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Welding Symbols
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Welding Symbols

AutoCAD® has many symbols which may be added to drawings to specify different types of welds. These symbols come from the American Welding Society which has developed a system of standard welding symbols that can be used on prints to describe the type of weld and the weld's specifications.

A basic welding symbol...

...has a reference line, a leader line, an arrow, an optional tail, and welding information.

  • reference line - the starting place for the welding symbol. The specifications for how the weld is to be made will be based on the positioning of the other components compared to the reference line.
  • leader line - takes us to the arrow and can have a special use which will be discussed later.
  • arrow - points to the joint where the weld should be made.
  • tail - the tail is optional and is where you can place information that has no designated place on the welding symbol.

The arrow points to the joint where the weld is to be made. The side of the joint that the arrow points to is called the arrow side. The opposite side of that joint is called the other side.

Remember that the reference line is the starting point for all information about the weld. You may use symbols around the reference line to specify welding on either the arrow side or the other side. Any symbols below the reference line are specifications for the arrow side regardless of whether the arrow is pointing up, down, left, or right. Any symbols above the reference line are specifications for the other side of the joint.

To complete the welding symbol, it is necessary to specify the type of weld. The following are very common types of welds and are used for different purposes, often for different types of mating surfaces.
Fillet Weld
Plug or Slot Weld
Spot or Projection Weld
Seam Weld
Back Weld or Backing Weld
Surfacing Weld
Melt Thru Weld
Square Weld
V Weld
Bevel Weld
U Weld
J Weld
Flare-V Weld
Flare-Bevel Weld

Below is an example of a fillet weld to be made on the arrow side of the joint. This is an example of how to apply these weld symbols to the welding symbol as a whole.

This is a fillet weld to be made on the arrow side of the joint. Note how the fillet weld symbol is below the reference line which indicates the arrow side of the joint. In this case, the left side is the arrow side.

Below is a welding symbol that specifies two welds, one on either side of the joint. The fillet weld (fillet weld symbol is below the reference line) is to be made on the arrow side of the joint while the bevel weld (bevel weld symbol is above the reference line) is to be made on the other side of the joint.

The tail may be used to specify the welding process by which the weld is supposed to be made. Check out the welding process table for a list of welding processes. The following specifies a Gas Metal-Arc Welding process.

You may also specify the method by which the process is applies as shown below.

The method may be AU for Automatic Welding, MA for manual welding, ME for machine welding, or SA for semi-automatic welding.

A couple of common symbols on a welding symbol are the weld-all-around symbol and the field weld symbol. The weld-all-around symbol is a circle around the intersection reference line and the leader line.

The weld-all-around symbol is a flag extending from the intersection of the reference line and the leader line.

The weld-all-around symbol specifies that the weld is to be made around the entire joint, not just on one side or the other. This can be used to specify a single type of weld around the entire joint or multiple types of welds around the joint as specified by the rest of the welding symbol. The field weld symbol specifies a weld that is not to be made in the shop but rather in the field, likely at the place of construction

This is the end of the introduction to welding symbols. Add this page to your favorites so that you may check back later for more information.