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Does welding steel decrease the strength as opposed to bolting? What are the benefits/pros to bolting versus welding?

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Welding does not reduce the strength of steel. The choice between welding and bolting is often driven by economics and shop and field preferences. It is common to try to limit welding to the shop and provide bolted connections in the field.
However, even these preferences can vary by application, contractor preferences, and regional conditions. Ask the fabricator on your project what details will be best for the project. They will probably be more than happy to help.
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