- American Welding Society
The American Welding Society (AWS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the
science, technology, and application of weldingand allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering, and thermal spraying. The organization is headquartered in Miami, Florida, but also conducts events and individual section and district meetings throughout the United States and in international locations. The organization is perhaps best known for its code and certification procedures, which provide industry standards for the welding and joining of metals, plasticsand other materials. Through their publications, internet forums, member services, local and national events, educational resources, networking activities, and certification procedures, AWS keeps welding professionals and those interested in materials science up to date with the most current advances and procedures in the industry. As of September 2006, the society contains about 50,000 members, most within the United States.
History of the American Welding Society
The roots of the American Welding Society stretch back to
World War I, when the sudden demands of swiftly producing military equipment brought the welding industry into focus. President Woodrow Wilsoncreated a Welding Committee of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, which worked with the already existing National Welding Council. By 1919, industry leaders agreed that dependable and objective information on welding was crucial for further U.S. industrial development, and the two organizations merged together to create the American Welding Society.
An immediate need was to create a publication that could objectively cover the scientific advances of the industry, and in 1922, AWS started publishing the
Welding Journal. The Welding Journal now appears monthly, and contains peer-reviewed articles on welding and materials science along with industry news and information about society events and members.
AWS also became concerned about welding and safety standards, and began offering certification standards and safety procedures to offer guidance on secure welding techniques and safety procedures. Today, AWS publishes more than 100 codes and procedures detailing welding standards for multiple metals, composite materials, and plastics.
AWS Codes and Specifications
AWS publishes codes on multiple aspects of welding and materials joining. The code books are assigned specific letters and numbers for easy reference, and many welders will refer to a specific code letter/number combination when referring to the code book. Different welding methodologies, inspection methods, and metals are published under different codes. For example, AWS B1.11 explains how to visually examine welds; AWS B2.1-1-004 explains welding
carbon steelof thickness range of 18 through 10 gauge with semiautomatic metal gas arc welding; and AWS C2.20/C2.20M explains metalized zinc cathodic protection systems. Some codes also describe the standards used by AWS to certify welders, inspectors, and welding educators. All codes are available in hard copy, and in recent years AWS has started to make most codes available online.
AWS certifies welders, inspectors, engineers, fabricators, radiographic interpreters, and robotic arc welders. Certification consists of detailed testing procedures. The Radiographic Interpretation Certification, for example, includes a detailed general knowledge exam, a test of specific information from the AWS Code book on radiographic quality and interpretation, and a practical exam testing the individual's ability to read radiographic films. Certification typically needs to be renewed after a period of nine years. AWS requires certification exams to be taken at an AWS accredited testing facility.
The AWS Foundation supports welding education through multiple scholarships and awards for students studying welding, welding engineering and materials science at the post secondary and graduate level. Scholarships are both need and merit based.
*WEMCO - Welding Equipment Manufacturers Committee
*BSMC - Brazing and Soldering Manufacturers Committee
*PACWI - Pan American Coalition of Welding Institutes
*POCWA - Pacific Ocean Coalition of Welding Associations
Resistance Welding Manufacturing Alliance
List of welding codes
* [http://www.aws.org American Welding Society official home page]
[http://www.aws.org/cgi-bin/mwf/forum_show.pl American Welding Society forums]
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