Get Your Weave On: A Comprehensive Guide to Weaving in Welding

Weld Bead Techniques

Before starting the weaving in welding, a welder must first prepare the joint for welding. This involves cleaning and aligning the metal pieces to ensure a robust and stable connection. Next, the welder must choose the appropriate filler material, considering factors such as the types of metals being joined, their thickness, and the desired weld properties.

Once the joint is prepared and the filler material is chosen, the welder can then focus on selecting the appropriate torch movement and speed to execute the welding process effectively.  There is a variety of weld bead types and torch movements that a welder can choose from, depending on the specific welding application. Some of the primary welding bead techniques include:

Illustration of a weave weld vs a stringer weld
  • Stringer bead welding: This technique entails moving the torch in a straight line without any side-to-side motion. A stringer weld produces a narrow, consistent bead and is ideal for situations requiring precise control.
  • Weave bead welding: In this technique, welder moves the torch in a side-to-side motion, weaving between the edges of the joint. This results in a broader, more substantial bead and is particularly beneficial for filling large gaps or when working with thicker materials.

Mastering Weaving in Welding

Weaving in welding is simply side-to-side motion of the electrode wire, resulting in enhanced fusion of the weld metal. This method should be executed in a uniform manner, moving from left to right and top to bottom, to achieve a consistent appearance.

A weave bead is a type of weld bead, typically used when time is limited and wider area needs to be welded.

Weaving in welding involves moving the filler metal in a side-to-side pattern, creating patterns. Welders can craft various designs, such as crescent and zigzag weaving patterns. There are several benefits of employing weaving patterns in welding, which include:

  • Weaving patterns allows welders to cover a larger area of the joint in less time, making it a faster method for completing the welding process, particularly for wider joints that require more filler metal deposition.
  • It helps distribute heat evenly across the joint, preventing the metal from becoming overheated or distorted. By moving the electrode wire side to side in a controlled manner, the welder can manage the amount of heat applied to the metal, reducing the likelihood of cracking, warping, or distortion.
  • Furthermore, weaving patterns contributes to a uniform and consistent weld, which can improve its strength and durability. Depositing the filler metal in a controlled and consistent manner ensures that the weld has the necessary strength and integrity to withstand the forces and stresses it will be subjected to in various applications.

When is it necessary to use weaving in welding?

Weaving is a common technique in welding, particularly when dealing with large or thick materials. In addition to welding wider areas, weaving controls the heat in the melted zone, and connects metal parts securely while protecting the edges. This technique gives welders better control over heat, as it helps regulate the amount of heat conducted during the process.

For example, when welders need to join wide, flat, or thick metals, weaving is often the preferred approach. This allows them to cover a larger area on the metal’s surface. By using a specific hand stroke and adjusting the puddle’s speed, they can achieve the right torch movements.

In certain situations, weaving proves to be especially beneficial. Some examples include:

  • Workıng with flux-cored wires
  • Seam Tracking TAST (Through arc seam tracking)-Root passes
  • Welding structural steel
  • Welding aluminum materials
  • Position welding
  • Joining metal pieces with uneven edges
  • Lap joints and butt welds when needed

Keep this in mind while manually weaving in welding!

-Choose a simple pattern to minimize discomfort and fatigue!  

-Maintaining a consistent speed is crucial, as uneven speeds can lead to poor fusion at the joint edges.

-Always weave ahead of the solidified slag and avoid weaving over it to prevent slag inclusions.

– A weave weld slows travel speed, leading to increased heat input. This can reduce impact strength in carbon steels, affect corrosion resistance in other alloys, and alter the properties of heat-treated materials.

Weaving in Cobot Welding

Weaving is an effective technique often used to enhance weld quality. The weaving parameters can significantly impact the final outcome of the welding process, such as weld strength and porosity. As a result, it’s essential for welders to carefully select from the available options to best meet their specific needs.

In SmoothTool – the cobot welding software created by Smooth Robotics – MIG welding weave patterns can be applied to both linear and circular segments. Users can access a variety of weaving patterns through the Weld Node’s parameters tab. SmoothTool offers four main patterns to choose from: Crescent, Circles, Zigzag and Trapezoid.

CrescentBy adjusting the arc depth in crescent, you can create various patterns with convex and concave shapes. Crescent patterns can be used in lap joints and butt welds. Convex weaving patterns are helpful for overhead welding and flat positions with limited space to fill. On the other hand, concave welding patterns are ideal for vertical up and vertical down welding, as they effectively fill gaps.
CirclesIn SmoothTool, Circle patterns offer a range of adjustable parameters, allowing you to tailor the pattern to your welding requirements. You can customize parameters such as amplitude, period, width, and orientation of the circles to best fit your needs. Circle patterns are suitable for welding in flat positions and for performing surface welds.
Zig ZagYou can create zig zag pattern either by selecting a separate pattern or through the crescent while keeping the arc depth at zero. Using the crescent provides more flexibility, as it allows welders to adjust additional parameters. The Zig Zag weaving pattern is particularly useful for making cover passes in vertical or flat positions.
TrapezoidIn a trapezoid pattern, you can adjust the “dwell left” and “dwell right” settings, as well as the frequency and amplitude, to get the results you want. The “dwell” settings control how long the torch stays on each side of the pattern. In the zig zag welding pattern, the torch pauses at each point for the time set in the “dwell” parameters. But in the trapezoid pattern, the torch doesn’t pause; it continues moving in the travel direction for the dwell time instead.
Weaving in SmoothTool

Examples of different weld weaving patterns

Versatile Weaving Patterns: Your Benefits in Cobot Welding with SmoothTool

  • Ensure the correct angle all the time!: The angle system easily enables the robot to maintain the correct torch orientation through the entire weld. This feature ensures the robot maintains the proper torch orientation, whether welding straight or corners. Even when the robot is weaving during pipe welding, it retains the same travel angle and work angle, and you can adjust it for the entire weld all at once.
  • Seamless transitions between weaving segments: When two or more consecutive linear or circular segments share the same weaving pattern and parameters, and have non-zero blend values, SmoothTool’s path generation system optimizes the transitions between them. With larger blend values you can create more rounded corners between segments. This results in a nearly seamless pattern connection in corners!
  • More control, more parameters! : The latest release of SmoothTool now allows you to set dwell center points, in addition to dwell right and dwell left. This feature enables the robot to pause at the right, center, and left while weaving, providing greater control over the weld and ensuring even distribution of filler material. Additionally, the new multipurpose zigzag weaving pattern with angled sides is perfect for PF welding.
  • No More Errors in Weld Corners! : Slope Down feature in SmoothTool allows you to eliminate welding mistakes at the ends of welds. You can set a parameter for the robot to slow down when it reaches the end of the welding piece, reducing errors and improving the overall quality of your weld. Additionally, you can adjust the slope down feature to decide whether to maintain the weaving pattern while sloping down or not. This makes it easier to achieve a flawless weld.

Consider Cobots when it is humanly challenging or impossible!   

As previously discussed, it’s important for welders to choose simple weaving patterns in manual welding, as it is a time-consuming and physically demanding task. However, with cobot welding, robots can work for extended periods without fatigue.

The latest advancements in robotics have improved their versatility, making them capable of handling various tasks. They are also easily transportable to work on larger projects, such as excavator buckets (see our customer case here). The UR20 robot, for example, has an impressive reach of up to 1.75 meters, making it an excellent option for welding large projects!


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