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ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds

ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds

What is ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds — General rules for metallic materials?

ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds outlines the general rules and guidelines for the non-destructive testing (NDT) of welds in metallic materials. Non-destructive testing is a critical component of quality assurance processes in various industries, from construction to manufacturing and energy production. It serves as a comprehensive reference for NDT techniques to evaluate the integrity, safety, and quality of welded joints without damaging the component or structure being tested.

The standard serves several key objectives:
  • Harmonization: It aims to harmonize different methods and terminologies used in non-destructive testing across various industries and countries.
  • Quality Assurance: By prescribing guidelines, the standard helps in ensuring the quality and reliability of welded components. This is crucial for safety, particularly in high-stakes industries like aviation, construction, and energy.
  • Procedure & Documentation: It provides a framework for planning, executing, and documenting NDT procedures. This helps organizations maintain a high standard of quality and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Interchangeability: The standard provides a common language that allows for ease of communication and data interchange between stakeholders—ranging from inspectors and quality control personnel to suppliers and regulatory agencies.
  • Technical Specification: It outlines various techniques for non-destructive testing, such as radiographic, ultrasonic, magnetic particle, dye penetrant, and eddy current testing, among others.
  • Qualification and Training: The standard also outlines the competence requirements for personnel responsible for conducting the NDT.
  • Review & Evaluation: It provides guidelines for the assessment and evaluation of test results, including criteria for acceptance or rejection based on predetermined standards.

Overall, ISO 17635:2016 serves as an overarching document that may be supplemented by other, more specific standards related to non-destructive testing for particular types of materials or applications. By adhering to the guidelines set forth in ISO 17635:2016, organizations can improve the reliability and durability of their products, enhance operational efficiency, and mitigate the risks associated with faulty welds. Compliance with this standard is often a regulatory requirement and can serve as a benchmark for quality in contractual agreements.

Also, for organizations interested in obtaining certifications that validate their compliance with quality management systems or specific industry standards, understanding and implementing the recommendations of ISO 17635:2016 can be an integral part of that process.

What are the requirements for ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds?

ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds sets forth a series of requirements aimed at ensuring the quality, safety, and integrity of welded joints through non-destructive testing (NDT) methods. While I cannot provide an exhaustive list of all the requirements detailed in the standard (as the document itself must be purchased for full details), I can offer an overview of some of the primary categories of requirements generally stipulated:

Scope and Application

The standard typically starts by defining its scope, which generally encompasses the types of materials, welding methods, and industries it applies to.

Terminology and Definitions

It provides a set of standard terminologies and definitions to ensure that everyone involved understands the language and concepts.

General Principles
  • Selection of Methods: Guidelines for choosing appropriate NDT methods based on factors like material properties, weld geometry, and the types of defects likely to be encountered.
  • Limitations of Methods: Information about the limitations of each NDT method to provide a balanced view of what each method can and cannot achieve.

Personnel Competence

  • Requirements and guidelines for the qualification, training, and experience of personnel conducting NDT.
  • Procedures for evaluating the competence of NDT operators and the accreditation of testing agencies.

Equipment and Materials

  • Specifications for the NDT equipment to be used, including calibration and maintenance requirements.
  • Information on consumables, if applicable, like testing agents in penetrant testing.

Testing Procedures

  • Detailed guidelines on how to perform each type of NDT.
  • Requirements for procedure qualification to validate that the chosen NDT methods are effective for the application.


  • Guidelines for documenting the test method, procedure, equipment used, and test results.
  • Record-keeping requirements, both for the purpose of internal quality control and for demonstrating compliance to external auditors or regulatory bodies.
Acceptance Criteria
  • Criteria for interpreting and evaluating test results.
  • Guidelines for determining when a weld is considered to meet or fail the quality standards, based on the NDT results.

Quality Assurance

  • Recommendations or requirements for internal quality assurance practices.
  • Guidelines for periodic reviews and audits to ensure ongoing compliance with the standard.

Health and Safety

  • Safety guidelines for personnel involved in NDT, especially when methods involve the use of hazardous materials or radiation.

By adhering to these requirements, organizations can ensure that their NDT processes for welded joints in metallic materials are both effective and compliant with internationally recognized best practices. This is particularly important for organizations involved in industries where the integrity of welds is critical for safety and performance. Compliance with ISO 17635:2016 often serves as a benchmark for quality and can be a prerequisite for contracts or regulatory approval.

What are the benefits of ISO 17635:2016?

The adoption and implementation of ISO 17635:2016, which pertains to the non-destructive testing (NDT) of welds in metallic materials, offer multiple advantages to organizations, suppliers, regulatory bodies, and even end-users. Here are some of the key benefits:

Quality Assurance and Reliability

  • Implementing ISO 17635:2016 helps to ensure the quality, durability, and reliability of welded joints, which are often critical components in structures and machinery.

Risk Mitigation

  • Proper NDT in accordance with the standard minimizes the risk of defects that could result in structural failures, thus safeguarding against potential accidents, injuries, and liabilities.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Adherence to an internationally recognized standard like ISO 17635:2016 can simplify the process of meeting various national and international regulatory requirements, particularly in highly regulated industries like aerospace, automotive, construction, and energy.

Competitive Advantage

  • Certification or compliance with the standard can serve as a competitive advantage during the bidding process for contracts. It signals to clients and partners that your organization is committed to quality and reliability.
Consistency and Standardization
  • The standard provides a uniform set of guidelines and terminology, allowing for consistency across projects and sectors. This is particularly beneficial for organizations that operate in multiple regions or countries.

Improved Communication

  • With standardized guidelines and terminology, organizations find it easier to communicate both internally and externally. This helps in better understanding requirements, expectations, and outcomes across different stakeholders.


  • By identifying defects early in the process, organizations can avoid the costly repercussions of component or system failures. This can result in significant long-term cost savings.

Skill Development

  • The standard outlines the qualifications required for personnel conducting the tests, thereby elevating the level of skill and expertise within the organization.

Transparency and Accountability

  • Detailed documentation requirements ensure that there is a clear record of all testing activities. This adds a level of transparency and accountability that can be valuable in case of quality audits, legal scrutiny, or dispute resolution.

Customer Confidence

  • Compliance with ISO 17635:2016 can increase customer confidence by demonstrating a commitment to quality and safety. This can be particularly valuable for manufacturers and suppliers.

Supply Chain Integrity

  • Organizations can extend the requirements of the standard to their suppliers, thereby ensuring quality and consistency throughout the supply chain.
Technological Preparedness
  • Familiarity with the standards keeps an organization abreast of current best practices, techniques, and technologies in the field of non-destructive testing, positioning them for future technological advancements.

In summary, implementing ISO 17635:2016 provides a robust framework for conducting non-destructive testing of welds in metallic materials, thereby enhancing quality, safety, efficiency, and overall business competitiveness. It is a valuable tool for organizations committed to achieving and demonstrating high standards in their operations.

Who needs ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds?

ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds outlines general rules for the non-destructive testing (NDT) of welds in metallic materials, is applicable to a diverse range of organizations, industries, and professionals. Below are some key sectors and roles for whom this standard is particularly relevant:


  • Construction and Infrastructure: Organizations involved in the construction of buildings, bridges, highways, and other infrastructure can significantly benefit from adhering to the standard to ensure the integrity and safety of their structures.
  • Energy Sector: Companies in the oil, gas, and renewable energy sectors require rigorous testing of welded components to prevent leaks, structural failures, and other hazards.
  • Aerospace and Automotive: These industries demand high levels of quality and safety in their products, and NDT of welds plays a critical role in meeting those requirements.
  • Manufacturing: Manufacturers of machinery, equipment, and various metal products often need to certify the quality and reliability of their welded joints.
  • Maritime: Shipyards and offshore platforms also need rigorous NDT methods to ensure the integrity of welded structures that are subjected to harsh environmental conditions.
  • Railway Industry: The construction and maintenance of railway tracks, carriages, and other infrastructure often involve welded components that need to meet strict safety as well as quality guidelines.
  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical: Companies in this sector often have high-pressure vessels, piping, and other welded equipment that must meet stringent safety standards.
  • Food and Beverage: In this sector, particularly in the manufacturing of food-grade storage and processing tanks, weld integrity can be critical for both safety and quality.
  • Quality Control Engineers and Inspectors: Professionals responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of welded components in a variety of settings.
  • Welding Engineers: Those involved in the development and oversight of welding procedures and guidelines.
  • Regulatory Bodies: Organizations tasked with the regulation and oversight of safety standards in various industries.
  • Consultants and Auditors: Individuals or firms that advise on best practices in welding and materials testing.
  • Contractors and Subcontractors: Those responsible for the physical act of welding, who may need to demonstrate compliance with the standard to secure contracts or approvals.
  • Project Managers: Professionals who oversee projects where welding is a significant component and who are responsible for ensuring overall quality and safety.
  • Procurement Officials: Those in charge of selecting and approving suppliers, especially in government and large corporations, where compliance with standards is often a prerequisite for contracts.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools and training centers that offer courses in welding technology, engineering, or materials science may also use ISO 17635:2016 as a guideline for course development and training.
  • Research Organizations: Entities involved in developing new welding technologies or materials may also find the standard useful for benchmarking and validation.

Overall, by adhering to ISO 17635:2016, these entities can gain a host of benefits including enhanced quality and safety, regulatory compliance, and improved market competitiveness. The standard serves as a comprehensive guide for adopting best practices in the non-destructive testing of welds, contributing to the overall integrity and reliability of various projects and products.

At last, Pacific Certifications is accredited by ABIS, you need more support with ISO 17635:2016 Non-destructive testing of welds, please contact us at +91-8595603096 or support@pacificcert.com

ALSO READ: ISO 2503:2009 – Gas welding equipment

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