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Welding question

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A co-worker showed me a photo of a weld made connecting the bottom chord of a vierendeel truss to a column.  There is approximately a 1” gap between the bottom chord and the column, which the welder filled up with weld metal.  The welder stated that it was acceptable to do this… just allow plenty of cool down between passes and increase the fillet weld size by the amount of gap between the parts being connected.  I have used this to accept approximately 1/8” gap before, but 1” gap seems excessive to me.  I have been searching the AISC Manual of Steel Construction as well as the AWS D1.1 but can find nothing on this.  Is there anything written in the codes or specs related to this?  It seems that I have read this before, but don’t remember where.  If nothing written, does anyone have experience with something like this?


The vierendeel truss has a top chord bearing on the column and was designed to be simple span, but there are some lateral earthquake forces which cause substantial tension / compression in the bottom chord.  The bottom chord was designed to be welded with a 5/16” fillet weld, all-around.



Bruce D. Holcomb, PE

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