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Fillet Below AWS Minimum

Fillet Below AWS Minimum

(OP)
AWS specifies minimum fillet sizes based on the thickness of the parts being joined. My question is what to do if a part has already been welded with a size below the code minimum.

I am OK with the smaller weld size based on strength required at that joint, but not sure what to do about code compliance. Options as I see them:

1. Build up the weld to the minimum size. However, it seems like that would not address the underlying reason for the minimum sizes, which is based on getting a quality weld with good ductility and fusion. You could just be covering up a poor weld.

2. Gouge out and reweld at the correct size. Certainly would fix it, but more work than I want to do

3. Leave as is. I have mag particle testing showing the welds are good, and I am good with the strength of the as-welded size. Only concern here might be that MT would not necessarily reveal sub-surface fusion issues.

I am leaning toward #3. I think I would feel comfortable defending that.

Anyone out there have any thoughts to share?

RE: Fillet Below AWS Minimum

There is more information needed to make a rational decision.
What welding process was used?
Was the component preheated to the appropriate temperature?
Was low hydrogen electrode used or was a low hydrogen welding process used, i.e., GMAW or GTAW used?
Was the base metal properly cleaned prior to welding?
If SMAW was used, was the electrode a low hydrogen type and was it properly stored?
Do the existing welds contain any defects?
What are the ramifications if the welds fail in service?

The bottom line is if the welds are not per code, are you as the Owner's representative, i.e., Engineer, willing to accept the added liability of the fabricator's mistake?

Best regards - Al

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