What Does AWS Stand for in Welding?

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When looking for welding equipment, you will commonly find products having the AWS label. AWS may appear as a small inconspicuous logo in some items, but it is more pronounced and would typically be the largest label in others.

What does AWS stand for in welding, and what does it signify?

Any activity related to any welding task can potentially be hazardous to human health and the environment. As such, regulators have an essential role in advancing the technologies and methodologies used in welding applications. In the United States, we have ASME and AWS.

What Does AWS Stand for in Welding?

AWS stands for “American Welding Society.” It is a nonprofit organization focused on the welding industry. Its global mission is to improve the science and systems essential for the advancement of welding applications.

An AWS standard is simply a document that stands as a reference, guideline, rule, or definition that anyone can repetitively use for any welding application. As technology gets better and practices change, experts revise these standards accordingly.

For well-rounded standards, the experts that develop them come from different areas of the welding industry. Besides AWS, there’s also ASME, which stands for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


AWS and ASME offer similar recommendations and regulations for the welding profession. ASME encompasses all things concerning mechanical engineering. In comparison, AWS has its sights set only on the welding industry, the development of its training and safety protocols, and the improvement of related equipment.

When it comes to welder certification and welding procedure qualification, think of both AWS and ASME as one and the same. However, if you want to address fabrication, erection, and inspection using a single standard, AWS is your go-to organization.

What Does an AWS Label Mean?

An AWS designation can mean one of several things, depending on where you see the logo or label. You can find it on products, including weldable materials, fillers, and welding equipment. Alternatively, you can find an AWS designation on certifications for professionals or companies.

Product Certification for Welding

If you find AWS on a product, it could mean it has a certification or several certifications for welding industry applications. However, having the AWS designation does not necessarily mean that a product is applicable for all types of welding. It does not also imply that a product conforms to all AWS standards.

Look for the standard number or code right after the AWS designation to find suitable applications for the product. For example, an AWS D1.1 label suggests structural steel welding, while an AWS D3.6R indicates underwater welding. When it comes to purchasing a welder, only choose the best welding machines, even if you are just a beginner.

Professional Certifications

Many professions comprise the welding industry. It includes skilled welders, welding inspectors, welding educators, welding engineers, and even sales representatives.

An AWS certification can provide professionals with better employment opportunities. At the same time, it can make clients and employers more complacent about the services they can offer.

AWS offers a long list of certifications for all of the professions falling under the welding industry. These certifications include training programs and qualification tests that can help any welding professional to move further in their career.

Certified Welding Practices

While individuals can carry AWS certifications for themselves, companies can also offer services done by certified professionals. You will find contractors marketing their services with AWS certification by employing AWS-certified professionals.

what does aws stand for in welding

Common AWS Standards

AWS has published over 240 codes containing guides and recommended practices for welding. All of these codes follow the rules set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Structural Welding

AWS Standard D1 comprises all recommendations for structural welding. It includes structural welding practices for steel, aluminum, and titanium.

Furthermore, it presents the best practices, recommended materials, and up-to-date equipment for bridge welding, structural strengthening and repair, and seismic supplementation.

Underwater Welding

Underwater welders are some of the most in-demand professionals in the welding industry. It requires extensive training, and its completion can lead to the acquisition of several certifications.

Some of the most common uses of underwater welding include shipbuilding and repairs, naval architecture, and pipelines.

The AWS D3.6M Standard, also known as the Underwater Welding Code, covers many underwater welding documents. It talks about workmanship, technique, and qualifications, as well as different forms of examination.

Automotive Welding

Different metals form the various components of vehicles. As such, welding is an essential subsidiary of the automotive industry. AWS D8 contains details about automotive spot-welding, electrode supplementation, arc welding, and spot weld testing.

Pipe and Tube Welding and Brazing

Pipes and tubes have an entirely different place in the welding industry. It is difficult to examine the inside of pipes for faulty welding outputs. As such, they require more stringent protocols for quality control.

While mild steel and stainless-steel pipes require an outright welding procedure, copper is much softer and has a much lower melting point. Because of this, brazing is a much better practice for copper. You can find all common techniques for pipe and tube welding and brazing under the AWS D10 Standards.

Industrial Machinery Welding

Various types of machinery require different forms of welding for fabrication. AWS D14 has a very broad scope. It covers welding practices for industrial mill cranes, earthmoving, agricultural equipment, machinery joints, press machines, hydraulic cylinders, rotating elements, and the like.

Robotic Arc Welding

Many industries use welding as an essential part of multiple manufacturing processes. Robotic arc welding can replace manual welding to speed up these processes. The AWS D16 covers the different standards for robotic arc welding.

Hygienic Equipment Welding

The American Welding Society also sets standards and specifications for welding tanks, vessels, and other equipment for sanitary applications. Under AWS D18.3, you will find procedural and performance qualifications, fabrication practices, and visual examination requirements.

However, these standards do not include safety and health issues regarding the manufacture of such equipment. Federal, state, and local regulations can cover the safety and health information relating to such equipment.


So, what does AWS stand for in welding? In the United States, AWS encompasses all of the standards and practices related to all types of welding. While it contains American national standards, it comes from a governing body recognized around the globe.

When choosing materials and equipment for welding, ensure that each of them conforms with the AWS Standards. Moreover, it is always better to acquire welding services from certified professional welders. If you want to have a successful career in welding, having the proper certifications from AWS will be an excellent advantage.

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