 3 Attachment of run-on/run-off plates to backing material

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BS 6990:1989

Figure 4 Typical yoke-type clamp for encirclement tee fittings

19 Preparation for set-on fitting

19.1 Any alteration to the radius of a fitting where


it contacts the pipe should be carried out by
grinding, or, for large modifications, by a thermal
cutting method approved by the employer. The final
preparation should be a smooth finish using a disc
grinder.

16

19.2 The fitting should be set up on the pipe with a


root gap where appropriate. The fitting should be
fixed in position by clamping or tack welds. All tack
welds should be made using the welding procedure
to be employed for the root run and the ends should
be dressed to a taper to ensure full fusion with the
root run.

20 Alignment of flanged fittings


When welding a flanged fitting to a pipe, care should
be taken to ensure that the flange is kept parallel
and square to the pipe.

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NOTE During manufacture of the fitting strict tolerances


should have been maintained regarding the alignment of the
flange to the branch and the branch to the body of the fitting.

21 Working clearance
The working clearance around the pipe at the weld
should be not less than 400 mm.
When the pipe is welded in a trench the bell hole
should be of sufficient size to provide the welder or
welders with ready access to the joint. (See also 6.4.)

22 Stray arcs
Arcs shall be struck only on fusion faces and contact
of the electrode or of the non-insulated parts of the
electrode holder with the outer surface of the pipe or
fitting should be avoided.
An earth saddle making good electrical contact with
the workpiece should be placed conveniently near to
the weld for striking the electrode where this is
necessary for removing slag from the tip or to
facilitate the starting of the arc. Electrode holders
should be of the fully insulated type.
Places where any stray arcs have accidentally
occurred should be either repaired or rejected, as
approved by the employer.
Where permission to repair arc strikes has been
given by the employer, the procedure should
include, but not necessarily be limited to, the
mechanical removal of the affected material,
blending of the excavation, checking by magnetic
particle or penetrant inspection as appropriate and
confirmation that the thickness of the pipe or fitting
is within permitted tolerances.
Where the minimum thickness is below tolerance,
repairs to an approved welding procedure may be
carried out and subjected to further non-destructive
testing.

23 Weather conditions
The employer should state when welding should not
be done because prevailing weather conditions
would impair the quality of the completed weld.
Welding should not be done when the quality of the
completed weld would be impaired by airborne
moisture, blowing sands or high winds.
Where necessary protection from the weather can be
provided, welding may be continued.

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24 Preheating
To preheat pipelines or pipework effectively,
particularly where product flow is maintained for
safety reasons during welding and associated
operations, heat input may need to be high. It is
important therefore that careful consideration is
given to those factors that may affect the quality
and strength of the subsequent weld and to the
safety of the preheating operation (see section 2).
The detailed procedure should take into
consideration the following factors.
a) The maximum preheating temperature.
b) The minimum interpass temperature, below
which no welding may proceed.
c) Any soak periods to ensure adequate
through-wall heating.
d) The type and size of the heating source.
e) The method of control of heating, including
emergency shut-down procedure.
f) The extent of the zones to be preheated
including the limits of any localized heating
applied as welding proceeds.
g) The type and distribution of temperature
measuring devices.
h) The frequency of temperature measurement.
i) Details of any supplementary heating placed
upstream of the preheating zone.

25 Sequence of welding
25.1 As the type of fitting used may vary
considerably, it is not possible to give definitive
rules to suit each fitting. The following are basic
guidelines.
a) The amount of in-situ welding should be kept
to a minimum, i.e. a maximum amount of
pre-fabrication should be carried out off site by
normal welding techniques. This work should be
subject to thorough inspection, and where
practicable, pressure testing. Certification to
cover this work should be available.
b) Clamping is preferred to tack welding. When
tack welding is necessary it should be made in
positions that do not restrict expansion or
contraction of the fitting along the longitudinal
axis of the live or pressurized pipe.
25.2 The in-situ welding may be divided into two
types:
a) Welds which involve a direct connection on to
the live or pressurized pipe.
b) Welds which are separated from the live or
pressurized pipe by an air gap or backing
material.

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BS 6990:1989

In general b) type welds will be made before a) type


welds. Every effort should be made to offset
distortion effects during the welding of b) type
welds, e.g. back-step welding and balanced welding
techniques. It is important that after completion of
the first fillet weld the fitting be allowed to cool to
ambient temperature before welding commences on
the fillet weld at the opposite end of the tee.
When applicable, run-off plates should be used to
prevent over-welding on to the live or pressurized
pipe.
NOTE Run-off plates should be removed in a controlled manner
so that there is minimal damage to the pipe.

For type a) welds, welding without weave and with


strict control of electrode diameter, current and
travel speed, are normal requirements.
Bridge welding of gaps between the fitting and
pipe is not recommended unless the gap is less
than 1.5 mm. Weld buttering techniques should be
used to reduce any gap.
With both a) and b) weld types, weld stop-start
positions should be overlapped and should not
coincide between adjoining weld layers. Where
necessary, grinding should be carried out to
maintain a smooth profile.

26 Inter-run cleaning
Each run of weld metal should be thoroughly
cleaned, either by hand or power tools, before a
further run is applied.
Visible flaws such as cracks, cavities and other
deposition faults should be removed and particular
attention paid to the cleanliness of the junctions
between the weld metal and the fusion faces before
deposition of further weld metal.
Clusters of surface porosity, stops and starts and
high points should be removed by grinding.
Stop and start positions in adjacent runs should be
staggered by at least 20 mm.

27 Inspection
27.1 General
All welds should be inspected by visual examination
during and after welding. On completion of welding,
visual examination should be followed by a method
or combination of methods of non-destructive
testing as specified by the employer.
NOTE The agreement of the statutory authority may also be
required.

All inspection personnel should have been approved


by the employer. A record of approved personnel
should be kept by the employer. This record should
include inspection procedures in which each person
is approved, the authority granting the approval
and the date of approval.
The method of non-destructive testing used should
be capable of producing indications of imperfections
which can be accurately interpreted and evaluated
in order to assess whether the acceptance criteria
specified in clause 28 have or have not been
obtained.
Operators of all types of non-destructive
examination equipment should be required to
demonstrate to the approval of the employer the
capability of the examination procedure to detect
rejectable imperfections and their ability to make
correct interpretations of the indications given by
the equipment.
The results of the non-destructive examination
should be recorded and should include a clear
indication of the location, size and nature of all flaws
detected.
27.2 Visual examination
Visual examination (see BS 5289) should be
maintained throughout the welding cycle, including
checking that preheating requirements are met,
inter-run cleaning is properly carried out and an
acceptable weld profile is being achieved.
All welds should be visually examined on
completion and should have a good profile with
positive reinforcement. The acceptance criteria in
clause 28 should be applied.
27.3 Magnetic particle flaw detection
When required by the employer, magnetic particle
flaw detection, as described in BS 6072, should be
applied, using an appropriate technique.
27.4 Penetrant testing
When required by the employer, for welds on
austenitic stainless steel pipe, penetrant testing as
described in BS 6443 should be used.
27.5 Ultrasonic examination
When required by the employer, ultrasonic
examination should be applied to welds as described
in BS 3923-1 using an Examination Level stated by
the employer, supplemented as appropriate with
the relevant requirements of BS 4515.

Non-destructive testing procedure specifications


should be submitted to the employer for approval
and should be approved prior to the commencement
of welding, usually on procedure weld tests.

18

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BS 6990:1989

28 Non-destructive testing acceptance


criteria
The acceptance criteria for non-destructive testing
should be in accordance with the standard to which
the pipeline or pipework was originally constructed,
e.g. BS 4515, BS 2633, BS 4677.

29 Rectification of welds
29.1 Butt welds
The requirements of BS 4515 should be taken into
account but with the following provisos:
a) it is preferable to make a local repair to a joint;
b) if the size or nature of the flaw requires
removal of a weld then the entire fitting should be
removed, remachined and the reweld treated as a
completely new weld.
29.2 Fillet welds
29.2.1 Imperfections confined to the weld metal
alone. The requirements of BS 4515 should be
followed except that extensive flaws may be
repaired in sections to retain the preheating
temperature within a manageable area.
29.2.2 Imperfections positioned within the original
pipe surface. Imperfections found which extend
below the original pipe surface should be treated
with utmost caution.

BSI 04-1999

The form, nature, and size of the imperfection


should be assessed by an appropriately qualified
and experienced person before repairs are carried
out. It is advisable that the pipe internal pressure is
reduced to 85 % of that during the original welding
(or to the pressure giving the equivalent of 30 % of
the specified minimum yield stress of the pipe if the
flaw is of a cracklike appearance) and maintained at
this level until the repair is completed.
An individual repair procedure for the specific flaw
should be formulated by an appropriately qualified
and experienced person. The details of this should
include, but not be limited to, the following
information:
a) maximum internal pressure during repair;
b) method of flaw removal;
c) depth of flaw that can be removed (advisable to
be related to a) above);
d) action to be taken if flaw depth exceeds c)
above;
e) method of restoring wall thickness.
If there are any doubts as to the safety of such a
repair option then the entire weld and fitting should
be abandoned and an alternative course of action
taken.

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BS 6990:1989

Publications referred to
BS 499, Welding terms and symbols.
BS 499-1, Glossary for welding, brazing and thermal cutting.
BS 638, Arc welding power sources, equipment and accessories.
BS 679, Specification for filters for use during welding and similar industrial operators.
BS 2633, Specification for Class I arc welding of ferritic steel pipework for carrying fluids.
BS 3923, Ultrasonic examination of welds.
BS 3923-1, Methods for manual examination of fusion welds in ferritic steels.
BS 4105, Specification for liquid carbon dioxide, industrial.
BS 4515, Specification for welding of steel pipelines on land and offshore.
BS 4677, Specification for arc welding of austenitic stainless steel pipework for carrying fluids.
BS 5289, Code of practice. Visual inspection of fusion welded joints.
BS 5996, Specification for acceptance levels for internal imperfections in steel plate, strip and wide flats,
based on ultrasonic testing.
BS 6072, Method for magnetic particle flaw detection.
BS 6443, Method for penetrant flaw detection.
BS 8010, Code of practice for pipelines.
BS 8010-1, Pipelines on land: general.
CP 2010, Code of practice for pipelines.
CP 2010-2, Design and construction of steel pipelines in land.
BS EN 167, Personal eye protection Optical test methods.
BS EN 168, Personal eye protection Non-optical test methods.
BS EN 169, Specification for filters for personal eye-protection equipment used in welding and similar
operations.
BS EN 287-1, Approval testing of welders for fusion welding Part 1: Steels.
BS EN 288-3, Specification and approval of welding procedures for metallic materials Part 3: Welding
procedure tests for the arc welding of steels.
BS EN 439, Welding consumables Shielding gases for arc welding and cutting.
BS EN 30012-1, Quality assurance requirements for measuring equipment Part 1: Metrological
confirmation system for measuring equipment.
BS EN 50078, Torches and guns for arc welding.
BS EN 60974-11, Arc welding equipment Part 11: Electrode holders.
BS EN 60974-12, Arc welding equipment Part 12: Coupling devices for welding cables.
BS EN ISO 9000, Quality management and quality assurance standards1).

1)

Referred to in the foreword only.

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BSI

BS 6990:1989

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