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welding A514

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The engineers at work decided to use A514 grade E and grade H on one of our projects, the main plate is 3" and the lifting eyes are 1.75". This isn't a steel that I'm familiar with and the engineer sent me two pages out of a 20 page article about fabrication with QT steels. Primarily we use A36, 50K, 1018, 4140, 4130. This project will be picking up a lot of weight and I want to be certain that I am doing my part properly. Is there any info you guys can give or point me in the right direction. The research I have already done hasn't said much about the welding side of it ( preheat, post heat, interpass heat ). I have already found the right wire to meet the specs but I still want to learn more before the job comes up.

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My cheat sheets for Bisplate (the Australian equivalent to A514 most grades) tell me it is a minimum preheat of 140 C (285 F) for a joint with a combined thickness measurement of over 100mm plus 25 C (77 F ) for a rigid joint or high humidity conditions.

Max interpass is 220 C (430 F)

heat input 1.5 - 5.0 kJ/mm (37 - 123.5 kJ/in) That last number seems a little high to me but it has been a while since I have welded anything that size.

P.S. it is my favorite stuff, it is staggering how much punishment it will take without fracturing.

Edited by yahoo2
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the following link seems to agree with Yahoo2

Making the Choice: Filler Metals

Welding A514 is not complicated when some precautions, especially with filler metal choices, are used.

A primary concern is filler metal hydrogen content. You should not use filler metals that deposit weld metal with diffusible hydrogen content greater than 8 ml per 100 grams of deposited weld metal. A514 is sensitive to diffusible hydrogen, which may result in hydrogen cracking.

Figure 1
Filler Metal Selection
ASTM A514 and A514M-05 up to 21/2 Inches Thick
Welding ProcessAWS A5 SpecificationClassification
SMAWA5.5/A5.5M-2005E11018M or E12018M
GMAWA5.28/A5.28M-2005Solid electrodes ER 110S-1 and
ER120S-1 or
Metal-cored electrodes E110C-K3,
E110C-K4, and E120C-K4
FCAWA5.29/A5.29M-2005E11XT1-K3C and -K3M
E11XT5-K3C and -K3M
E11XT5-K4C and -K4M
E12XT5-K4C and -K4M
SAWA5.23/A5.23M-1997Solid electrode/flux combination
or Composite electrode/flux
combination F11AX-ECXXX-XXX and

The filler metal strength depends on the application of the A514.Figure 1shows filler metals you can use to match the strength of base materials up to 21⁄2 in. thick where the same mechanical properties as the base material are required. On base material thicknesses greater than 21⁄2 in., you can use the same filler metals, but their strength exceeds that of the base metal, a condition called overmatching strength (see Figure 2).

Figure 2
Filler Metal Selection
ASTM A514 and A514M-05 Greater Than 21/2 Inches Thick
Welding ProcessAWS A5 SpecificationClassification
GMAWA5.28/A5.28M-2005Solid electrodes ER 100S-1 or
Metal-cored electrodes E100C-K3
FCAWA5.29/A5.29M-2005FCAW A5.29/A5.29M-2005 E10XT1-K3C and -K3M
E10XT5-K3C and -K3M
E10XT1-K7C and -K7M
E10XT1-K9C and -K9M
SAWA5.23/A5.23M-1997Solid electrode/flux combination
F10AX-EXXX-XXX or Composite
electrode/flux combination

When joining A514 to other low-alloy steels or carbon steels of lower strength, use a filler metal with strength that meets the lower-strength base material's properties. For example, when welding ASTM A36 to A514, use a 70-KSI-tensile-strength electrode to match the lower-strength material. Don't focus solely on strength; keep the hydrogen cracking risk in mind.

Heat Input Control

Even though A514 is readily weldable, excessive preheat and interpass temperatures and welding heat input can affect the alloy's chemical properties.Figure 3lists typical preheat and interpass temperatures for A514. These temperatures apply whether you are welding A514 to itself or to other, lower-strength materials.

Figure 3
Although welding A514 is not difficult, joining it successfully requires close attention to the preheat and interpass temperatures.
Thickness (In.)Minimum Preheat and
Interpass Temperature (F)
Maximum Preheat and
Interpass Temperature (F)
Up to 3⁄4
3⁄4 – 11⁄2
11⁄2 – 21⁄2
More than 21⁄2


It should be noted that preheat and interpass temperatures higher than those shown in Figure 3 may alter the mechanical properties of the material. Tempil® Sticks, contact pyrometers, infrared thermometers, or other heat-measuring devices should be used to control preheat and interpass temperatures.

In addition to the preheat and interpass temperature controls, heat input, which is a function of amperage, voltage, and travel speed, must be restricted. Heat input is expressed in joules per inch. The formula is:

Heat Input (joules/in.) = (Amperage X Voltage X 60) ÷ Travel Speed (IPM)

Typical heat input is about 55,000 joules per in. (±20 percent). For other heat inputs, it is advisable to contact the steel manufacturer for recommendations.

As a final precaution, A514 is not intended to be used in the postweld heat-treated (PWHT) condition, as it will alter the mechanical properties for which the material was intended.

Other sources of information for welding A514/A514M-05 steel are the steel manufacturers' fabrication guides and:

  • AWS D1.1, Structural Code—Steel
  • D14.3, Specification for Welding
  • Earthmoving, Construction, and
  • Agricultural Equipment
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