Welding positions are techniques welders employ to join two or more metals for a specific design purpose.
Untrained welders who do not know the fundamentals of welding trivialize this craft and fail to understand the technicalities involved in welding. Welders need techniques to comfortably weld metals or workpieces in any position, and this brought the development of the four popular welding positions.
The standard welding positions are horizontal, flat, overhead, and vertical, and the American Welding Society (AWS) recognizes these. Every welder needs to understand these various types of welding positions to get the best output. Welding positions affect the flow of molten metal due to gravity’s action, so a welder must learn these positions as needed for several welding processes.
1. Horizontal Position
This position is described as the out-of-position weld. The horizontal welding position needs a high-level skill, and it can be challenging to pull off for a lot of welders. This position is considered to be more challenging than the vertical or flat position.
The welding axis is horizontal, and the type of welding determines how this position is carried out. For a groove weld, the weld face is usually on the vertical plane, while for fillet welds, you need to place the weld bead where the edges of the horizontal and vertical metals meet at right angles.
2. Flat Position
This is the most common and easiest welding position to learn. Almost all young welders are comfortable using this technique. Popularly called the down-hand position. Mostly flat metals are joined with the flat position.
The welder sets an electric arc over the workpiece and moves across horizontally. The joint’s top is welded, and the molten material travels downward to the groove or edges.
3. Overhead Position
The overhead position is regarded as the most tedious and challenging position amongst the various types. The welder will have to carry out the welding process while the pieces of metal are above the welder’s head and the equipment is placed in a comfortable position to get to the joints.
Metal sagging is the main issue when carrying out this position, and the sagging causes a crown. To avoid dealing with this, keep the molten metal’s puddle small.
4. Vertical Position
For a welder to pull off a vertical position weld, the plate and weld will have to be placed in an upright position. It’s quite a comfortable position so you won’t be encountering many problems while welding.
The only significant issue you might face is when the molten metal starts piling downwards. However, this can be easily eliminated when you weld in an upward vertical or downhill position.
While in an upward vertical position, the welder holds the clamp at 45 degrees to the plate, pointing the flame upward so he or she can take advantage of the metal at the bottom sides of the piece to weld, thereby opposing gravity.
In a downhill position, the force of the electric arc and the top parts of the metal are used.
Groove (G) and Fillet (F) welding are the popular types of welds. Welders use the four positions listed above in performing these welds. The positions are denoting these welds are highlighted:
Groove Welding Positions
- 6G( Overhead vertical welding)
- 5G (Downhill/Uphill vertical welding)
- 4G (Welding overhead)
- 3G (Vertical Welding)
- 2G (Horizontal Welding)
- 1G (Flat Welding)
Fillet welding positions
- 4F (Overhead welding)
- 3F (Vertical welding)
- 2F (Horizontal welding)
- 1F (Flat welding)
The 1G/1F position involves flat welding, where welders place the metal pieces to be welded directly under the torch. This technique is used for groove, fillet, and butts welds.
2G is a horizontal placement for performing butt welds. When in this placement, the pieces and body of the welder are parallel to each other. The welder performs while the parts are in front.
The 2F position is developed for fillet welding. It’s a stricter position when compared to the 1F technique. To successfully pull this off, the welder has to place the torch to the workpiece at the right angle, which should be at close range. The pipe or plate angle determines the right angle of the torch.
The 2F position is more challenging when trying to perform a butt weld; this is due to the consistent downward flow of molten metal downwards, which poses a problem. For a good result, welders need to align the metal pieces and weld at each end.
- 3G downhill:
3G downhill is a vertically downward position adopted for butt and fillet welds. Welders use the metal at the top part. It’s a position that’s very good in productivity.
The 4G overhead position is done when performing butt welds. The welder holds the torch from the bottom of the workpiece. This is usually a complex position, which makes it difficult. Any welder doing this will have to set the parameters properly before welding.
It is an overhead position mainly used for fillet type of weld. The torch needs to be held at a right angle, and the welder goes under the piece. The angle of the torch still lies on the position of the plate or pipe.
- 5G Uphill:
5G welding positions are primarily used for welding pipe, and the pipe’s axis is always kept stable without any form of rotation or turn. 5G uphill position is a position for pipe butt welds. This is the usual position used in welding pipes.
Welders use three positions of welding; overhead, horizontal, and flat. What makes this welding position difficult is the non-rotation of the pipe.
- 5G Downhill:
This position is vertical downward used for pipe butt-welding. It is an excellent way to weld pipe manually. Welders have to use the right tool for welding pipes counteracting the gravity flow of molten material. This will increase welding productivity and give a better result.
When performing 5G, welders begin from the flat position to the horizontal, and then finally to the overhead.
6G welding positions are part of the most difficult welding positions. It is used chiefly during welding certification programs. The 6G position is also called overhead weld.
There are mainly three types of welds in this position; horizontal, flat, and vertical welds. In carrying out this position, a pipe is placed at 45 degrees to the other; this makes it difficult. The dominant reason for the high level of difficulty is the downward flow of molten metal.
The primary use of the 6G position is for the installation and fabrication of pipes and in pipeline construction.
- What are the levels of welders?
The AWS (American Welding Society) offers these certification programs:
- Certified associate welding inspector
- Certified welding inspector
- Senior certified welding inspector
- Certified radiographic interpreter
The Canadian Welding Bureau offers:
- Certified welding inspector (Level 1)
- Certified welding inspector (Level 2)
- Certified welding inspector (Level 3)
British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing offers the following certifications:
- PCN Level 1
- PCN Level 2
- PCN Level 3
In the United Kingdom, The Welding Institute proffers these schemes:
- CSWIP 3.0
- CSWIP 3.1
- CSWIP 3.2
- What are the different welding jobs?
There are thirteen different types of welding jobs you can find out there covering a wide range of industries:
- Construction welder
- Structural steel welder
- Manufacturing welder
- Sheet Metal workers
- Industrial Shutdown welders
- Industrial Maintenance welders
- Rig welder
- Motorsports welders
- Shipyard welders
- Military welder
- Underwater welders
- What is 2G welding?
2G welding is a symbol for denoting horizontal welding positions for groove connections. It is a position where the weld axis is in the horizontal direction, and the pipe is set in a vertical order. The welder starts welding from the side of the pipe and continues in a horizontal direction.
- What is the hardest welding position?
The most challenging welding position for a welder is the H-L045/6G uphill and J-L045/6G downhill. This is often only used in welding tests when trying to certify a welder for all positions.
- What is a horizontal position in welding?
For fillet welding, the horizontal position is when welding is performed at the top of a horizontal surface against a vertical surface. For the groove weld, the weld’s face is on the vertical plane.
- What are the four welding positions?
The four basic positions for welding are horizontal, vertical, flat, and overhead.
- What is 3G Welding?
In welding, there is the 3G uphill/PF and 3G downhill/PG vertical position. The 3G uphill position is employed in fillet and butt welds. During welding, the welder uses the metal at the top parts, and the torch angle is maintained at 45 degrees. But for the 3G downhill position, the welder uses the metal from the lower parts of the workpiece.
- What is G in welding?
G in welding stands for Groove weld. It is used to symbolize groove weld positions.
- What are the five basic welding joints?
Five basic welding joints are butt, lap, corner, T, and Edge joints.
- Butt Joints
Butt joints result from joining two metal pieces in a similar plane with their edges in contact.
- Lap Joints
Lap joints are formed with the two workpieces overlapping each other partially.
- Corner Joints
To get a corner joint, the welder needs to fuse two workpieces at angle 90.
- T Joints
T-joints occur when two metal pieces are fused at 45 degrees.
- Edge Joints
When two flat pieces are welded, it forms an Edge joint.
You can watch this video for a more detailed explanation of different types of welding positions.
Now you are aware of the different types of welding positions and their applications. To quickly know the correct welding position to use, you have to note the type of material to be welded, the thickness of the material, the time condition for the project, the source, and the amount of current available to power the welding machine.
Selecting the proper technique saves money, time and produces the best result.