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Origin of AWS D1.1/D1.5 Indication Rating UT Technique

This article contains the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the American Welding Society, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, or its Board of Directors: As an ultrasonic testing (UT) inspector, have you ever had an assignment that required you to use the UT technique specified in code language sections of the American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1 (Structural Welding Code – Steel ) or D1.5 (Bridge Welding Code)? What were your opinions? Did you think it was outdated? Did you wonder why it didn’t call for DAC (distance amplitude correction) or DGS (distance/gain/size) curves? Or, did you think this technique was pure genius, and wonder why everyone doesn’t use it? Such is the way of life—there are many gray areas and differing opinions in all aspects of inspection and testing of materials. Regardless of your opinion, you might be wondering about the “who,” “how,” and “when” behind the development of this technique. Well, read on and I will divulge some answers to these mysterious questions. This will not be an instructional guide on how to UT inspect per the AWS D1.1 or D1.5 codes, as there are many well-written articles already in circulation on this topic. Instead, I will provide a brief overview of the technique along with some history about the development of the code.


AWS, 2015a, D1.1/D1.1M:2015, Structural Welding Code – Steel, American Welding Society, Miami, FL.

AWS, 2015b, D1.5M/D1.5:2015, Bridge Welding Code (Joint Publication with AASHTO), American Welding Society, Miami, FL.

AWS, 2020, D1.1/D1.1M:2020, Structural Welding Code – Steel, American Welding Society, Miami, FL.

Shenefelt, G.A., 1971, “Ultrasonic Testing Requirements of the AWS 1969 Building Code and Bridge Specifications,” Welding Journal, May, pp. 342–349.

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