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What Are Welding Beads And How Do They Function

What Are Welding Beads And How Do They Function

The first kind of joint novices learn to create is a bead. A weld bead is a seam deposit that forms during welding in a single step. Dowels are the most frequent form you deal with. However, if they have the proper welding helmet, they can also combine dowels and dowels with various types of beads in them.


In welding, a bead is the name given to one pass made by the welding torch or electrode along a joint. The term can also describe the welded metal deposit resulting in a raised or "beaded" surface on the workpiece. Bead creation usually involves several passes along the joint with the welding torch or electrode. This involves adding a little filler metal each time.

The type of filler metal used, the welding technique employed, and the welder's expertise can all affect the size and shape of the beads. A well-formed bead will typically be uniformly distributed and have a fixed width and height.

The joint between two pieces of metal is filled with filler material to form a weld bead. How you move the torch will affect how the puddle advances and the kind of beads you leave in the joint. This is when you melt filler material into the workpiece.

The standard stringer bead wheels are wire wheels, suggested for root pass weld cleaning, surface preparation, and other cleaning processes. 


There are various techniques to run a weld bead along a metal connection, like sewing a seam in clothing. But unlike tailors, welders often work in an uncomfortable position while donning gloves and a face shield.

Gravity also influences how molten metal is deposited between metal plates or pipe segments. For instance, welding overhead requires quick movement. If you don't, the molten metal will not fill the joint but leak onto your face shield.

So a welder must use a particular hand stroke and move the puddle properly to bring the beads down after preparing a joint for welding, choosing the necessary filler material (such as a stick, rod, wire, etc.), and selecting the correct machine settings.


Generally speaking, torch manipulation is very similar whether the weld pool is fed mechanically, manually, or with a stick electrode. However, specific methods are employed in a single process. The four most popular ways for manipulating a torch when making welding beads are as follows:

Principal methods for welding beads:

  • Stringer beads
  • Weave beads

Process-specific methods:

  • Whip motion (stick)
  • Walking the cup (TIG)


To create a stringer bead, you push (or "drag") the torch across the joint in a straight line with little side-to-side movement. Dragging refers to the electrode's angle in the "forward" direction of the weld, which directs the puddle. This allows for the most penetration and solid welds.

Welders "push" the torch tip when working with thin, heat-sensitive metals or welding vertically. It would help if you did this by angling your welding torch away from the puddle and welding while doing so.

Molten metal falls downhill when welding up a vertical joint. However, pressing the weld causes it to solidify faster by keeping the heat away from the puddle. Pushing has several disadvantages, including penetrating the base metal less than drawing ("dragging") the molten pool. Stringer beads can be used in any welding position and are typically not wide.

Even though you are driving straight forward, it is still critical to "tie in" the weld toe on both sides of the joint. Keep in mind that welding goes beyond adding fresh metal to a joint. Fusion between the weld and the base metal is essential.

When the torch is moved slowly enough, the welding puddle can occasionally run over both sides of the joint. It might only take this to fuse successfully. Sometimes, a minor side-to-side adjustment is required.

Keep side-to-side movement minimal. You will make a weaving bead if you sway too much from side to side. Hardfacing also uses string beads. This surfacing procedure helps industrial equipment's scoops, fenders, plows, and other outside metal elements last longer. The beads are used here to form a protective coating rather than fusing with the base metal.


You can weave side to side along the joint for comprehensive welding. The quickest way for a fat joint to weld is weaving.

This is especially true for groove welds on thick stock. Fillet welds often contain weaves.

Of course, there are other weave types, and each welder has a favorite. Your hand might move in a zigzag, crescent, or curly shape. Weaving manages the heat in your weld puddle and fills the beads. To establish a proper tie-in to the metal parts and avoid undercutting the edges, you can pause on each side of the weld.

You'll want to move quickly over the joint's center, though. You risk a high crown (a bulge in the middle) if you don't. Therefore, it is preferable to have a flat or hardly convex weld face during weaving.

A triangle weave is helpful when you need to fill a steep pocket. This weaving method, for instance, enables you to create a shelf beneath the puddle in vertical-up welding, preventing molten metal from falling downhill.

You can try a semi-circle weave with the center point or your stroke across the front of the puddle (or just ahead of it) to prevent overheating or growing. As in the last illustration, weave the semi-circle (or crescent) back through the puddle to increase heat.

It can be challenging to weave overhead since gravity tends to draw the molten metal out of the weld. Laying down an overhead weave bead half an inch wide or wider can be tricky, even with practice. However, welders pick up the skill since weaving takes less time than running several string beads.


On the root pass, the first weld operation, a stick welder usually whips their wrist in a circular motion on open groove welds. The goal is to employ a flat bead of welding metal to join the work plates at the bottom. E6010 and 6011 "fast-freeze" rods are the most commonly used stick electrodes for root passes on low-carbon steel.

The electrode is raised through the gap and moved along by the welder. To achieve thorough penetration, this is crucial. As a result, you will notice a keyhole developing in the puddle's head opening.

One of the most challenging strokes for welders to learn is this one. You need to keep the keyhole size constant while observing the puddle. You cannot fuse the two sides if it becomes too large (i.e., double the rod diameter). Heat management is, therefore, essential during a root pass. You may regulate the size of the keyhole using the frequency of your whip strokes. In addition, you may use suitable joint designs and welder settings.

You'll whip the rod upward and ahead of the weld before the keyhole size swells too much. This procedure keeps the keyhole size constant while cooling everything down. It also enables the puddle's back bead to harden. When the beads are set, you return to the molten pool. If you're stuck welding, another drop of weld metal should drop off your rod, producing your next shot. Everything happens quickly. Therefore, you must pay close attention; the amount of heat you see in the weld will influence the whipping rate.

Due to insufficient heat, you could not whip when you started welding. Due to the intense heat moving through the base metal, you can flick your wrist steadily by the time you reach the weld conclusion.


A "J-weave" is a version of the whip motion. A V-groove joint's second (or "hot") pass often uses this combination of crescent and whip strokes. In this position, slide your E6010 or other fast-freeze electrodes from one toe to the other, pausing briefly on either side and whipping the rod ahead and upward along the joint's side.

The work benefits from a longer arc. Then, after whipping ahead like you would on a root pass, you'll switch back to the adjacent clear space on the left (or right) side of the weld and repeat the stroke.


Welders use a TIG torch when doing a root pass on the pipe. Compared to stick or MIG welding, it produces a cleaner and more exact bead.

The procedure involves a hand motion called "walking the cup." The ceramic insulator enclosing the tungsten tip is the cup in this instance. The cup is rocked back and forth along the weld joint by the welder.

The knotted wire cup brushes are used for deburring and removing welding scales. They are also employed for carbon cleaning, scale, and slag removal.


As you can see, particularly with wider joints, filling a junction with material largely depends on how you move your torch. Your welding quality can be improved by studying these strategies and approaches. You must set up your welder correctly, choose the necessary filler material, adequately prepare your joint, and apply the appropriate torch movement technique for the kind of beads you want to make.

The four techniques discussed above are an excellent place to begin. But remember that flame manipulation techniques have variants and subtleties. Lots of practice is the key to adding all these skills to your welding toolbox.

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