Welding Standards NZS 4711 & NZS 4703 to be Withdrawn

NZS 4711:1984 Qualification Tests for Metal-arc Welders   
NZS 4703:1985 Welder Qualification Tests for Stainless Steel pipe for the Dairy Industry

The most significant change to welder qualification in NZ in over 35 years will result from the recent announcement by Standards NZ that NZS 4711 and NZS 4703 are to be withdrawn. With effect from 1 April 2011, new or renewal welder qualifications will not be available under these Standards. For most users of NZS 4711 and NZS 4703, AS/NZS 2980:2007 Qualification of welders for fusion welding of steels will become the standard for welder qualification.

While these two standards have served their purpose well they have become outdated in several respects and are now out of step with current international welder qualification practice. As the resources to revise NZS 4711 and 4703 are not available and AS/NZS 2980 is already a joint Australian/NZ Standard this is a logical step. Qualification of welders to AS/NZS 2980 will mean some changes for industry although the process of qualification itself will not change greatly. AS/NZS 2980:2007 is based on the international welder qualification Standard ISO 9606-1, with some modifications to suit the methods of testing and weld acceptance levels specified in current Australian and New Zealand Standards. The Standard not only covers mild and structural steels but also high strength steel, stainless steel, and some other groups such as nickel alloys.

The test pieces will often be the same (or very similar), and the actual welding test will be conducted under conditions much the same as required by NZS 4711 and NZS 4703. The test pieces will be generally be assessed by the same means including visual examination, bend tests, fracture tests, and has the options of ultrasonic testing and radiography. The most obvious changes compared to 4711 and 4703 include:   
• the welder is to follow a welding procedure specification   
• the qualification will cover a specified thickness range and material group.   
• a welder may qualify for more than one welding position with one test piece.   
• for stainless steel tube, the branch test will become optional.

To assist in the transition to AS/NZS 2980 the NZ Welding Centre is offering two half-day seminars to provide up-to-date information on all the issues involved. The first seminar will concentrate on AS/NZS 2980, while the second will provide an update of the current AS/NZS and NZS welding related standards with an emphasis on welder qualification requirements and options. Also covered will be the draft of guidelines for implementing welder qualifications to AS/NZS 2980 issued by Standards NZ. These are for public comment and will be discussed in the seminar.

Welder qualification is no longer a process covered by a stand-alone Standard; the requirements of other related standards also need to be considered, hence the two seminars. While attendance at both is seminars highly recommended, they are offered on the same day to allow attendance at either or both.

Two half-day seminars:   
1. AS/NZS 2980 - Replacing NZS 4711 and 4703   
2. AS/NZS and NZS Welding Standards - Get Up-to-Date

Manukau City, 27 April

Hamilton, 29 April

Napier, 4 May

Palmerston North, 5 May

Wellington, 18 May

Nelson, 19 May

Christchurch, 25 May

Dunedin, 26 May

Invercargill, 27 May

For further information, go to the    Events section or call the Welding Centre on 09 262 4840 or email welding@hera.org.nz