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The welding position refers to the position of the welding operator towards the workpiece to be welded. Because of gravity, the welding position affects the flow of molten filler metal. It’s important to understand the types of welding positions as different welding processes require to be performed at a certain position of the welder.
There are four main types of welding positions, which we will cover below.
Table of Contents
4 Basic Welding Positions
Flat Position (1G and 1F)
The easiest type to perform is the flat position, which is also sometimes called the downhand position. It involves welding on the top side of the joint. In this position, the molten metal is drawn downward into the joint. The result is a faster and easier weld.
In 1G and 1F, the number 1 refers to the flat position, while the letter G stands for a groove weld and letter F stands for a fillet weld.
Horizontal Position (2G and 2F)
This is an out of position welding position. It’s a more difficult position compared to the flat position and it requires more skill from the welding operator to do them well.
2G is a groove weld position that involves placing the weld axis in a horizontal plane or approximately horizontal. As for the face of the weld, it should lie in an approximately vertical plane.
2F is a fillet weld position, in which the welding is done on the upper side of the surfaces that is approximately horizontal that lies against a surface that is approximately vertical. In this position, the torch is usually held at a 45-degree angle.
Vertical Position (3F and 3G)
In this position, both the plate and the weld lie vertically or almost vertically. The 3F and 3G refer to vertical fillet and vertical groove positions.
When welding vertically, the force of gravity pushes the molten metal downward and so it has the tendency to pile up. To counteract this, you can use either an upward or downhill vertical position.
To control this in the upward vertical position, point the flame upward, holding it at a 45-degree angle to the plate. This way, the welder will use the metal from the lower parts of the workpiece to weld against the force of gravity.
In the downhill position, the metal from the upper parts and the electric arc’s kinetic force are used.
In this position, welding is carried from the underside of the joint. It’s the most complicated and difficult position to work in. The 4G and 4F positions stand for groove and fillet welds respectively.
In the overhead position, the metal deposited to the joint tends to sag on the plate, resulting in a bead with a higher crown. To prevent this, keep the molten puddle small. If the weld puddle becomes too large, remove the flame for a moment in order to allow the molten metal to cool.
The positions flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead are the basic types of welding positions. However, they do not adequately describe pipe welding positions. Pipe welding can be done under many different requirements. These positions we’ll cover in a separate article.