What Are Various Types Of Welding Positions? – 4 Main Types

Types Of Welding Positions

For many people who are new to arc welding, it is not easy to have excellent and quality welding.

Also, it is complicated to understand various types of welding positions clearly.

If you are having trouble in this matter, this article is for you!

We are going to introduce to you the basic types of arc welding positions to help you produce a quality weld.

Let’s explore together!


Welding Position Terminologies

Welding is a technological process for connecting components together in a continuous non-removable bond at the atomic or molecular scale. It will bring the junction to the welding state, through the use one of two factors are heat and pressure, or a combination of both.

Welding position is the position of a weld in space, determined by the inclined angle of the weld axis and the welding angle of the weld surface.

Welding positions, in most cases, are divided into structural welding and pipe welding. The anatomical positions are for plate welding, pipe welding positions are also applicable to pipe welding with plates or welding with inclined planes.

Structural welding positions are coded according to the following rules:

With the first digit representing the welding position:

  • 1 is for a Flat welding position
  • 2 is for a Horizontal welding position
  • 3 is for a Vertical welding position
  • 4 is for an Overhead welding position

The next letter indicates the weld types:

  • F refers to Fillet welds
  • G refers to Groove welds

Four Basic Types Of Welding Positions Defined By The American Welding Society

Do you know how many types of welding positions there are?

Here is the answer for you!

According to the American Welding Society, there are 4 types of welding positions: flat welding position, horizontal welding position, vertical welding position, and overhead welding position corresponding to the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4.

different types of welding positions

The letter in the welding position represents the type of weld. While F represents the Fillet weld, the letter G represents the Groove weld.

When determining the welding position, the number will be written first, the letter will be written after.

For example, if you need to perform a flat fillet weld, then your welding position is 1F. Similarly, if your position is 3G, then that is referring to a vertical groove weld.

There is a concept considered as the standard of most types of welds: a tack weld. As soon as it is heated, the metal will stretch and tend to warp, and your task is to anchor a joint very quickly at this time. These temporary welds are called tacks.

After you finish the permanent welding, you need to remove these tacks from the weld. If you make it the wrong way, your weld will crack.

The axis of the weld is a vital position in determining the exact position of the weld. The position of the axis is in the center of gravity, a line that is parallel to the length of the weld and is perpendicular to the horizontal plane.

So, in the next part, we will discuss the various types of welding positions with neat sketches for you. Read on!

1. Horizontal Position Welding

We have just mentioned the axis of the weld in the previous section. For horizontal weld, the weld axis will be flat in the same direction as the weld.

If you perform welding with a fillet, you will have to manipulate from the top of a horizontal surface. Otherwise, if you make groove welds, you have to do so on vertical welds.

Welding in the horizontal position will be more complicated than welding flat. Because as the temperature goes up, the metal relaxes and melts, it flows downward in the direction of gravity.

This makes it difficult to control whether the weld is affected by this amount of molten metal.

To make the horizontal weld easier, you need to adjust your panels and simultaneously weld both ends. Besides, you must know how to move the torch gently to be able to distribute the temperature more evenly.

If you know how to do it, the temperature will remain balanced on both sides of the joint, preventing the molten metal from flowing to the lower joint and at the same time, causing them to freeze faster.

Because of the complexity of this weld, you will need a lot of practice to master it. You will have to learn the basic techniques from holding a torch, to moving and controlling the temperature, controlling the amount of molten metal to create a perfect weld.

2. Flat Position Welding

This is the simplest and easiest welding position to perform. Flat welding is the primary position that you need to learn before moving on to other various types of welding positions.

For those who want to work with MIG, TIG to be able to find their strengths or need to be familiar with welding gun control before starting the more complicated techniques, the implementation of this weld is essential.

To perform this weld, the welder must operate from the top of the welding joint. On the surface of your plate, you must know how to move the flame and the angle of the head to adjust the welding flame above the molten area of ​​the metal. If you do it right, you will create the right beads on the surface.

Remember, adjusting the torch to provide fire and heat the joint will depend on the type of metal you weld. With different materials and thicknesses, there will be different ways to adjust accordingly.

For practical welding, you need to move the flame up and down in the arc to create narrow beads. You should be very gentle when you move the flame forward vertically of the joint. To do this, you must hold the tip at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the plate.

If you want the weld to be more tightly bonded, you can increase the angle between the tip and your plate surface. Also, you can reduce welding speed.

For puddle size, you need to maintain it at a smaller level than average. If handled correctly, the bead tends to lie slightly below the upper surface of your plate.

Make a small puddle on the surface of the joint, then insert the rod into it. It will melt the puddle you have created with the baseplate. At this time, move your torch slowly to connect the two joints and merge the weld.

Be careful not to overheat the puddle you create. If too hot, the weld strength will weaken, and porosity problems will also affect the quality of the weld.

When performing this welding position, you should use welded tacks to make sure your plates will be aligned during the welding process and prevent your weld from warping.

Regarding the number of passes that need to be made, it will depend on the thickness of the sheet. Specifically:

  • For sheets of ¼ inch or less, you only need to make 1 pass.
  • For sheets of ¼ to 5/8 inch in size, you must make 2 passes.
  • For sheets of 5/8 to 7/8 inch sizes, you must make 3 passes.
  • For sheets up to 1/8 inch thick, you will need to make 4 passes.

3. Vertical Position Welding

For vertical welds, the weld axis will have a vertical direction. Therefore, when performing this weld, if you are not careful, the molten metal will flow downwards in the direction of gravity and superimposed on the joint, affecting the weld.

Therefore, to control the amount of molten metal and avoid this situation, you must know how to manage the fire accordingly. The ideal angle of the flame should be 45 degrees from your plate.

One technique you need to know is to put the rod in the position between the fire and the puddle. This will help keep the molten metal from flowing below the weld and increase the chances of the joint being fused.

You also need to move the rod and torch gently at a uniform speed to create the perfect fusion of the weld.

4. Overhead Position Welding

If you need to work with the underside of the solder, the overhead position welding is what you need to make.

To perform this welding position, you need to be proficient in all the necessary welding techniques. At the same time, you must wear protective gear to ensure absolute safety during welding. We are sure that you will not want the molten metal to destroy your scalp.

A common problem when doing this weld is that it is difficult to control the amount of metal falling on the plate. You can overcome this problem by creating a small puddle of molten metal. At the same time, please add additional filler metals to ensure a more solid fusion.

In case your puddle of metal is too big, all you need to do is turn off the flame right away until the weld hardens.

If you perform this welding position on extremely lightweight plates, maintain the same level of base and filler metals to control the size of the puddle. And of course, you need to ensure enough filler metal to be able to create a high-strength weld.

Groove Welds

Put simply, groove welds are the welds that merge two separate sides into one. Your task is to connect the independent sheets into a solid one.

With this weld, you should bevel the edges of the joints to create a gap large enough for your plates to connect and merge firmly together.

This welding position will create a groove pocket between the two joints. This pocket has the function of keeping the metal melting while you work to ensure the quality of the coupling.

Fillet Welds

Fillet weld is a closed weld. In other words, the base metal will not need to be cut to size to fit the welding metal. It means that you do not have to chamfer the metal surface or edge before welding.

However, if the metal surface is too thick, you can still do it to make sure the weld will be stronger.

Fillet Welds

Positions For Pipe Welding

For pipe welding, there are several particular positions and different requirements during welding. You can find information on the three basic types of pipe welding positions below!

1. Horizontal Pipe Rolled Welding Position

To perform this pipe welding position, it is essential to adjust the joint with tack weld for fixation. You can also use a steel bridge clip to secure the tube on rollers.

Imagine the circumference of the pipe you need to weld is a clock and the position you need to weld at the 2 o’clock corner.

First, move to the 1 o’clock edge, where you rotate your tube clockwise.

Then, place the torch between 1 and 2 o’clock.

When the torch moves to the 2 o’clock position, it will be almost flat. At this point, you need to change the angle to fit the current position.

Before coming to the start point of the weld, you must stop the weld immediately to be able to make a small hole. After that, continue to use a welding gun to provide heat to the starting point.

Until the temperature of the whole welding area reaches the same level, you will create a weld with a complete fusion between its start and endpoints.

Regarding the number of passes, if your boss is less than ¼ inch in thickness, you only need to do it once. If your pipe is over ¼ inch thick, you should make more than one pass to ensure the weld strength.

1G Horizontal Pipe Rolled Weld

2. Horizontal Pipe Fixed Welding Position

For horizontal pipe fixed position weld, you should perform some tack seams diagonally.

To make it easy to understand, imagine your pipe circumference as a compass, place tack lines at NE, NW, SE, and SW locations. Remember that you should not move pipes during welding.

  • To weld at this position, start from the pipe bottom or the S position on the compass.
  • Then, move the welding direction to position E.
  • When up to E position, stop and return to S position.
  • Continue welding to W position, then return to the weld at E position and continue welding to tube top or NN position.

For welding from W to N, you only need to do the same.

This is an excellent welding method, which is highly appreciated by many experts because it allows you to complete the weld in a very short time. With this welding position, you can finish the weld three times faster than other different types of welding positions.

3. Vertical Fixed Welding Position 

For this welding position, the joint will be horizontal. You need to create a tack weld and start welding from this tack and move along the pipe.

Multi-pass Arc Weld

Root Bead

If you use a current clamp, the root bead is formed starting from the groove bottom.

If you are not using the back ring, you need to make a portable root bead that is inside the pipe to be welded.

In case you use a back ring, it will merge with the root beads in your tube. Use as many beads as possible before deciding to dig out the clamp.

Filler Bead

The filler beads are the particles used to merge into the root beads. This fusion eliminates the causes of the undercut phenomenon by causing the root beads to settle.

In the process of merging the filler and root bead, you must be very careful to minimize the risks after the weld is completed. You can use some filler beads running along the pipe.

Finish Bead

The finish beads in the welding technique are those applied to filler beads. The function of the finish beads is to complete the solder joint. In terms of size, the finish beads up being about 5/8 inch (1.59 cm) wide. When completed, it is located 1/16 inch (0.16cm) above the outside surface of the pipe.

Aluminum Pipe Welding 

Aluminum pipe welding is one of the most challenging welding methods that require the use of specialized aluminum welding machines and extremely high technical requirements of the welder.

Aluminum is easily combined with oxygen in the air to form an aluminum oxide that is very resistant to heat. On the other hand, aluminum has excellent thermal conductivity, so aluminum welds are susceptible to heat loss, resulting in broken and unsatisfactory welds.

Aluminum Pipe Welding 

Unlike welding other materials, when welding aluminum pipes, you should use push welding instead of pulling because it will have a better cleaning effect to avoid welding contamination.

In welding aluminum pipes, you need to perform with large welding voltage and fast welding torch movement speed because the thermal conductivity of aluminum is very high. If you move the groin slowly, it is easy to lead to solder, especially when welding thin parts.

FAQs About Types Of Positions In Welding

Q1: What terms are often used to denote different welding positions?

Generally, there are some basic terms used to describe various types of welding positions with neat sketches as follow:

  • 1 shows a flat welding position (including positions 1G and 1F)
  • 2 represents horizontal welding position (including positions 2G and 2F)
  • 3 shows the vertical welding position (including 3G and 3F positions)
  • 4 shows the overhead welding position (including 4G and 4F positions)

Q2: What is the difference between groove and fillet weld?

The name of the groove welds comes from the characteristics of the weld. It is common to create a groove between welded sheets to make harmony.

Each of these weldings is often used in the groove on the workpiece surface, between workpiece edges, between workpiece surfaces or between workpiece edges and workpiece surfaces.

Creating a groove before welding will allow the temperature to disperse throughout the surface of the welded joints, providing sufficient heat to the root of the plates.

Therefore, the metal will melt more efficiently and connect more closely.

Meanwhile, a fillet weld is a closed one.

This is a triangular cross-section weld that connects two perpendicular surfaces in superimposed, T-shaped, or angular links. For this type of weld, the surface of joints is usually not cut or chamfered before welding.

To perform this weld, you just need to clean the articulated surface without having to prepare as much as you do when you perform the groove weld.

Fillet welds are often used in automatic welding. Another difference between a groove and angular welds is that groove welds are more complicated and challenging to automate angular welds. Therefore, fillet welds are often used more than groove welds.

Q3: What is the difference between a single groove weld and a double groove weld?

Single groove weld means that the groove for the plates before welding is made on only one side.

Typically, single groove welds will be used for sheets with a thickness of 5 to 15 mm. In some cases, depending on the process and other parameters, a single groove joint will be used.

Meanwhile, to perform double groove welding, you need to prepare the edges to make grooves on both sides of the welded plates.

For welding materials with a thickness of 25 mm or more, the application of single-groove welding will not be sufficient. Therefore, in this case, people often use double groove weld.

Generally, double groove welds will be more effective than single groove welds. The preparation of double-seam welds will reduce the amount of metal deposited by half compared to single-joint welds.

Q4: When making a double V-groove joint in a thick pipe, should one side be prioritized for welding first?

The answer is yes. For thick pipe, you should use SAW or GMAW welding method because these are the two most effective welding methods. At the same time, both processes will help the metal to settle more.

To create a good quality weld, you should prioritize welding from the inside of the pipe first.

Q5: Can I arc mild weld steel to stainless steel?

You absolutely can.

However, to ensure safety and effectiveness, you need to meet the following basic requirements:

The composition of stainless steel must be safe and not sensitive components. If stainless steel contains sensitive impurities, you will reduce its wear resistance when welding, making it more susceptible to damage.

You should choose 309 or 312 stainless steel welding rods because these are excellent choices for stainless steel welding, especially for maintenance or repair applications. They have excellent resistance to crack and durability.

Final Thoughts

We have just shared with you some types of welding positions as well as techniques during welding. As can be seen, the implementation of welding in any position, technical compliance, and labor safety are what you have to pay close attention to.

Hopefully, through this article, you have known essential information to be able to conduct welding safely and effectively.

We hope you can make quality and aesthetics welds!

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