What Are the Different Welding Positions?

Those who’ve never taken welding classes or fused metal in the field might assume a welder simply sits at a workstation and fuses the metal components in front of them, moving freely around the table and repositioning the workpiece as needed.

But in everyday work environments, joining metal can be much trickier. Workpieces may be attached to the ceiling, the corner, or the floor.

Welders need techniques to be able to weld in any position. So the four common welding positions were developed.

What Is a Welding Position?

Welding Positions are basically the different angles of joining metals. Normally, there are four types of welding positions namely horizontal, flat, vertical, and overhead. And the most common types of welds are groove and fillet welds. Welders can perform these two welds in all four positions. Besides this, there are special letters to designate fillet and groove welds.

There are four types of welding positions namely:

  • Flat position.
  • Horizontal position.
  • Vertical position.
  • Overhead position.
A welding position is a technique that allows a welder to join metals in the position in which they are found or the position in which a specific component will be used.

Fillet Weld (F) – It is a welding method for combining two parts of metal vertically or slightly at an angle.
Groove Weld (G) – It is a weld made in the groove. It requires full penetration for laying strong welds.

MORE: What is Welding?

Grove and Fillet Welding Positions:

Normally, the following numbers and letters are used.

For groove welding positions

  • 1G – (flat welding position)
  • 2G – (horizontal welding position)
  • 3G – (vertical welding position)
  • 4G – (welding position overhead or overhead)
  • 5G – (uphill/downhill vertical welding position)
  • 6G/6GR – (overhead vertical welding position)

For fillet welding positions

  • 1F – (flat welding position)
  • 2F – (horizontal welding position)
  • 3F – (vertical welding position)
  • 4F – (welding position overhead or overhead)

Different Welding Positions

A welding position is a technique that allows a welder to join metals in the position in which they are found or the position in which a specific component will be used.

There are four main types of welding positions:

1. Flat position

Also referred to as a “down hand” position, the flat position weld is the easiest and often the first weld that new students learn. The metals to be joined are placed flat, and the welder passes the electric arc over them, moving across the workpiece in a horizontal direction. The joint’s topside is welded together allowing the molten material to move down into its edges or groove.

2. Horizontal Position

The horizontal position is considered an out-of-position weld. Along with the vertical and overhead, the horizontal position can be more challenging to perform and require a higher level of skill.

The weld axis is horizontal. How the position is executed depends on the type of weld. For a fillet weld, the weld bead is placed where a vertical and a horizontal piece of metal meet at a 90-degree angle. When performing a groove weld, the weld face will be along a vertical plane.

3. Vertical Position

For a vertical position weld, both the weld and plate will lie vertically. One of the major problems when performing this weld is the molten metal flowing downward and piling up. Welding in downhill or upward vertical position can prevent this issue.

4. Overhead

The overhead position weld is the most difficult position to work in. The welding will be performed with the two pieces of metal above the welder, and the welder will have to angle him or herself and the equipment to reach the joints.

One major issue can be the metal sagging from the plate. When the metal sags, it creates a crown. To avoid this issue, the puddle of molten metal should be kept small.

6G Welding Positions

This is one of the hardest types of welding positions for welders to perform. The position is a pre-condition for getting certified. To some extent, this position is similar to 5G/PH/PJ but the pipe stands at 45° to the other one. Other names are 6G Uphill/H-L045 and 6G Downhill/J-L045 Position.

6G welding position also known as overhead weld position or welder certification test position. In this position, one pipe needs to position at a 45° angle to the other one. That’s why it becomes the most complex and challenging position for welders. Further, welders need to make so many body positions while performing welding.

While 6G position welding, there are mainly three welds i.e., horizontal (difficult), flat (easy), and vertical welds (demanding). Filling metal flow downwards is the main cause of the difficulty. And in a vertical position, it becomes more difficult for welders as it is overhead welding.

Therefore, a welder needs a lot of practice in a 6G position before going for the actual weld. A certified welder rarely faces a 6G position while working in the industry during their service, but it is a common pre-employment test for them.

The main use of a 6G weld position is for fabrication and installation of pipe and pipelines mostly in chemical plants, oil and gas plants, industrial plants, and any other similar industry using pipe and pipelines.

Welding Position Video