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Title: Section 1703  •  Size: 4925

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SECTION 1703 - NONDESTRUCTIVE TESTING

In Seismic Zones 3 and 4, welded connections between the primary members of special moment-resisting frames shall be tested by nondestructive methods for compliance with approved standards and job specifications. This testing shall be a part of the special inspection requirements of Section 1701.5. A program for this testing shall be established by the person responsible for structural design and as shown on plans and specifications.

As a minimum, this program shall include the following:

1. All complete penetration groove welds contained in joints and splices shall be tested 100 percent either by ultrasonic testing or by radiography.

EXCEPTION: When approved, the nondestructive testing rate for an individual welder or welding operator may be reduced to 25 percent, provided the reject rate is demonstrated to be 5 percent or less of the welds tested for the welder or welding operator. A sampling of at least 40 completed welds for a job shall be made for such reduction evaluation. Reject rate is defined as the number of welds containing rejectable defects divided by the number of welds completed. For evaluating the reject rate of continuous welds over 3 feet (914 mm) in length where the effective throat thickness is 1 inch (25.4 mm) or less, each 12-inch increment (305 mm) or fraction thereof shall be considered as one weld. For evaluating the reject rate on continuous welds over 3 feet (914 mm) in length where the effective throat thickness is greater than 1 inch (25.4 mm), each 6 inches (152 mm) of length or fraction thereof shall be considered one weld.

For complete penetration groove welds on materials less than 5/16 inch (7.9 mm) thick, nondestructive testing is not required; for this welding, continuous inspection is required.

When approved by the building official and outlined in the project plans and specifications, this nondestructive ultrasonic testing may be performed in the shop of an approved fabricator utilizing qualified test techniques in the employment of the fabricator.

2. Partial penetration groove welds when used in column splices shall be tested either by ultrasonic testing or radiography when required by the plans and specifications. For partial penetration groove welds when used in column splices, with an effective throat less than 3/4 inch (19.1 mm) thick, nondestructive testing is not required; for this welding, continuous special inspection is required.

3. Base metal thicker than 11/2 inches (38.1 mm), when subjected to through-thickness weld shrinkage strains, shall be ultrasonically inspected for discontinuities directly behind such welds after joint completion.

Any material discontinuities shall be accepted or rejected on the basis of the defect rating in accordance with the (larger reflector) criteria of approved national standards.

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