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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-12-0092
Project Name:   Fillet Weld Penetration Using Gas Metal and Flux-Cored Arc Welding Processes
Project Status:   Completed
Start Date:  March 1, 2012
End Date:  March 1, 2014
Contact Information
Last Name:  Ocel
First Name:  Justin
Telephone:  202-493-3080
E-mail:  justin.ocel@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Bridge and Foundation Engineering Team [HRDI-40]
Program:   High-Performing Steel Bridge
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   This project is meant to demonstrate the appropriateness of gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) processes for steel bridge fabrication. The outcomes of the project will be oriented to acquiring the data to develop training materials to show how fillet weld cross-sections change based on the process and transfer mode.
Goals:   To demonstrate that gas metal and flux-cored arc welding processes are appropriate in steel bridge fabrication provided the short circuiting transfer mode does not occur.
Background Information:   While these two processes are recognized by American Welding Society (AWS) D1.5 Bridge Welding, a 2009 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) survey found that 5 of 25 respondents do not allow gas metal arc welding (GMAW) welding in their States. While each of these processes are capable of producing sound welds, there appear to be misconceptions among users that the processes are not a viable option. Spot phone calls to some of the survey respondents found that in some States, the person in charge of approving welding has had no formal training in welding and they only allow what they are familiar with. The Bridge Welding Code indicates that the short circuit transfer mode can only be used with approval of the engineer, but if you do not know what this means, nor how to inspect for it, it is easiest not to allow the process. In certain circumstances, limiting the welding process can make steel bridge fabrication more expensive.
Test Methodology:   Experimental
Expected Benefits:   Higher productivity and reliable steel bridge fabrication.
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Structures
TRT Terms:   Welding
Steel Bridges
Gas Metal Arc Welding
Electric Arc Welding
FHWA Disciplines:   Structures
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures


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