Overlap in Welding Overview and can it be Prevented?

  • By: Paul Dixon
  • Date: May 28, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

For construction professionals who need a reliable method of joining two or more metal components together, welding is often the go-to solution.

One important part of any welding job is managing the overlap in the joint that ensures a good quality weld and prevents potential issues later on.

In this blog post, we will explore what overlap in welding looks like, how to prevent it when possible, and how to address any potential overlap problems once they have occurred.

Read on for an informative overview of everything you need to know about welding overlaps!

What is Overlap in Welding?

Overlap in welding occurs when the weld metal doesn’t completely fuse with the parent metal. This results in a line along the welded joint, which weakens it. To avoid overlap, it’s essential to clean edges and surfaces of the material beforehand.

The angle and distance between the welding gun and base material must also be maintained. Appropriate welding parameters, such as current, voltage, and shielding gas, help prevent overlap.

Overlap not only impacts structural integrity, but also the aesthetics of finished products. Taking care during preparation and using proper technique means welders can minimize overlap and avoid costly rework.

Poor training or negligence can lead to serious consequences, such as pipeline or building collapses. For example, an oil rig collapsed due to faulty welded joints caused by inadequate training of welders.

Why not make overlap fun? Poor training and negligence are the main causes of overlap in welding.

Causes of Overlap in Welding

Overlap in welding is a common problem. It can damage the structure being welded. It is caused by incorrect technique. Here is a table with causes and solutions:

Torch angle not correctAdjust torch angle for proper penetration
Travel speed changesKeep travel speed the same and suitable
Too much heat inputReduce heat input with settings or shorter arc lengths
Improper wire feed speedFollow WPS for proper wire feed speed

Preparation, equipment, and experience can also cause overlap. To prevent it, use the right technique, have good equipment, and maintain safety. Monitor the welds during the process to find overlapping early.

Pro Tip: Make sure your WPS has ways to avoid overlap and check often. Overlap in welding is not a joke – it can cause cracks and fractures.

Overlap in Welding  What Is It And How to Prevent It

Consequences of Overlap in Welding

Overlap in welding can cause many issues that may affect strength, functionality and quality. Implications include weakened joints, reduced strength, porosity, and a decrease in aesthetic quality. It also impacts metallurgy and microstructure, making aluminium and nickel-based alloys vulnerable to defects.

To avoid overlap, technical skills need to be applied precisely. Positional awareness and experience help reduce chances of overlap.

Adjusting weld parameters and heat input, repositioning the torch angle, and providing proper training are all good suggestions. Adequate tolerance allowance at welding joints can help prevent excess overlapping.

Furthermore, avoiding improper placement or application processes can maximize productivity, efficiency, and quality while reducing costs due to overlap problems. Follow these tips to avoid overlap and keep your metal looking sharp!

Tips to prevent Overlap in Welding

Steer Clear of Overlap in Welding for Perfect Results!

Overlap in welding occurs when the molten metal does not sink deep enough to meet the base material. This leads to a weak weld that can’t handle stress. Here are some tips to dodge overlap:

  1. Prep: Clean the surfaces to be welded – free from rust, grease and other impurities.
  2. Amperage: Make sure the amperage is set correctly. Too little heat can cause overlap due to the base metal not melting enough.
  3. Technique: Angle the torch slightly in the direction of travel. Use a weaving motion. Avoid overlapping your previous pass. Smooth each weld bead’s edges before starting the next one.
  4. Wire size and type: Use the right one.

Also, besides avoiding overlap, follow safety rules when welding to avoid accidents from toxic fumes and eye damage caused by UV rays.

Finally, my buddy John had a project where he needed to patch an exhaust manifold. He failed using other techniques until he tried the methods for avoiding overlap. His finished project worked even better and looked professional.

So, let’s get welding – but be careful not to let any overlap sneak in!


Avoiding welding overlaps is critical. Overlaps can cause structural failure and need to be prevented. To do this, the right type and thickness of metal should be selected. Utilizing proper tools and techniques is also essential. All equipment should be calibrated and maintained.

A welder’s knowledge is vital in stopping overlaps for complex projects. In the past, overlaps were accepted, but now they are completely unacceptable. Taking these tips into account will result in quality welding, without overlaps, and safety for workers and users.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes overlap in welding?

Overlap in welding may be caused by poorly set up welding equipment, an inexperienced welder, or the lack of knowledge on how to properly prepare the base metals to be welded.

What are the effects of overlap in welding?

Overlap in welding can cause a reduction in the strength of the weld joint, increase the likelihood of cracking and corrosion, and lead to premature failure of the welded structure.

How to prevent overlap in welding?

To prevent overlap in welding, ensure that the base metals are properly prepared, ensure that the edges are properly aligned, avoid too much heat input during welding, avoid welding too fast, and avoid using improper welding electrodes.

Can overlap in welding be corrected?

If overlap in welding occurs, it can be corrected by removing the affected area and re-welding, but this can be time-consuming and costly.

Does overlap in welding affect the appearance of the weld joint?

Yes, overlap in welding can affect the appearance of the weld joint, leaving a ridge-like structure between the two pieces of metal, which is often unattractive.

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Paul Dixon is a certified welder with a wealth of experience in welding and related technologies. He started his career as an apprenticeship in welding, where he learned the ropes and acquired extensive skills in the craft.

Over the years, Paul has continued to sharpen his expertise, earning him top-rated welding certification. He remains one of the most outstanding welders in the industry.

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