DeKalb Technology Center Makes History
Daniels Becomes first female High School Student in Alabama to pass an X-Ray pipe test.
Before the Thanksgiving break DeKalb County Technology Center (DCTC) Welding Instructor Russell McFall was preparing welding student Anna Daniels to perform a GTAW process on a pipe in the 2G position for her first time. McFall stated it takes time for a student to make it to this level, because there are so many joint designs and other process that come before it. A student must prove to me they have mastered the other processes before they can even touch pipe. Students don’t just start on the difficult processes they must work their way up. Anna has done this process on an open root plate butt-joint design so she had a good set of foundation skills to lean on. However, when you weld straight butt joints for a while and then go to a round pipe the difficulty is much harder. The angle on pipe constantly changes and you must change with it to keep things right. I noticed when Anna stared she was doing very well so I told her to finish her root. The Root is known as the first set of welds that seal the gap up in between the 2 pipes that are being joined together. I was pleased with the root because it was near perfect and it’s the hardest part of the entire test so I told her to continue filling it up. I checked on every layer of the fill up until the pipe was ready to be capped. Capping a pipe means these are the last and final welds to complete everything. She capped it off and it nearly looked like a machine had welded it. It’s hard for a high school student to make everything look that nice on a joint design of this difficulty with the process being used. I told her I’m going to send it off to get X-Rayed. She gave me a wide eyed shocking look and said why didn’t you tell me you were going to do that? I told her because you would have become nervous but you were focused so I didn’t say anything. I explained to her that it was very good and she had a great chance of passing. The pipe was mailed to a testing lab in Bessemer AL were it was 100% X-Ray tested with 3 shots. All the paper work along with 3 X-Ray films were sent back with the word she had passed all 3 shots. Then it crossed my mind that she might be the first high school female students in the state to ever earn this certification. I did some research and could not find any female in the state that had passed a test of that difficulty. I work so hard with the welding students here at DCTC to make a difference. People just don’t realize how hard it is to weld pipe. Not just anybody can pass a test of this difficulty and I am so proud to see our hard work pay off. DeKalb County Career Tech Director Jonathan Phillips stated “I’m proud of Anna and her accomplishment of earning such a difficult certification at the high school level. She is a gifted student with a bright future in welding. I also want to commend Mr. McFall for doing a great job of preparing our students to be college and work ready.”