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Tack Welds

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It has always been my understanding that tack welds are temporary welds that should not be relied upon for the permanent connection of structural members.  In addition, since tack welds are not prequalified, their strength cannot be calculated, and must be determined through an approved (by the EOR) program of load tests on actual welds made at the jobsite at the start of construction.
 
Nevertheless, I have recently been asked to calculate the reliable shear strength (allowable or ultimate) of 1/8 in. diameter tack welds connecting two small angles (open-web steel joist chords and bridging).  As far as I can tell, there are no provisions for this in either AWS or AISC.  I am about to conclude that these welds have no reliable strength.  Am I missing something?
 
This is not an academic question, as it is about to become the central issue in a $4.3 million lawsuit (I am neither plaintiff nor defendant).
 
Thanks in advance for your brilliant responses!
 
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas
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