In the increasingly complex world of welding, there remain only four different welding positions. They are flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead. The flat position is by far the easiest and most efficient joint to meld, while the overhead is the most difficult. Below, we discuss these different welding positions and those qualified to do the welding. In order to get a better understanding of how welds are performed, we begin by exploring the two basic types of welding.
Structural welding is the most common type of welding. It is primarily used in the welding of objects that are square in shape. Because square pieces form straight lines for a weld, only one angle and one welding position is possible at a time. Welds can be done in all four positions. Structural welders can weld in flat, horizontal and vertical or in all according to their certification. Many structural welders get certified twice to be able to weld in all positions.
Pipe welding is a more complicated process than structural welding, and only a minority of certified welders do pipe welding. The angle and the position of the weld constantly changes as the welder works their way around the pipe. Pipe welding includes the same four positions as structural welding, and includes some extra considerations due to the spatial restrictions that pipes impose.
The Four Positions from a Closer View
Now that we have some background about the two basic types of welding, it’s time to take a closer look at those positions.
In a flat position, a weld is performed along largely a horizontal access and from above the joint. It is the easiest type of weld to perform.
In the horizontal position, the weld’s axis is the horizontal plane. Horizontal welding is often used for fillet or groove welds.
With a vertical position, the weld’s axis is largely in a vertical or upright position. It is typically more complicated to perform than flat and horizontal welding.
In this the most complicated of the four, welding is performed from the underside of the joint.
The four welding positions vary in their complexity, and pipe welding remains the most difficult type of welding to perform. Regardless to position or type of weld, when done properly, the joint created in the process will be stronger than the base metal itself.
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