Welding is a technique that artists use to convert an ordinary metal piece into expensive art. The quality and strength of the weld bead determine the success of any welding project. A well-executed welding bead enhances the weld’s appearance and ensures the joint’s durability. There are various types of welding beads, and it’s quite a daunting task for beginner and professional welders to choose the right one for their specific needs.
This article will explore the top 11 types of welding beads. We will provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand and choose the most suitable welding bead for your project. Whether you are a beginner looking to expand your knowledge or an experienced welder seeking to refine his skills, this article is valuable and worth reading to improve your expertise.
What is a welding bead?
A welding bead is a molten piece that deposits between the metal pieces to join them during welding. It is created by melting the filler metal with the help of a welding arc or flame heat. The bead formed by this process solidifies, forming a continuous strong bond between metal pieces. It provides structural integrity as well as strength to the welded joint.
Types of Welding Beads
Welding beads are of different shapes and sizes that depend on the specific welding technique used and the desired characteristics of the joint. The following are 11 types of welding beads that we are going to cover.
01. Fillet Weld Bead
It is one of the most commonly used welding techniques beneficial for structural applications. A filler weld bead is a weld joint that forms at an angle of 90 degrees between two pieces of metal and thus creates a triangular-shaped bead. These welds are extensively used in various industries for strength and versatility, such as automotive, construction, and shipbuilding.
If you want to build a steel frame of the building, then fillet weld bead is best to use. You can use it to join vertical and horizontal members together, thus providing stability and integrity to the structure.
02. Butt Weld Bead
This welding technique is used to join two metal pieces along their edges. It is a fundamental weld bead in which metal piece edges are aligned and then welded for both parts for a strong and continuous weld seam.
Butt welds are mainly used for pipeline construction, automotive manufacturing, and aerospace industries.
Butt weld beads are widely used to assemble exhaust systems in the automotive industry. This kind of weld bead ensures leak-free joints and thus enhances the overall longevity and performance of the exhaust system.
03. Lap Weld Bead
The lap weld technique involves overlapping two metal pieces to weld them together along the seam. This type of weld bead is beneficial in joining the two thin metal sheets when a flush surface is not required. Lap welds are excellent in providing strength. It’s widely used in metal sheet fabrication and the construction of storage tanks.
For manufacturing stainless-steel water tanks, lap weld beads are an excellent choice for joining the individual panels. It ensures a secure and watertight bond.
04. Plug Weld Bead
This welding technique drills a hole into a single metal piece. The resulting gap is then filled with a weld bead. It effectively joins one metal piece to the other. Plug welds provide extraordinary strength to the welding joint. It is frequently used in those applications where the welder requires a flush surface or at places where one-sided welding is impossible.
Plug weld bead is used in the assembly of metal chairs. It is used to attach the legs to the seat. This provides a clean and seamless appearance to the chair whole maintains structural stability.
05. Spot Weld Bead
Spot welding is an excellent technique for joining thin metal sheets in the automotive industry. In this technique, a series of rapid and localized welds are used at regular intervals to create stronger bonds.
Spot welds are popular because of their speed, reliability, and efficiency. Therefore, it is ideal for high-volume production lines.
Car manufacturers extensively use spot weld beads to assemble the car bodies. This technique makes it possible to create multiple panels quickly and safely. Thus, it ensures the structural integrity of the vehicle.
06. Seam Weld Bead
This type of welding bead is popular in creating a continuous weld along the entire weld. It is used explicitly for cylindrical or curved components. Seam welding is the most common technique to manufacture pipes, pressure vessels, and fuel tanks. It provides resistance against leaks and strength to the weld joint. Therefore, it is the most suitable technique for welding applications that require an airtight seal.
Seam weld beads help join the edges of the rolled sheet into a cylindrical shape in the production of steel pipes. Thus, The weld provides a continuous and robust bond capable of withstanding high-pressure environments.
07. Groove Weld Bead
It is a versatile technique to join metal pieces by filling an already prepared groove with a weld bead. This grove consists of different configurations, such as V, U, or bevelled edges.
This technique provides exceptional strength to the material in manufacturing heavy machinery, fabrication of structural steel, and shipbuilding.
Groove weld beads help connect the individual steel beams while constructing the steel bridge. Thus, it ensures a secure and load-bearing structure.
08. Surfacing Weld Bead
This welding technique is also known as hard-facing. This technique involves depositing a welded metal layer onto the base metal. It improves resistance to wear, corrosion, and other specific properties. Surface weld beads join components subjected to harsh operating conditions, such as mining, oil and gas, and agriculture.
You can use this welding technique to enhance the wear resistance of mining equipment such as bulldozer blades and drill bits. If you use the best TIG welding Gas, It also extends the life span of these components and thus reduces the maintenance costs.
09. Tack Weld Bead
A temporary weld bead is formed between two metals to hold them in place before the final weld is made. These are small and easily removable weld beads and allow the alignments and adjustments of the metal surfaces before the permanent weld is executed. It is a commonly used technique in pipe welding, shipbuilding, and fabrication shops.
You can use this welding technique to construct metal structures such as bridges and welding frames. It temporarily secures the components in position and enables an accurate assembly of the metal pieces before the final welding is completed.
10. Backstep Weld Bead
Backstep welding is also known as skip welding, which is used to minimize the distortion and control the heat input during the welding process. It goes by welding short and then intermittent weld beads that move in reverse direction starting from beginning to the end. These weld beads are commonly used in welding heavy plates, boiler fabrication, and manufacturing pressure vessels.
Backstep weld beads are used to ensure that the heat is distributed evenly during the production of the pressure vessel. It is also used to minimize distortion and thus results in an accurate container structurally and dimensionally.
11. Cord Bead
Other than available welding, there also exists artistry known as cord bead. In this technique, thin weld beads are used to apply delicately in the decorative patterns and thus adding more visual appeal to the metalwork. This type of welding bead is used primarily in ornamental projects, art installations, and architectural designs. All these projects involve aesthetics and creativity at the central stage.
Cord beads help the welders to transform their ordinary metal pieces into breathtaking art pieces that captivate the eye.
TIG Welding Beads
Stack-of-dimes Bead: This is a characteristic feature of TIG welding. It involves a series of small, overlapping circular welds that resemble a stack of dimes. This stake of dimes provides excellent control over the input heat and a clean appearance. It ensures strong fusion between the base metal and filler metal.
Ripples Bead: This type of TIG weld bead is created by moving the torch in a back-and-forth motion while maintaining a consistent travel speed. Thus, made beads are visually appealing and mainly used for cosmetic applications involving aesthetics.
MIG Welding Beads
Stringer Bead: This is the most commonly used weld bead in MIG welding. Stringer beads are created by moving the welding torch straight along the joint. This is an ideal welding bead for producing neat and uniform welds.
Weave Bead: The weave bead is produced by moving the torch in a side-to-side motion along the joint. This creates a zigzag patterned wider weld bead. Weave beads are used for welding thicker materials where extra reinforcement is required.
Stick Welding Beads
Whip and Pause Bead: This type of weld bead is usually associated with stick welding. In this technique, the edges of the weld joint are paused by whipping the electrode in a back-and-forth pattern. As a result, a series of overlapping weld beads are formed with distinct patterns. These beads are versatile and can be used for joint configuration and metal thickness.
Capped Bead: A capped bead is formed by adding a slight pause at the end of each weld pass and thus allowing the molten metal to create a slightly raised cap. This weld bead is used for extra reinforcement and to improve the appearance of the weld.
FAQs about Types of Welding Beads
For the success of any welding project, welding beads act as the backbone. Welders can choose the best welding beads by understanding their various types according to their specific welding techniques and applications.
The choice of the suitable welding bead makes all the difference in achieving durable, strong, and visually appealing welds, whether you are working on automotive assembly or structural steel fabrication. Therefore, we have discussed 11 types of welding beads with additional six types according to different welding techniques. After reading this article, you are on the way to becoming a sought-after and proficient welder in your field.
Remember that you can only master these welding techniques through consistent practice and experience. While you want to hone your skills, do experiments with different weld beads. Adapt the welding techniques that are best matched to your welding challenges.
Knowledge, along with practice, is a crucial maestro to the skill of welding. We’re helping you to gain knowledge through our website. If you want to be a professional welder and join the industry, make sure to become a certified welder first.
For this, there are several welding institutes that you can join. We also have compiled a list of the best welding schools. Join any of those schools and set off on the journey of mastering the art of welding. Also, we have compiled a list of the best welding machines. You can choose the best one to read this complete article.