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RE: Tack Welds

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Table 2.7 of the AWS  D1.1-80 states 1/8" fillet weld may be used where base metal thickness of thicker part joined is = to or less than 1/4".
Min. fillet weld size for bridge work is 3/16".
I have never worked in a shop or office where 1/8" welds were called out, for any joint.
Tack welds are generally fillet welds and are governed by the code, they are not called out by diameter but by leg size or effective throat. They are normally remelted into the finished weld.
Contact your local welding engineer or the AWS for direction.
-----Original Message-----
From: Caldwell, Stan [mailto:scaldwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 1:48 PM
To: 'SEAINT Listserv'
Subject: Tack Welds

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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