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RE: Welding plate stiffener

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The fabricator can weld a 1/4" stiffener with a 1/4" (fillet) weld but it is not normally done. In many jurisdictions, stiffeners must be welded both sides and if you specify weld sizes the same as the stiffener thickness, you will not achieve the design capacity of the welds, you are basically wasting money. If you require that amount of weld, your stiffener probably does not have sufficient area, a 3/8" thick stiffener would be better. In fact 1/4" stiffeners are seldom specified.
If you are welding your stiffener from one side only, a 1/4" weld should be OK.
For design purposes, I try to keep my fillet weld leg size around 2/3 of the plate thickness (I always weld both sides).  I then check to see that the weld capacity is equal to the shear on the edge of the plate.
Another rule of thumb I use is to insure that the effective throat of the pair of welds equals the stiffener thickness.
These rules seldom apply when welding very thin stiffeners to very thick flanges.
-----Original Message-----
From: ASQENGG2(--nospam--at) [mailto:ASQENGG2(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2003 5:44 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Welding plate stiffener

A structural detailer said the it is not possible to weld a 1/4" thick beam plate stiffener using 1/4" weld.  He said that even it is specified,  the fabricators can not do it.  Is this a correct statement?  I like to know because a lot of engineers I know specify the same thing.  I know that in lap joint, it is hard to weld a 1/4" thk plate by using 1/4" weld because the edge of plate is rounded so the actual weld size is 1/16" less than the thickness of the plate.  But in my case, you have the stiffener plate against the web and flange of the W shape beam so I have the room to place the welding.

I'll appreciate any of your comment.

Thanks in advance,