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Should I Use Welded Joints or Bolted Joints?

Welded Joints vs. Bolted Joints

One of the most common issues contractors face before starting a job is the age-old debate of which tool will work best for the task at hand. Regardless of how big or small the project and the part in question, it’s essential to know that the right components are used. This isn’t just a matter of results, either – other factors come into play, such as cost-effectiveness and overall efficiency.

A prime example of this is welded joints vs. bolted joints. Both have their own arguments for use, and both offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost and efficiency. Let’s take a look at some of the core issues that set these two types of joints apart and which one you should choose for your next project.

Cost

While the cost of both welded joints and bolted joints will vary, bolted joints are generally less expensive to manufacture for a project than welded ones. The overall price of steel is a driving force behind the price of bolts, but the fact is that bolted joints are made using a less expensive material. This is mainly due to the manufacturing process, which is more efficient and automated.

Welded joints do tend to come with lower installation costs, but certified welders may charge higher hourly rates, which could cost a company more in the long run. They can also be more expensive to transport.

If cost is a concern for your organization, it may be a better decision to go with bolted joints.

Efficiency

Although bolted joints offer an advantage in terms of cost, welded joints tend to be more efficient, partly due to the fact that they lack the holes necessary for the creation of bolted joints. As with cost, the manufacturing process is the determining factor here: bolted joints may offer simplicity in their creation, but welded joints tend to come out on top in terms of overall efficiency. Contractors who are willing to pay a little more for this may want to choose welded joints for their project.

Overall Ease of Use

While this is not always a deciding factor for contractors, it can be if things come down to the wire and it’s difficult to choose between welded and bolted joints when it comes to the issue of which one is best.

While welded joints may come with less hardware and, as we discussed, increased efficiency thanks to the manufacturing process, bolted joints are easier to deal with when it comes to handling and unloading them at the start of a project. They also come with easier repair, which can help save time if an unexpected issue arises that requires work to be put on hold until the problem is fixed.

Overall, bolted joints can edge out welded joints in terms of expenses and ease of use, at the cost of marginally reduced efficiency for a project. However, asking around in the industrial sector is likely to warrant different answers, and which type of joint a contractor chooses will depend on the project at hand and their own personal preferences for a wide range of factors.

Contact Ultra Torq today  for the tools that will make your bolting project fast, safe and easy on the worker.

 

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