are many types of welding electrodes. This article will cover a "mild steel
electrodes are metal wires with baked on chemical coatings. The rod is used to
sustain the welding arc and to provide the filler metal required for the joint
to be welded. The coating protects the metal from damage, stabilizes the arc,
and improves the weld. The diameter of the wire, less the coating, determines
the size of the welding rod. This is expressed in fractions of an inch such as
3/32", 1/8", or 5/32." The smaller the diameter means it requires
less current and it deposits a smaller amount of filler metal.
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type of base metal being welded, the welding process and machine, and other conditions
determines the type of welding electrode used. For example, low carbon or "mild
steel" requires a mild steel welding rod. Welding cast iron, aluminum or
brass requires different welding rods and equipment.
flux coating on the electrodes determines how it will act during the actual welding
process. Some of the coating burns and the burnt flux forms smoke and acts as
a shield around the welding "pool," to protect it from that air around
it. Part of the flux melts and mixes with the wire and then floats the impurities
to the surface. These impurities are known as "slag." A finished weld
would be brittle and weak if not for the flux. When the welded joint is cooled,
the slag can be removed. A chipping hammer and wire brush are used to clean and
examine the weld.
metal-arc welding electrodes may be grouped as bare electrodes, light coated electrodes,
and shielded arc or heavy coated electrodes. The type used depends on the specific
properties required that include: corrosion resistance, ductility, high tensile
strength, the type of base metal to be welded; and the position of the weld that
is flat, horizontal, vertical, or overhead.
electrodes must be kept dry. Moisture destroys the desirable characteristics of
the coating and may cause excessive spattering and lead to the formation of cracks
and weakness in the welded area. Electrodes exposed to humid air for more than
a few hours should be preheated before use and when in doubt as to how long they
were exposed they should be re-dried by heating in a suitable oven. (See Electrode
Rod Storage Recommendations for proper time and temperature charts.) After
they have dried, they should be stored in a moisture proof container.
American Welding Society's (AWS) classification number series has been adopted
by the welding industry. The electrode identification example below is for a steel
arc-welding rod labeled E6010:
indicates "electrode" for electric arc welding
first two (or three in some cases) digits (60) indicate tensile strength in thousands
of pounds per square inch
third (or fourth in some cases) digit (1) indicates the position of the weld.
An "O" indicates that this classification is not used; "1"
is for all positions; "2" is for flat and horizontal positions only;
3 is for flat position only
- The last two digits together (10) indicate the type of coating and the type of power supply required, 10 organic coating and DC current with reverse polarity.
a welding rod numbered E6010 indicates "E" an manual arc-welding electrode
with (60) a minimum strength of 60,000 psi., that can be used (1) in all positions
and (10) DC reverse polarity is required.
review all of our welding rod ovens for the proper
storage of your welding electrodes.