U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations



Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

[Printer friendly]


Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-12-0092
Project Name:   Fillet Weld Penetration Using Gas Metal and Flux-Cored Arc Welding Processes
Project Status:   Active
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.
Product Type:   Techbrief
Technical report
Test Methodology:   Experimental
Expected Benefits:   Higher productivity and reliable steel bridge fabrication.
Deliverables:   The final research report will be written by the contracted agency to include a description of their experimental method and results showing the efficacy of gas metal and flux-cored arc welding for steel bridge fabrication.
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Design
TRT Terms:   Welding
Steel Bridges
Gas Metal Arc Welding
Electric Arc Welding
FHWA Disciplines:   Structures
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101