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Up Topic Welding Industry / Technical Discussions / MIL-STD-278
- - By SammyShine (**) Date 07-06-2009 21:25 Edited 07-07-2009 05:22
We have a customer who's requesting welding per MIL STD 278.

From what we can tell it seems to be an outdated spec. Does anyone have familiararity with the standard? or what it has been replaced with?
Parent - - By MBSims (****) Date 07-07-2009 01:32
I worked to it many moons ago.  The current standard is NAVSEA TECH PUB S9074-AR-GIB-010/278.  You can purchase a copy form IHS (
Parent - By 803056 (*****) Date 07-07-2009 04:11
I would check to verify the end user wants the fabrication to be in accordance with MIL-STD-278, as mentioned it has been replaced with the Tech Pub 278 for most new builds. A lot of people still refer to the Mil-Std when in fact they mean NAVSEA TECH PUB S9074-AR-GIB-010/278.

That being said, there are instances where the old Mil-Std is still the fabrication document required, but that introduces other complexities into the equation. The use of the old Mil-Std-278 requires the use of many older military standards for filler metals, some of which electrode manufacturers have stop producing (now you have to ask for deviations/exceptions and get the substitute filler metals approved), base metals that may or may not be readily available, inspection and NDT techniques and acceptance criteria to the old NAVSEA inspection standards, etc.

You will have to qualify your welding procedure and welders to the old Mil-Std-248. You will have to verify which revision they are requesting, because if it was the latest revision, you will have to have a training program for the welders approved before they can be qualified to actually weld anything. There are consultants that can guide you through the process.

The point I am trying to make is that it is not a case of simply using commercial grade base metals and filler metals, qualifying the welders and striking an arc. It is much more involved and it can take the unwary by surprise.

I have several clients that weld for several of the shipyards and it is no easy task to get your paperwork in order before starting the actual fabrication. It can take several months to get your procedures qualified, documented, and approved by the shipyard before fabrication starts. Don't start fabrication without the proper approvals in place or you stand the risk of scraping everything. Even the inspections, which are mandatory at various stages of fabrication, must be performed by individuals qualified and certified in accordance with the proper military standards or the work will not be accepted by the end customer.

Drop me a private message if you need help. I can steer you in the right direction.

Best regards - Al
Parent - - By SammyShine (**) Date 07-07-2009 05:23
Thank You
Parent - - By tom cooper (**) Date 07-08-2009 12:40 Edited 07-08-2009 12:48
We know a little bit about Mil-Std-278 and it's superceding TECH PUB S9074-AR-GIB-010/278.  If you are by chance producing spare or replacement parts for existing Navy systems, you will likely receive drawings from their procurment office that were prepared prior to 1987 which is when Mil-Std-278 was replaced.  In fact new equipment for new ship construction will still use the original drawings package that dates back to the 70's & 80's. These older drawings have not been updated simply because various Navy procurement offices are not aware of the need for updating or they are not staffed to update drawings. There may be information elsewhere in the contract package that applies authority to use updated specifications - talk to your contract administrator to either review the contract (look for a "line sheet" that will list all superceding specs and standards) or better yet contact the Navy office and ask for clarification on that requirement.  It would be rare for the cog Navy engineer to favor using the outdated Mil-Std-278 spec vs TECH PUB S9074-AR-GIB-010/278. 

And Al is 100% correct that procedure and welder qualification to Navy standards have some peculiarities that are not in common with AWS or ASME qualification requirements so it is to your benefit to communicate with the cog Navy office as early as possible. If you happen to be a welding shop that is subcontracting to a prime contractor, YOU still must show proper quals & certs.  And that applies to your inspection folks as well.
Parent - - By Ke1thk (**) Date 07-09-2009 13:48 Edited 07-09-2009 13:56
Al's right.  Mil-Std-278 has been canceled.  You might need an expert.

I'd ask my customer if preparing the documents to Mil-Std-278 is acceptable, and prepare everything to those set of documents.  It's basically AWS standards.  It could be even less than AWS standards. 

However...if your customer wants the welding documents, samples, and parts to NAVSEA standards (the REAL DEAL)...consider passing on the job.  Their standards are considerably higher than AWS. 

I've been trying to satisfy them on two jobs since February of 2009.  Part of the problem is inspection.  In my case, the Navy had to actually approve the documents.  I violated the NAVSEA codes by having my PQR RT testing preformed by a Level III (he wasn't qualified enough).  The lab has AWS accreditation.

Each process has it's own code...phosphating, plating, painting, etc.  It's basically (for each process owner) obtaining the codes, reading them, and determining that you’re not qualified to perform the process. 

I finally had my customer deviate the Weld Code from NAVSEA to AWS D1.6 due to time. 

I would like to become familiar with and qualified to NAVSEA.  It would open up doors.  The barrier to entry is high and the learning curve is steep.

Good Luck,

Parent - By SammyShine (**) Date 07-09-2009 14:49
Thank you Keith
Parent - - By SammyShine (**) Date 07-09-2009 14:48
Thanks for all your help
Parent - By SammyShine (**) Date 07-09-2009 15:32
I want to thank everyone that responded to my e-mail. You have been sooo helpfiul.

We're going to pass on this job.  ;-)

Up Topic Welding Industry / Technical Discussions / MIL-STD-278

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