types of welding positions 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G AND 1F, 2F, 3F, 4F

Types of Welding Positions 1G/2G/3G/4G & 1F/2F/3F/4F

Welding is used to permanently join metal/nonmetal parts. Practical Welding was invented in Russia by Nikolay Benardos in 1881. From that point to now lots of modification has been done in every parameter of welding like welding position, welding process, filler material, etc. by different inventors and intellectual teams of engineers to optimize the welding process for efficiency.

there are lots of parameters or let’s say variables in welding like the position of welding, Base material, filler material, current, voltage, polarity, welding process, the thickness of base metal, etc but today we are limiting this post to only types of welding positions.

What is Welding Position and why do we need it?

Let’s first try to understand what a welding position is. Well, welding is done on the easily accessible areas as well as stringent tough areas like corner joints, inside pressure vessels, between stiffeners, ceiling, submarine, etc, where it is not at all easy to even simply stand so it requires immense skills in the welder to be able to do weld in a successful manner.

In which direction and in which plane any welder is able to weld the metal successfully is called the welding position. Not every welder qualifies in every position until he/she masters it. And welding in plates is also different from pipe welding so that’s why we have to differentiate each welder according to his/her ability to weld based upon the below-mentioned different planes and positions.

Types of welding positions for Plates

As per the American Welding Society (AWS), there are mainly four types of welding positions.

  1. Flat Position
  2. Horizontal Position
  3. Vertical Position
  4. Overhead Position
welding position of welder as per aws
Different Welding Positions

1. Flat Position

In this position, the welder welds in a position where his/her head is over the workpiece and the workpiece lies flat. This position is also known as ‘downhand’ position. Every newcomer in welding starts from this position because it is the most comfortable position to start with.

2. Horizontal Position

In this position, welding is done on a horizontal axis. In groove weld root face is parallel to the vertical axis whereas in fillet weld two workpieces make a 90-degree angle and the weld is filled up. This position is harder than a flat position.

3. Vertical position

Here, welding is done on the vertical axis, and workpieces are also kept in the vertical plane as shown in fig to complete the weld. In this position welders either can start welding from a downward to an upward direction which is called an ‘Uphill’ position or upward to the downward direction which is known as a ‘Downhill’ position.

Generally, the Uphill welding position is preferred over the downhill welding position because in the downhill position slag has a tendency to run into the molten weld pool.

4. Overhead Position

The toughest position in welding is the overhead position. The welder has to join metal above his weld while adjusting his/her posture. Sometimes in stringent narrow places, it is hard to reach the welding position.

The problem with this position is when welding starts and metal melts it sags due to gravity so the molten weld pool needs to keep small.

Main types of welding joints for Plates

Groove Joint (G)

The welding edge of the workpiece is prepared as single v, double v, single u, double u, single j, double j, etc. Weld is filled up in this groove to join the metal.

Fillet Joint (F)

Here, two workpiece makes an approximate right angle (angle could be more or less from a right angle) and welding is done to join the metal.

Configuration of Welding Position

How do we write and understand welding positions as per AWS and ASME code and standards? Well, It is written as something like 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, and 1F, 2F, 3F, 4F. Let’s try to understand what is this means.

  • 1 = Flat Position
  • 2 = Horizontal position
  • 3 = Vertical Position
  • 4 = Overhead Position
  • G = Groove Joint
  • F = Fillet Joint

The below table shows different welding position configurations by which we can identify the position and type of joint we are welding.

Welding positionPOSITIONType of Joint
1GFlat Groove
1FFlat Fillet
Welding Position Configuration

Welding Position for Pipe

The welding position in the pipe is slightly different from a plate or other pieces of metal since the pipe is cylindrical in shape.

welding positions for pipe welding
Pipe Welding Position
  • 1G pipe welding position = Flate Groove weld where a pipe is rotated around the horizontal axis and the position of a welder is fixed. Welding is done on top of the pipe.
  • 2G pipe welding position = Horizontal Groove weld where the pipe is in a vertical position and welding is done along the horizontal axis.
  • 5G pipe welding position = Vertical groove weld where the pipe is fixed and the welder moves around the pipe either vertically upward or vertically downwards to weld the pipe
  • 6G pipe welding position = Inclined Groove weld where the pipe is fixed in an inclined position and the welder moves around the pipe to perform welding. This is the toughest welding position.

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