An integral element of most construction projects is structural steel and steelwork. Few points on inspection of the same in a construction project site, especially for construction personnel with no or very less experience in this field, are briefly discussed here:
Upon arrival of structural steel at construction project site, various documents related to those, such as, material quality documents like test certificates etc., material consignment notes, purchase order copies etc. need to be carefully checked in order to ensure receipt of the proper and quality materials.
All components may be visually examined for discrepancies, such as, distortions, cracks, twists, lamination, pitting, dents, kinks, imperfect edges, straightness etc. Some of these could very well happen during handling, transportation etc. Unacceptable materials may be immediately quarantined in area demarcated for that, with records maintained.
Proper care must be taken while unloading and storing the materials. Guidelines for the same are usually specified in contract specifications or other similar documents.
For construction ( fabrication & erection ) purpose, relevant Quality Assurance & Quality Control documents, e.g., codes, specifications, job proceedures, inspection test plans, necessary QC formats, approved fabrication drawings, WPS etc. need to be in place.
Welder’s qualification in accordance with approved WPS, ASME Section IX etc. needs to be ensured prior to commencement of welding activities.
During construction, cutting, bending, grinding of structural steel are examined well as per relevant guidelines.
Fit-up & welding of structural steel members are carefully inspected as per approved drawings, codes, specifications etc.
Welds are often examined using Non Destructive Tests (NDT), such as, Dye Penetration Test or DPT etc.
Elaborate guidelines are available for mechanical testing of fillet & butt welds, such as, macro ETCH examination for fillet welds or tensile & bend tests for butt welds. These are important for checking the quality of welds. For example, in case of a butt weld, the tensile strength of weld should not be less than that of the metal on which the welding is done or no crack should show up on the weld in bend test.
Radiographic tests are also performed on welds, requiring to meet high degree of quality, as and when necessary. Welding itself is an elaborate subject and persons qualified & experienced in this field only should check important welds or welding activities. Radiographic scrutinies may be done only by qualified radiographers.
Contd. in Part-II….