Calculating filler consumption and welding costs


The basics of calculating weld volume, weight and welding costs were developed by Gene Mathers when he was at the TWI. Further background information is available here and here (links now broken).

The calculation of weld geometry shown above has been tabulated by Air Liquide. In this pdf, a cost calculation for welding with assumptions is given.

ESAB also provides an online lesson for estimating and comparing weld metal costs.

Prof. Karsten Madsen of Welding & Mfg. Tech. Dept at Conestoga Community College published an article in the CWA journal for comparing costs and justifying investments in welding equipment.

A number of web and computer-based calculators for filler consumption and welding costs are also available as identified in the next part of this blog post.

Online method

An online tool for calculating the consumption of wire or rod for a great number of joint geometries is offered by T-put, a German supplier of specialized wire and rod. The calculator is four step.

1) the process is selected; SMAW, GMAW/TIG or SAW

2) the weld preparation is selected (choice of 14 from ‘square butt’ to much more complicated bevel/U geometries)

3) relevant weld preparation dimensions and material information are  entered

4)  the wire parameters and efficiencies are entered.

The calculator then provides the weight of metal weld, filler and total length of wire/number of rods required.

Desktop software

There are also a number of commercially licensed programs that provide greater functionality (e.g. actually calculate welding costs)

WeldToolBox is an estimating software by Computer Engineering Inc ($300). This software enables the user to estimate welding costs, test what-if scenarios, select appropriate joint designs and welding parameters. A demo version used to be available. Links are now broken.

SSAB offers WeldCalc – a tool designed specifically for use with their Weldox, Domex and Hardox products.

Excel spreadsheet

Other people’s excel spreadsheets are also an easy starting point from which to develop your own welding engineering calculations. The dimensions may need to be checked for consistency.

1. Certilas, a Dutch welding supply company, offer an online calculator for filler consumption and costs.  Seemingly they have converted this spreadsheet to an App, though I haven’t tested it myself yet. Check out the WELDING PRO App and provide comments below.

2. Mruczek Welding Engineering offers a weld cost calculator for $85 with 10 joint configurations in both metric and imperial units.  Looks to be good value for money. The demo version is limited to calculating costs for fillet welds.

4 thoughts on “Calculating filler consumption and welding costs

  1. Welding pro Is comming soon in the us AppStore, currently we only launched it in Europe . It is based on the excel version that was at our website. But the app offers much more functions and is more accurate

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