How to Estimate Weld Size using SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE updated April 14, 2018


There are two types of edge welds in SOLIDWORKS simulation: Fillet Weld and Groove Weld. Each weld type can be single-sided or double-sided. Fillet weld is a triangular weld that joints two metal parts at a right angle. Whereas, groove weld is applied in a preformed opening or groove. Edge weld results are calculated for all mesh nodes on the intersecting edge of the terminated part. Results are calculated with respect to a local coordinate system established at each node as shown in the figure.

Weld size is demonstrated in the following image. For fillet weld, the weld size is the distance from the root to its toe and weld throat is the minimum distance from the root of the weld to the face of the weld. For groove weld, the weld size is the width of the weld coverage and weld throat is the depth of the groove filled with weld.

Weld Size demonstrated in the SOLIDWORKS Help

Weld Size demonstrated in the SOLIDWORKS Help

The edge weld connector estimates the appropriate size of a weld needed to attach two metal components. The program calculates the appropriate weld size at each mesh node location along the weld seam. Select American or European Welding Standards to perform the weld calculations.

Note: The Edge Weld Connector is available in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium.

Estimate Weld Size Example

Consider a cantilever beam with four edge welds at the fixed end of it. Notice that the beam is modeled using surface bodies to allow adding edge welds. At least one of the two sides of the edge weld has to be surface body to work.

A Cantilever Model with 4 Fillet Edge Welds on the Fixed End

A Cantilever Model with 4 Fillet Edge Welds on the Fixed End

After the simulation is done, to estimate the welds size, right-click on on Results folder and Select “Define Weld Check Plot…”

To Check on the Weld Size Estimation, Right-click on Results folder and Select “Define Weld Check Plot…”

The simulation is run with an estimate weld size value. However, it seems that all four edge welds fail. Therefore, we will increase the estimated value for edge weld and run the simulation again.

Estimate Weld Size

Weld Size Is Smaller than the calculated. Estimated value needs to be increase and rerun of the simulation

Use Various Values for estimated welds size will eventually goes close to the estimated value

By changing the estimated weld size to a higher number, the weld check plot will show all edge fillet sizes are good now.

Clicking on “Details…” button on Weld Check Plot opens up the Edge Weld Results page which summarizes all results for the weld in this model. Also by clicking on the graph button, a graph of weld size and throat size shows up. See below:

Edge Weld Simulation Results

Edge Weld Size Plot vs Weld Throat Sizes

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

Mehdi is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) and works near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada