What is Tack Welding | Types, Uses and Importance (Guide + Definition)


Updated: 18 Jan 2024

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Tack welding is the quick welding process usually applied to the tiny beads throughout the joints. It is specially used when the complex parts are joined together. It holds the metal placed in parts perfectly. Some people need to worry more about how much tack welding is required. It depends on the different things.

Such as the measurement, geometry, material thickness, and metal types used in the welding. The tack weld is the best temporary fastening method.

You can keep the desired gap alignment using tack welding between the metal joints you want to weld together. Before the final welding, the tack weld will help you use the low heat and arc to assemble the metal pieces.

Tack welding is the best option if you are doing a welding project and are stuck at complex joints. It is the short weld vital in temporarily keeping the metal in place.

To learn more about tack welding technique, its types, and uses, please scroll down to where we have gathered all the essential information about the tack welding technique, which we have covered after complex research.

What Is Tack Weld & Its Purpose

Tack welding is a process that holds the metal pieces together before the final weld. The tack welder used low heat and a concise arc to fix the two pieces. It’s the best option for you to keep the metal parts in place.

If you are doing an MIG welding project or any other type of welding, it’s essential to use the tack welding techniques that will ensure the test of the assembly before the final weld.

Make sure to do the tack welding properly because the improper tacking may ruin your entire welding workpiece. You can join the two pieces using tack weld with or without clamps.

Why Tack Weld Is Important

Tack welding is critical to complete the journey of your welding project successfully. 

  • Alignment Assurance: Before a final weld, the tack welding ensures the proper accuracy and alignment of the welding workpiece. It helps you to prevent misalignment issues, improving the overall welding structure.
  • Stability During Fabrication: When you temporarily weld the two pieces, the tack weld will ensure strength and peace during fabrication. 
  • Prevention of Warping and Distortion: The tack weld will help you distribute the heat more during welding, reducing the distortion.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: If you are using tack welding in your large welding project, it will improve efficiency.
  • Quality Control: Tack welding will help you align the components before permanent welding, ensuring more quality control during welding.
  • Minimization of Errors: The tack welding will minimize the risk of errors because you can address the issues before the final weld.
  • Structural Integrity: The tack weld will contribute to the structural integrity of the final weld because of the proper alignment and will ensure strength and durability.

The tacking in welding promotes alignment, accuracy, strength, durability, and stability, contributing to high-quality welding.

Tack Welding Materials

Different materials used in tack welding depend on the specific welding projects. Let’s discuss some of them.

  • Mild Steel: Mild steel is the most popular choice for the tack weld, as it is versatile and easy to use.
  • Stainless Steel: It’s used in those welding applications where corrosion and aesthetic appeal are essential.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is the best option for those welding projects where lightweight and corrosion resistance are essential considerations.
  • Brass: The combination of copper and zinc used in tack welding provides the aesthetic quality of the weld.

Besides this, there are also other materials you can use for tack welding. It depends on the welding project requirements. 

Types of Tack Welding

There are different types of tack welding techniques, which are given below.

Standard Tack Weld

The standard tack weld sits within the joints; its primary consideration is the final weld. This type of weld is solid and durable, so you can keep enough weight on it to prevent breaking off.

It’s the common practice of creating a small weld on the specific joints to make it together. In standard tack welding, you can place the weld at your exact key location, ensuring the weld’s even distribution.

Standard tack welding can be used in various manufacturing, construction, and fabrication applications. It holds the two pieces together while the final welding takes place.

Bridge Tack Weld

You can use bridge tack welding when there is a gap between the two materials when you fit them together. The gap may be created for different reasons, such as the wrong cut materials or root opening in a pipe.

For a perfect weld, you need to fill the gap. The tack welders must apply a small tack on both components to fill the void. The bridge tack weld is challenging, but applying excessive heat to the process will widen the gap on the other side.

The bridge tack weld works excellently when doing Mig, Tig, or flux-cored welding. They are easy to trigger in these types of welding. 

You can apply this type of weld in different ways. Here are some tips and tricks you should consider while applying bridge tack weld.

  • You can apply the weld in a sweeping motion across the gap. Don’t apply too much weld continuously because it may get hot. You can take a break between every quick pass. Apply it until you have a strong link between the joints.
  • Apply the small tacks on both joints and let it cool down. You will reach the gap, and both joints will fill the gap. It’s more accessible, but it may take a bit longer.

Hot Tack Weld

Lap joints of Hot Tack Weld
Hot Tack Weld Lap Joints Example

You can use the hot tack weld technique when an excess filler metal is in the gap between the two metal parts. This one is entirely different from the bridge tack. If you want to close the gap between two metal parts, then this is the most efficient method.

According to the experts, all welding is not hot here. Hot tacking means the average temperature of tacking in the weld. Sometimes, the high heat may cause powerful contractions. The hot tacks referred to the cleats and dogs.

Hot Tact Weld Butt Joints
Hot Tack Weld Butt Joints Example

When To Use Tack Welding

Tack weld is the crucial step in the welding process. You can use tack welding to ensure accuracy, alignment, and stability before executing the final weld. Here are some scenarios you can use for tack welding.

  • Large Fabrications: If you are constructing large structures such as buildings, bridges, and other industrial equipment, then you can benefit from tack welding to secure the components in place before the final weld.
  • Complex Joints: If you are dealing with a complex project in the welding world, tack weld will help you temporarily keep the components in place to prevent misalignment.
  • Overhead Welding: The overhead is the type of welding situation where gravity attracts molten metal, so you can use tack welding techniques to secure the two metal components.
  • Pipe Welding: You can use tack welding techniques while holding the pipes together. 
  • Preventing Warping: Tack welding is essential if you are working on materials prone to warping or distortion due to heat.

The tech welding techniques can be applied to diverse welding scenarios to ensure the final weld’s integrity, alignment, and quality.

How To Use Tack Welding

Tack welding is the best approach to temporarily combine two pieces in a workpiece before the final welding project. Here is the step-by-step guide on how to use tack welding.

Equipment and Safety

  • Gather Materials: First, you must collect the appropriate welding materials, such as a welding machine, electrodes, gloves, and other necessary materials.
  • Prepare the Work Area: Prepare a clean and hazard-free space for welding.
  • Inspect Equipment: Inspect the welding machine and electrode properly and ensure they are free of errors and defects.

Workpiece Preparation

  • Fit-Up Inspection: Ensure the workpieces fit correctly and are aligned according to welding specifications.
  • Clean Surfaces: Properly cleaning the surface will prevent contaminants and ensure high weld quality.

Tack Welding Process

Alignment Assurance: Before a final weld, the tack welding ensures the proper accuracy and alignment of the welding workpiece. It helps you to prevent misalignment issues, improving the overall welding structure.

Stability During Fabrication: When you temporarily weld the two pieces, the tack weld will ensure strength and peace during fabrication. 

  • Position Workpieces: Place the workpiece according to your desired angle and ensure proper alignment.
  • Electrode Selection: Choose the electrodes that are suitable for the welding process.
  • Set Welding Parameters: You can adjust the welding machine settings according to materials and thickness.
  • Tack Weld Placement: Create the small tack weld along the joints from the outward working and center.
  • Control Heat Input: Control the heat input to reduce the risk of distortion.
  • Visual Inspection: Inspect the alignment properly after every tack welding.

Post-Tack Welding

  • Cooling Period: Make sure to let the tack weld cool before moving to the final welding stage.
  • Final Welding: Once you confirm that the workpieces are securely positioned, you can proceed further with the final welding process. 

Forms of Tack Welds

There are four forms of tack welding techniques. Let’s discuss it in detail.

Square 

This is the most robust weld form of tack welding in a square pattern used to join the two pieces at the right angle. It ensures durability in horizontal and vertical directions. It’s beneficial in those projects where multiple alignment directions are essential.

When To Use: It suits projects requiring enhanced square pattern alignment. You can also use it on those projects where stability is required on horizontal and vertical orientations.

Vertical 

If you want to align two metal pieces vertically, you can use the tack welding vertical. It’s commonly used when welding in vertical positions. It provides more stability against gravity during welding, so it’s the best for overhead welding positions.

When To Use: It is suitable for upright structures or other components where vertical alignment is essential.

Right Angle 

If you want to ensure the perpendicular alignment between the two connected components, right angle tack weld is the best option. You can apply the tick weld on the bottom piece. Use proper angle tack weld forms if you are welding projects where right-angle joints are prevalent.

When To Use: You can use it whenever the perpendicular alignment between the components is essential.

Right-Angle Corner 

If you want to join two perpendicular pieces of metal together, it will result in a T shape. The tack welders can use this method to join two pieces at a 90-degree angle. It will provide more stability and alignment at the critical right angle.

When To Use: You can use it to maintain accuracy and stability in the critical points of the rectangular structures.

Tack Welding: The Pros and Cons

Tack welding is the most valuable technique tack welders use in welding, but it has pros and cons. Let’s dive into it.

Pros of Tack Welding
  • Test Design: It allows you to test your welding structure design before a final weld.
  • Alignment and Stability: It provides alignment and stability before a final weld.
  • Controlled Heat Input: It will minimize the risk of distortion and controlled heat input.
  • Efficiency Improvement: The tack weld will enhance the efficiency and provide a high-quality weld.
  • Minimizes Errors: There will be a minimum chance of error because you can address the issue before a final weld.
  • Versatility: It’s versatile and easy to use.
  • Materials: You can use it with most of the materials.
  • Maintain Gaps: You can maintain the joint gap with a tack weld.
Cons of Tack Welding
  • Additional Welding Passes: Additional welding passes may be required before a final weld, increasing the welding time.
  • Potential Weak Points: Weak points may be possible if you didn’t apply tack weld correctly.
  • Complex Joint Configurations: If you want to join complex configuration projects, it’s challenging.
  • Parts Cleaned: You need to clean its parts afterward.
  • Cost: Tack welding plays a vital role in a quality weld, but its welding process increases the cost of labor.

Final Verdict:

dTack welding is the best technique to hold metal pieces together temporarily. The tack weld is straightforward if you know all its plans.

Are you applying tack weld the first time? Do a proper test on the extra metal pieces joining it together that will help you determine the suitable tack weld.

What is your first mistake during tack weld? Please share it with our readers so future tack welders will try to learn from your mistakes.


Abu Bakar

Abu Bakar

Hello, Abu Bakar here, the Mastermind Behind Welding Villa. Test my years of experience through my well-written blogs, where I have covered the overall experience of welding materials and shown all the aspects of Welding, their types and equipment.

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