Inspectioneering Journal

A New API Recommended Practice, API RP 577

By John Reynolds, Principal Consultant at Intertek. This article appears in the May/June 2003 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.

A new recommended practice from the API is in the final stages of preparation before publications. It is API RP 577 on Welding Inspection and Metallurgy. This document has been under preparation for 8 years, going through as many as 7 drafts and 4 ballots before undergoing a successful final ballot last winter. Over 35 individuals with knowledge and expertise in welding that are associated with the API Inspection Subcommittee have contributed to the creation of the document. The Inspection Subcommittee Task Group on API 577, which is responsible for bringing this document to fruition has been led by Dong Kim of Shell Global Solutions for the last 5 years. The only thing left now before publication is a bit of master editing. Look for the document to be available for purchase before year end.

This document will be a great addition to the API Inspection Series of Recommended Practices. We have long needed a good reference document covering welding inspection and the understanding basic metallurgical issues associated with welding. This RP will not only serve as an excellent reference for the plant inspector and engineer that are involved in welding, but will also be the basis for many questions for the API series of three Inspector Certification Programs (API 510 / 570 / 653). API RP 577 is not intended to be the sole basis for study of the AWS CWI exams, but rather to contain a wealth of information from many different sources for the typical plant inspector and engineer. It will cover such common welding issues as:

  • The most common welding processes applied in our industry
  • Welding inspection activities before, during and after completion of welding
  • How to review a WPS & PQR for completeness and correctness
  • The various types of welding defects and flaws, why the occur and how to prevent them
  • Understanding of welding material specifications and classifications numerous NDE methods for welding inspection
  • Weldability of carbon steels, low- alloy, high alloy steels and other weldable metals
  • The importance and reasons for the various preheating and post weld heat treatments
  • Welding terminology, symbols, and definitions
  • And much more

The draft document that I last reviewed contained over 90 pages of welding inspection information useful to the plant inspector and engineer, though the published document will not be that large. I think you will find API RP 577 a useful and valuable compliment to the API RP series of inspection documents. I will let you know in the IJ as soon as the document is published. In the meantime, if you have questions about it, let me know though the IJ at

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