14.4 Cost of welding
The main components in the cost of making a welded joint are the volume of weld metaldeposited and the time taken to deposit it. In order to achieve economy in welded joints itis therefore necessary to select a joint configuration that uses a minimum amount of weldmetal and that is easy to carry out. Both these cost components are largely influenced bythe type of welds specified by the designer. The time taken to lay a weld can be optimisedby following certain guidelines, viz.:
Using welds of minimum volume.
Using electrodes that have high deposition rates.
Using downhand welding in preference to overhead or vertical welding whereverpossible.
Using single-run welds rather than multi-run welds where strength permits.
Avoiding excessive lengths of welds, for example by welding opposite sides only ofgusset plates, angle cleats, etc, instead of all four sides.The efficiency of a welding operation is measured by the ratio of actual arc time to totaltime, i.e. by the time that welding is actually taking place against the overall time to makea joint, including fitting up, tack welding, final welding, turning over, cleaning andinspection.Some of these aspects are discussed in greater detail below.
14.5 Types of joints and welds
The two main types of weld used in structural connections are the fillet weld and thegroove weld. The former is sometimes referred to as a projection weld because it islocated outside the profile (as seen in cross section) of the parts connected, and the latteras a flush weld because it is contained within the profile.
Fillet welds are by far the most commonly used welds because they are easy to lay,require no special plate edge preparation and do not call for a very accurate fit-up of theparts. Wherever the loading permits, they should be laid as single-run welds up to 8 mm,if the manual metal arc process is used. The laying of additional runs of weld addsconsiderably to the cost of a joint. The strength of a fillet weld is directly proportional to itssize (i.e., its throat dimension), but its volume varies as the square of its size. Thus, an8 mm fillet has 1,33 times the strength of a 6 mm weld, but its volume is 1,78 times asmuch. Its efficiency in terms of weld metal deposited is therefore only 0,75 that of thesmaller weld.A further drawback of a large weld is the amount of distortion it produces in the connectedparts. Where this is beyond acceptable limits it will be necessary either to preset the partsbefore welding or to straighten them afterwards both operations obviously being costly.It is thus of the greatest importance not to overspecify the size of fillet welds.