What is the difference between CSA W47.1/W59 and AWS D1.1?

CSA Standards W47.1 and W59 define the requirements for the certification of companies involved in welding steel, including qualification requirements for welders, welding procedures and welding supervisory personnel. Weld quality, electrode/base metal matching, pre-qualified joints and weld design are also specified. AWS D1.1 “Structural Welding Code – Steel” defines the requirements for the qualification of welders and welding procedures, weld quality, electrode/base metal matching, pre-qualified joints and weld design are also specified.

Requirements in several areas including welder qualification, welding procedures, weld quality, electrode/base metal matching, pre-qualified joints and weld design are very similar, but not identical in the two systems. Although technically similar, the key differences between the two systems are that the CSA W47.1/W59 has the following additional requirements: 3rd party verification by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB), the use and qualification of welding supervisors, the use and qualification of welding engineers, the use of independently verified welding procedures, and retesting of welders every 2 years.

The CWB process and certification provides an added level of confidence and assurance that the documentation, weld quality and knowledge level of fabricators is independently verified against the requirements of the standards, and thereby minimizes liability risk. It should be noted that numerous jurisdictions in the US have accepted certification by the CWB as an acceptable alternative to “special inspections”.

Craig Martin
Vice President Certification - CWB Group