Welding Essentials: Questions and Answers

Chapter 10: Welding Symbols

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Aldous Huxley


Welding symbols graphically convey complete information about a welded or brazed joint where it goes, how it is made, and how it is tested in a standardized and abbreviated format. The complete symbol system is described in ANSI/AWS A2.4, Standard Symbols for Welding, Brazing and Nondestructive Testing, latest edition, published by AWS. While symbols may contain a lot of information and become quite complicated, in practice most weld designers use only a few of the many available.

Symbol Information

What information can a welding symbol present?

  • Joint Type

  • Weld preparation shape

  • Weld Type

  • Welding process

  • Specifications or procedures

  • Weld location

  • Extent of welding

  • Quality requirements

  • Weld sequencing

  • Weld size

  • Final weld configuration

  • Production methods

Symbol Elements

What are the parts of a welding symbol?

A welding symbol's parts may include the following elements:

  • Reference line

  • Arrow

  • Basic weld symbol

  • Dimensions and other data

  • Supplementary symbols

  • Finish symbols

  • Tail

  • Specifications, process, or other references

Reference Line

What is a reference line?

The reference line is the foundation for making a weld symbol and consists of a line drawn in the horizontal position. It must be placed on the drawing near the joint its symbol describes. Each of the other welding symbol elements must be placed around the reference line and in the proper location and according to the symbol standard. See the horizontal line in Figure 10-1.

Figure 10-1: Location of welding symbol elements.

What are the standard locations...


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