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Minimum Distance Between Welds as per International Codes and Standards

Welding is a fabrication process that permanently joins two or more pieces of metal together. It is one of the most common joining techniques used in the manufacturing industry and is used to create products of all shapes and sizes. Welding involves the use of heat and/or pressure to melt the two pieces of metal together and then fuse them. There are several different types of welding processes, including arc welding, MIG welding, TIG welding, and oxy-acetylene welding. Each process has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to select the most appropriate process for the particular application.


Arc welding process is an arc welding process in which an electric arc is used to produce coalescence of metals. The process uses a consumable electrode that is continuously fed into the weld joint. The arc is generated between the electrode and the workpiece, which produces an intense heat that melts the metals and causes them to join together. The process can be used on a variety of metals and alloys and is used to weld components in a wide range of industries.


Sure, here are the most common types of welding processes, along with a brief explanation of each process:

  1. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) - also known as Stick welding, is a manual welding process that uses a consumable electrode coated in flux. The welder strikes an arc between the electrode and the workpiece, creating a pool of molten metal that cools to form a weld bead.

  2. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) - also known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, is a manual or automatic welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. An inert gas, usually argon, is used to shield the weld from the atmosphere.

  3. Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) - also known as Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, is a semi-automatic or automatic welding process that uses a wire electrode that is fed continuously through a welding gun. The wire is melted and deposited into the weld joint, while an inert gas, such as argon or helium, is used to shield the weld from the atmosphere.

  4. Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) - is a variation of GMAW that uses a tubular electrode filled with flux. The flux provides shielding from the atmosphere, and may also contain deoxidizers and other elements that can improve the quality of the weld.

  5. Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) - is a process in which the weld is made under a blanket of granular flux. The welder or automatic welding machine feeds a wire electrode into the weld joint, while a layer of granular flux covers the weld. The flux melts and solidifies to form a slag that protects the weld from the atmosphere.

  6. Plasma Arc Welding (PAW) - is a process that uses a high-velocity jet of ionized gas to melt and fuse the metal. The plasma arc is produced by passing an electric current through a gas, such as argon or nitrogen, which ionizes the gas and produces a high-temperature plasma that melts the metal.

  7. Electron Beam Welding (EBW) - is a process that uses a high-velocity beam of electrons to melt and fuse the metal. The electrons are accelerated by an electric field and focused into a beam that is directed onto the workpiece, melting the metal and producing a weld.

  8. Laser Beam Welding (LBW) - is a process that uses a high-energy laser beam to melt and fuse the metal. The laser beam is focused onto the workpiece, melting the metal and producing a weld. The laser can be controlled by computer software, allowing for precise control of the weld.


The minimum distance between welds depends on the applicable code and standard being used. Here are some guidelines from a few commonly used codes and standards:

  1. American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1: The minimum distance between welds should be at least four times the thickness of the thinner part joined, but not less than 1 inch (25 mm).

  2. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) Section VIII, Division 1: The minimum distance between welds should be at least three times the thickness of the thinner part joined, but not less than 1 inch (25 mm).

  3. European Welding Federation (EWF) and International Institute of Welding (IIW): The minimum distance between welds should be at least three times the thickness of the thinner part joined, but not less than 2 mm.

It is important to note that these guidelines are not exhaustive and other codes and standards may have different requirements. Additionally, the actual minimum distance between welds may depend on other factors such as the specific materials being used, the intended application, and the welding method employed. It is important to consult the applicable code or standard and/or a qualified welding engineer for specific guidance on minimum distance between welds for a given application.


Minimum Distance Between Welds as per International Codes and Standards

The minimum distance between welds depends on the type of welding process being used. Generally, the minimum distance between welds is determined by the type of material being welded, joint design, and welding process parameters. For example, the minimum distance between fillet welds is typically 1/16 inch (1.6 mm). However, this can vary depending on the material, joint design and welding process.

Standard / Spec.

Minimum Distance Between Welds

ASME SEC VIII Pressure

Vessel Code-2017

Longitudinal welds 5t unless circumferential welds are tested by RT up to 4" on each side

If impact test as per UCS-66 required the min distance cannot be exempted by RT. No Limit for Circumferential

ASME IX. 2013

Longitudinal welds 5t unless circumferential welds are tested by RT

up to 4" on each side

In vessels with two or more courses, longitudinal joints of adjacent

courses staggered or separated 5t, t= thickness of thicker plate.

ASME B31.3 - 2016

5t or 30 degrees off for Longitudinal. No Limit for Circumferential

ASME B 31.4-2016

ASME B31.8 - 2016

1/2 ND between miter crotches

Consideration shall be given to the toughness characteristics and

quality of all seam welds in repair welds.

API 5L/ISO 3183-2012

Longitudinal: 50-200 mm

Circumferential. 1500mm

API 650-2014

5t between vertical welds

BS 2633-2006

4t, where t= nominal thickness of the pipe

BS 4515-2006

4t, where t= pipe thickness

BS 2971-2009

Agreed by parties

BS PD 5500 - 2014

Longitudinal welds, 4t or 100mm

AS 4458

Circumferential 4t or 30 mm

Non-pressure parts: the lower of 3t or 40 mm

The exception is made when the first weld is subject to PWHT

AS 4041-2006

4t or 40 mm

EN12952-5 -2001

But weld of tubes:

2D for t<250 .where D = Outside diameter of tube

500 for t>250; where t= Drum or Head thickness

Spacing between attachment weld and Main joint weld min 40mm.

Branch opening and Main weld:

2t for t<25

50 for t>25

If not practical, cross completely and ground flush and perform NDT

TOTAL GSEPPVV 171-2012

Longitudinal 30 degree staggered. Circumferential: 500mm

SHELL DEP 61.40.20.30-2011

Circumferential: lD or 500mm

Between branch/attachment and girth 4t or 100mm

ARAMCO 32-SAMSS-004-2008

Welds of shell-head and head-skirt to be separated min 1 inch

ARAMCO SAES-W-012-2008

Longitudinal welds of adjacent pipe joints shall be 100 mm.

Butt welds 20 mm or 3t whichever is greater.

Welding is a process used to join materials, often metals, by heating and melting the parts to be joined and adding a filler material to create a bond. It is used in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and repair, and is an essential process for the production of many products and structures.

The importance of welding cannot be overstated. Welding provides a way to join materials that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to join using other methods. For example, welding can join two pieces of metal with very different properties, such as aluminum and steel. Welding also provides a permanent and strong bond that can withstand high stress and strain.

The usage of welding is widespread and diverse. In construction, welding is used to join steel beams, columns, and other components to create buildings, bridges, and other structures. In manufacturing, welding is used to join parts of machinery and equipment, such as automotive frames and engines. In repair, welding is used to fix broken metal parts, such as machinery, vehicles, and pipelines.

There are many different types of welding processes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of welding process depends on the materials being joined, the required strength of the joint, and the available equipment and expertise. Some of the most common welding processes include Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), and Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW).

Welding also plays a critical role in maintaining the safety and integrity of various structures and equipment. For example, welding is used to repair and maintain pipelines that carry oil and gas, ensuring that they remain safe and functional. Welding is also used in the construction of nuclear power plants and other facilities that require high-strength materials and precise welds.

The importance of proper training and certification in welding cannot be overstated. Welders must be trained to use the proper equipment and techniques to ensure that the welds are strong and reliable. Welding can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken, so welders must be trained in safety procedures and wear appropriate protective equipment.

In conclusion, welding is an essential process used in many industries to join materials, create structures, and repair machinery and equipment. The importance of welding cannot be overstated, and the choice of welding process depends on the materials being joined, the required strength of the joint, and the available equipment and expertise. Proper training and certification in welding are critical to ensure that welds are strong and reliable, and that safety procedures are followed to protect both the welder and the surrounding environment.


The American Welding Society (AWS) and the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) are two organizations that play a crucial role in the welding industry in their respective countries. While both organizations have a similar focus on promoting welding safety, education, and certification, there are some key differences between the two.

The American Welding Society (AWS) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1919. It is based in Miami, Florida, and has over 70,000 members worldwide. The AWS aims to advance the science, technology, and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering, and thermal spraying. The AWS accomplishes this through the development of codes, standards, and education programs, as well as the certification of welding personnel and welding inspection professionals.

The AWS has over 200 different codes and standards related to welding and joining processes, including the well-known D1.1 Structural Welding Code for Steel. These codes and standards provide guidelines for welding procedure specifications, welder qualification, and inspection criteria, among other things. The AWS also offers a variety of education and training programs, including seminars, webinars, and online courses. In addition, the AWS certifies welding personnel and welding inspection professionals through its certification programs.

The Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1947. It is based in Milton, Ontario, and has over 6,000 members worldwide. The CWB's mission is to promote welding safety, education, and certification in Canada, as well as to provide certification services for welding inspection and welding personnel.

The CWB has its own set of codes and standards related to welding and joining processes, including CSA W59 Welded Steel Construction, which is similar to AWS D1.1. The CWB offers a variety of training and education programs, including seminars, courses, and online resources. The CWB also certifies welding personnel and welding inspection professionals through its certification programs.

While there are similarities between AWS and CWB, there are also some differences. One key difference is the scope of the organizations. The AWS has a global membership and sets standards that are used around the world, while the CWB is primarily focused on the Canadian market. Another difference is the certification programs offered by each organization. While both organizations offer welding personnel and welding inspection certification, the requirements and criteria for certification may differ.

In conclusion, the American Welding Society (AWS) and the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) are two organizations that play an important role in the welding industry in their respective countries. Both organizations focus on promoting welding safety, education, and certification, and have their own set of codes and standards related to welding and joining processes. While there are some similarities between AWS and CWB, there are also some key differences in terms of scope and certification programs offered.


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