Published on 15-Mar-2024

A guide to learning the 5 Basic Types of Weld Joints

A guide to learning the 5 Basic Types of Weld Joints

Table of Content

Welding is a fundamental process in fabrication and construction, crucial for joining metals to create structures and products of various complexities. Understanding the different types of weld joints is essential for ensuring structural integrity, efficiency, and quality in welding projects. This comprehensive guide explores the intricacies of weld joints, from their classification to their applications and significance in diverse industries.

In this guide, we delve into the intricacies of weld joints, covering their classification, applications, and significance in diverse industries. From basic butt joints to more complex tee and lap joints, each type offers unique advantages and challenges. Additionally, we highlight the importance of selecting the appropriate joint type to meet structural requirements and ensure weld quality.

What are Welded Joints?

Welded Joints

Welded joints are integral components in the realm of welding, forming the basis for joining various metal pieces to create a unified structure. These joints undergo rigorous inspection through NDT methods to ensure their quality and integrity. NDT methods are employed to detect any defects or imperfections in the welded joints, thereby guaranteeing their reliability and performance.

  • Welded joints play a pivotal role in diverse welding applications, ranging from construction and manufacturing to automotive and aerospace industries.
  • They are essential for securely joining metal components, facilitating structural stability and integrity in welded structures.
  • Various welding techniques, such as butt welding, edge welding, and groove welding, are utilized to create different types of welded joints tailored to specific requirements.
  • Welding symbols are employed to denote the specifications and characteristics of welded joints, providing essential information to welding professionals during fabrication.
  • Welded joints can be categorized into various types based on their configuration, including butt joints, lap joints, tee joints, and edge joints, each serving distinct purposes in welding applications.
  • The selection of a suitable weld joint type depends on factors such as material thickness, joint configuration, and welding technique.
  • Welded joints can be fitted together to form V-groove or square butt joints, allowing for efficient welding processes and ensuring optimal joint strength and integrity.

Welded joints form the cornerstone of welding technology, offering versatility, strength, and reliability in diverse applications. Through meticulous inspection and adherence to welding standards, these joints contribute to the fabrication of robust and enduring structures across various industries.

Learn More About Welded Joints

What are the Five Basic Weld Joints?

Types of Welding Joints

Let’s take a look at each different type of weld joint, describe what it is, how it might be utilized, and the possible pros and cons of each.

1. Butt Joint

Within the butt-joint classification, there are several variations on the design of butt joints based on the edge preparation of the two elements of the joints, including; 

  • Square
  • Single bevel
  • Double bevel
  • Single J
  • Double J
  • Single V
  • Double V
  • Single U
  • Double U 
  • Flanged
  • Round edge (single flare and double flare)

Square Butt Joints

Square Butt Joints

A square butt joint would commonly be used on thinner sections of a plate, tubing, angle, or channel, i.e., ¼” or less, and is not under tremendous amounts of stress. These joints require virtually no joint preparation to speak of; merely fit the pieces together with whatever gap suits the chosen welding process and requirements of the task involved and start welding.

Single Bevel Butt Joints

Single-Bevel Butt Weld

A single bevel is where only one of the pieces to be joined requires a bevel to achieve the desired weld penetration. This is commonly used when welding beams to columns in the structural steel construction industry. It would not be practical, or even possible, to bevel a column in the vertical position so the joint prep is performed on the beam only. A single bevel in this application allows the welder to weld the entire joint from one side. This is advantageous where access to both sides of the joint may not be possible. A backing bar may or may not be required, depending on the joint design.

Double Bevel Butt Joints

A double bevel, on the other hand, can be advantageous for this very reason; no backing material is required. The welder may simply weld from one side and then clean the root pass from the opposite side and achieve complete joint penetration this way. Double bevel weld joints are commonly used on pipes to join pipe sections and achieve complete joint penetration which is required for process piping. The beveling can be easily accomplished with an angle grinder for smaller pipes or a beveling machine, a commonly used tool in the pipe trades. 

Single V Butt Joints

Single V butt joints are mainly used in joining pipes together where welding occurs from only one side, especially for pipes lower than 24” NPS. In this type of joint, the root pass can be welded with the GTAW process or by the SMAW process using cellulosic electrodes like E6010.

Double V Butt Joints

Double V Butt Joints

A double V bevel can also be used for joining heavy sections of plate or beams together where there is access to both sides of the joint. Again, the bevel can be achieved with flame cutting or grinding and is commonly used in field welding applications for this reason. 

J Bevel and U Bevel Butt Joints

Both the J bevel and U bevel joint designs, both single and double bevel, are often found in very specific and unique applications within the welding industry. Both types of joint designations usually require machining of the parts to be joined and are therefore more difficult to perform on job sites. These particular joint designations might be used in joining heavy plate sections or pipes together where the welding criteria are critical Double U or J bevel can, in rare and specific cases, be used on the pipe as a way to counter any possible flow restrictions created by a weld penetrating into the pipe. 

Single and Double J & U Butt Joints

Both types of joint designs are mainly used to join thick sections when joints are subjected to dynamic loads, like in the case of bridges. One of the disadvantages of these joint designs is the need for special tools for edge preparation to get the J or U groove butt on the other side. One advantage of these two joints is that they require lower quantities of welding electrodes to complete them, compared to single and double V groove joints.

Flanged Butt Joints

Flanged Butt Joints

This type of joint design is used in joining thin sections together and is usually used in HVAC duct fabrications where seal welds are required.

2. Tee Joint

Compound Tee Joint

The tee joint, or T joint, is a very commonly used joint in construction and manufacturing across the world. The T joint can be used to join all kinds of different sizes and shapes to achieve the desired end product. For example, attaching the mounting frame to the back of a loader bucket is accomplished with some variation of a T joint design.

The T joint configuration could be welded with either a fillet weld or with groove welds, either partial joint penetration (PJP) or complete joint penetration (CJP), and maybe compound welds including groove and fillet welds like in the case of welding built-up sections.

3. Corner Joint

Open and Closed Corner Joint

The corner joint is very simple and easy to implement and requires minimum prep. The pieces to be joined are brought together at approximately a right angle to each other and tacked into place. The corner joint may be aligned with the inside edges of each piece lined up or with one piece overlapping the other, depending on the joint design as shown in the image below. The corner joint could be welded with fillet welds or groove welds.

4. Lap Joint

Lap Joint

A lap joint is made by effectively laying one piece (typically a plate) over top of another. As with corner joints, a minimum of joint prep is required to achieve a proper lap joint. Make sure the material is clean and free of dirt and debris, bring it into firm contact, tack, and start welding.

Many tank floors are built this way because the lap joint, with a specified amount of overlap, (typically 1½” to 2”) creates a strong joint that can be welded quickly with fillet welds at all connections. This type of joint design is very common in brazing, where the filler wire is melted and left to spread between the two laying sheets or pipes by what is called capillary action. This is used in the joining of copper pipes in HVAC systems.

5. Edge Joint

Different Types of Edge Joints

Lastly, the edge joint, which is made by joining pieces, usually plate and welding the outer edges. There are several different types of edge joints:

  •  U groove
  •  V groove
  •  J groove
  •  Corner flange
  •  Bevel groove
  •  Square groove
  •  Edge flange

Edge joints may be made by any of the variations found in the illustration above depending on the thickness of the material to be joined and the desired strength of the part being fabricated. Edge joints are very commonly used in sheet metal applications. The edge flange and corner flange are ways to add structural rigidity when using thinner materials. The edge joint configuration would always be made with some variation of it in the groove weld.

Welded Joints Symbols