Deposition rate calculation

Deposition rate (lb./hr) = 13.1×(Wire diameter)2×(Wire-feed speed)×(Efficiency)

  • Wire diameter in inches (in.)
  • Wire-feed speed in inches per minute (IPM)
  • Efficiency (1.0 for solid wire, 0.85 for cored wire)
  • This calculation is for steel only

E.g.: Wire diameter = 0.045 in. (1.2 mm) solid wire, WFS = 300 IPM.

Deposition rate = 13.1×(0.045)2 ×(300)×(1.0) = 7.96 lb./hr

Calculating travel speed with deposition rate — Knowing the deposition rate, we can calculate the travel speed in inches per minute (IPM) for a particular weld. Let's say we want to make a 3/8-in. steel fillet weld (assume 10% reinforcement or 0.4125 in. leg) using 0.045-in. solid wire at 300 IPM, the weight of weld metal per foot can be calculated by multiplying the density of steel (0.283 lb./in3) by the volume of weld metal per foot as follows:

Weld weight per foot calculation

Vol. of weld metal/ft=1/2×b×h×12 in.=1/2×0.4125 in.×0.4125 in.×12 in.=1.02 in3.

Weight of weld metal/ft of 3/8 in. fillet weld=(0.283 lb./in3)×(1.02 in3)=0.2887 lb./ft.

From the calculation below, we see that the travel speed for a one-pass, 3/8-in. fillet weld would be 5.52 IPM, 11.03 IPM for a two-pass fillet weld, or 16.55 IPM for a three-pass weld.

Travel speed calculation

Travel speed = (deposition rate)×(# of passes)/5×(weight of weld metal per foot {lb./ft}) = (7.96)×(1)/5 × (0.2887) = 5.52 IPM

Calculating wire-feed speed with deposition rate — Let's assume a requirement to make fillet welds at a rate of 12 lb./hr using 0.045 in. welding wire. We can calculate the WFS using the formulas below and Weight of Weld Wire per foot in Table 1.

Wire-feed speed calculation

Wire-feed Speed = (deposition rate)/5×(weight of wire per foot {lb./ft}) = (12)/5×(0.0054) = 444.4 IPM

Table 1: Weight of Wire
Wire Diam., in. Weight of Wire (lb./ft) Wire Diam., in. Weight of Wire (lb./ft)
0.035 0.0033 3/32 0.023
0.040 0.0043 1/8 0.042
0.045 0.0054 5/32 0.065
0.052 0.0072 3/16 0.094
1/16 0.01 7/32 0.128
5/64 0.016  

Of course, the travel speed for a one-pass, 3/8 in. fillet weld at 12 lb./hr deposition rate would be 8.31 IPM as calculated below.

Travel Speed = (deposition rate)×(# of passes)/5×(weight of weld metal {lb./ft}) = (12)×(1)/5×(0.2887) = 8.31 IPM

Making it easier — The Bartonian Conversion Factor (Table 2) makes things a bit easier for fillet welds. The example below uses the conversion factor to calculate travel speed at 5.57 IPM for that same 3/8 in. fillet weld using a 0.045 in. solid wire.

Travel Speed = 7.96×0.7 = 5.57 IPM (.2887)

Table 2: Bartonian Conversion Factor
Bartonian Conversion Factor
(* assumes 10% reinforcement)
Leg Size, in. Weight of weld metal per foot* B*
3/16 .072 2.7
1/4 .129 1.5
5/16 .201 1
3/8 .289 0.7
Travel Speed = Deposition Rate × B

Weight of weld metal per foot can be calculated for any joint type by calculating the volume and multiplying by the density of the weld metal (eg. 0.283 lb./in3 for steel). However, the values shown in Table 3 through Table 6 eliminate the need to do the calculation. These values are taken from Table 12-1 in The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding by the Lincoln Electric Co., and show the Weight of Weld Metal per Foot for several common joint types welded with steel.

The following sample calculations use Tables 3 through 6.

Table 3: Square Butt
Plate Size, in. Weight of Weld Metal (lb./ft)
(20% reinforcement for each gap size below)
1/16 1/8 3/16 1/4 3/8 1/2
1/8 0.027 0.053 0.080 0.106 0.159 0.213
3/16 0.040 0.080 0.120 0.1559 0.239 0.319
1/4 0.053 0.106 0.159 0.213 0.319 0.425
5/16 0.066 0.133 0.199 0.266 0.398 0.531
3/8 0.080 0.159 0.239 0.319 0.478 0.638
7/16 0.093 0.186 0.279 0.372 0.558 0.744
1/2 0.106 0.213 0.319 0.425 0.638 0.850
3/4 0.159 0.319 0.478 0.638 0.969 1.28
1 0.213 0.425 0.638 0.850 1.28 1.70
1 1/2 0.319 0.638 0.956 1.28 1.91 2.55
2 0.425 0.850 1.28 1.7 2.55 3.40
Table 4: Fillet Weld
Plate Size, in. Weight of Weld Metal (lb./ft)
(leg size is 10% oversized)
Flat weld Convex weld Concave weld
1/8 0.032 0.041 0.036
3/16 0.072 0.093 0.081
1/4 0.129 0.165 0.145
5/16 0.201 0.258 0.226
3/8 0.289 0.371 0.325
7/16 0.394 0.505 0.443
1/2 0.514 0.6595 0.578
3/4 1.16 1.48 1.30
1 2.06 2.64 2.31
Table 5: Vee Groove Butt Weld
Plate Size, in. Weight of Weld Metal (lb./ft)
(Vee-groove included angle)
14° 20° 30° 45° 60° 70° 75° 80° 90°
1/8 0.0065 0.009 0.014 0.022 0.031 0.037 0.041 0.045 0.053
3/16 0.015 0.021 0.032 0.049 0.069 0.084 0.092 0.100 0.119
1/4 0.026 0.037 0.057 0.088 0.123 0.149 0.163 0.178 0.212
5/16 0.041 0.058 0.089 0.137 0.191 0.232 0.254 0.278 0.332
3/8 0.059 0.084 0.128 0.198 0.276 0.334 0.366 0.401 0.478
7/16 0.080 0.115 0.174 0.269 0.375 0.455 0.499 0.545 0.650
1/2 0.104 0.150 0.227 0.352 0.490 0.594 0.651 0.712 0.849
3/4 0.235 0.337 0.512 0.791 1.103 1.338 1.466 1.603 1.910
1 0.417 0.599 0.910 1.407 1.961 2.378 2.606 2.850 3.396
1 1/2 0.938 1.347 2.047 3.165 4.412 5.350 5.863 6.412 7.641
2 1.668 2.395 3.640 5.627 7.843 9.512 10.423 11.398 13.584
Table 6: Cap Pass
Cap Width, in. Weight of Weld Metal (lb./ft)
(cap reinforcement height)
1/16 in. 1/8 in. 3/16 in. 1/4 in.
3/8 0.027 0.053 0.080 0.106
1/2 0.040 0.080 0.120 0.1559
3/4 0.053 0.106 0.159 0.213
1 0.066 0.133 0.199 0.266
1 1/4 0.080 0.159 0.239 0.319
1 1/2 0.093 0.186 0.279 0.372
1 3/4 0.106 0.213 0.319 0.425
2 0.159 0.319 0.478 0.638

Sample Calculation No.1 — 1/2-in. plate Vee groove weld with 90° included angle and 1/8 in. reinforcement using 0.052 in. solid wire, 90%Ar/10%CO2 shielding gas. Manufacturer recommends WFS at 325 IPM and 30 volts.

Deposition Rate (lb./hr) = 13.1×(0.052)2×(325)×(1.0) = 11.51 lb./hr

Travel Speed for fill and cap passes = (11.51)×(6)/5×(0.849 + 0.199) = 13.18 IPM

Sample Calculation No.2 — 3/8 in. plate square butt weld into a backing, with a 3/16 in. gap and 1/8 in. reinforcement using 1/16 in. cored wire, 75%Ar/25%CO2 shielding gas. Our process runs great with WFS at 285 IPM and 26 volts.

Deposition rate (lb./hr) = 13.1×(1/16 in.)2 × (285)×(.85) = 12.39 lb./hr

Travel speed for fill and cap passes = (12.39)×(1)/5×(0.239 + 0.053) = 8.49 IPM

Sample Calculation No.3 — What should my wire-feed speed be if I want to make a fat, 1/4 in. fillet weld at 20 IPM travel speed using 0.045 in. solid wire and 90%Ar/10%CO2 shielding gas?

Re-arranging the Travel Speed calculation above to solve for Deposition Rate we get:

Deposition rate = 5×Travel speed×(Weight of weld metal {lb./ft})/(# of passes)

Depostion rate = 5×20 IPM×(0.165)/1 = 16.5 lb./hr

Re-arranging the Deposition Rate calculation above to solve for Wire-feed Speed we get:

Wire-feed speed = Deposition rate/13.1×(Wire diameter)2×(Efficiency) = 16.5/13.1 ×(.045 in.)2×(1) = 622 IPM

Summary — Using math and these simple formulas can reduce your weld-development time, and improve your pre-WPS documentation. These calculations will get you close, but some tweaking may have to be done to achieve your desired weld. Having a good starting point for welding procedure development will decrease time and guesswork on the shop floor.


Kevin Beardsley of Lincoln Electric is a registered Professional Engineer with 21 years of manufacturing experience.