Copper Development Association Offers Soldering Specifications for Qualification Programs

February 8, 2002


NEW YORK, NY— Responding to the need for a standardized procedure for the testing and qualification of solderers, the Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA) has launched a comprehensive soldering program initiative that is available at no cost and can be downloaded from Tube, Pipe & Fittings section.

Although there is currently no industry-wide soldering certification program, the CDA has utilized existing accepted practices to create an effective qualification standards and information guide that can be used by local unions or contractors to create their own certification programs.

"This will help ensure that the highest standards of soldering are met on a consistent basis nationwide," explains Andrew Kireta, Jr., CDA national program manager for Tube, Pipe & Fittings.

The CDA materials have already proved helpful to plumbing locals in Las Vegas and Oregon. In these cases, the unions either used the CDA specifications as part of their apprenticeship programs or developed their own certification programs to aid job placements among journeyman members.

The " Soldering Procedure Specifications" satisfies the requirements and processes that contributed to the development of ASTM B 828, Standard Practice for Making Capillary Joints by Soldering of Copper and Copper Alloy Tube and Fittings. All materials and forms for the program were developed by the Copper Development Association. Confirming tests were conducted by PRL Metallurgical Laboratory, a division of Regal Cast, Inc., an ASME-recognized test laboratory.

The 28-page CDA guide includes a Soldering Procedure Specification (SPS). This document specifies the required soldering variables for a specific application. There is also a Procedure Qualification Record (PQR), a record of soldering variables and conditions used to produce an acceptable test solder joint and the results of tests conducted to qualify a soldering procedure specification. The final element is the Solderer Performance Qualification Record (SPQR or SQR), a record of the soldering conditions used to produce an acceptable test solder joint and the results of the tests performed on the solder joint to qualify the solderer.