Welding Rods

Oxyacetylene Welding (Filler) Rods

The use of the proper type of filler rod is very important in oxyacetylene welding operations. This material not only adds reinforcement to the weld area, but also adds desired properties to the finished weld. By selecting the proper type of rod, either tensile strength or ductility can be secured in a weld. Similarly, rods can be selected that will help retain the desired amount of corrosion resistance. In some cases, a suitable rod with a lower melting point will eliminate possible cracks from expansion and contraction.

Welding rods are classified as ferrous and nonferrous. The ferrous rods include carbon and alloy steel rods as well as cast iron rods. Nonferrous rods include brazing and bronze rods, aluminum and aluminum alloy rods, magnesium and magnesium alloy rods, copper rods, and silver rods. The diameter of the rod used is governed by the thickness of the metals being joined. If the rod is to small, it will not conduct heat away from the puddle rapidly enough, and a burned weld will result. A rod that is to large will chill the puddle. As in selecting the proper size welding torch tip, experience will enable the welder to select the proper diameter welding rod.

Arc Welding Rod Numbers Decoded (from Damon Gentile)

Typical arc welding rod has a part number like: E6010 or a fancy one is E8018-B1-H4R. Let's start by decoding the short one. If you have digits left over, it's a long number, read on. This can be decoded fairly easily.

E stands for "Electrode"

The first two digits (or first 3 if it's a 5-digit number) are an abbreviation of the weld's strength. To figure out the strength of the weld, take the 2 digits, in this case 60, and multiply by 1000 to get the weld strength in PSI. So if you had welded two plates together, with the weld covering one square inch (or even 1/4" x 4" : that's still one square inch) that weld could take 60,000 pounts of pulling force. Typical vales are 60,70,80,90,100,110.

The 3rd digit tells you what position the rod is recommended for.

1 Flat, Horizontal, Vertical, Overhead
2 Flat and Horizontal only
3 Flat, Horizontal, Vertical Down, Overhead

The last digit tells you about welding current and the coating.

1 DC:ROD+ cellulose sodium
2 AC or DC:ROD+
or DC:ROD-
cellulose potassium
3 AC or DC:ROD- titania sodium
4 AC or DC:ROD-
or DC:ROD+
iron powder titania
5 DC:ROD+ low hydrogen sodium
6 AC or DC:ROD+ low hydrogen potassium
7 AC or DC:ROD+
or DC:ROD-
iron powder iron oxide
8 AC or DC:ROD+ iron powder low hydrogen

You probably don't need to worry much about the coating. I've read that having the rod + will give deeper penetration, and the rod - will give faster deposition. If there is a letter and number combination next, it relates to the chemical composition of the weld deposit.

A1     0.5%Mo    
B1   0.5%Cr 0.5%Mo    
B2   1.25%Cr 0.5%Mo    
B3   2.25%Cr 1%Mo    
C1 2.5%Ni        
C2 3.25%Ni        
C3 1%Ni 0.15%Cr 0.35%Mo    
D1     0.25-0.45%Mo 1.25-2%Mn  
D2     0.25-0.45%Mo 1.25-2%Mn  
G* 0.5%Ni >0.3%Cr >0.2%Mo   >0.1%V
* (G only needs one of the elements listed)

Next part is a H#. This relates to the maximum amount of hydrogen that will be diffused from the rod.

A trailing R means that the rod is moisture resistant.

Select Your Electrode

Source: http://www.millerwelds.com/products/helpmechoose/basics5.html

If you plan to weld with a particular diameter electrode, you need to know its operating range (basically, smaller electrodes carry less current, larger electrodes carry more current). The following chart suggests operating ranges for common Stick, wire, TIG and carbon arc gouging electrodes. This helps you determine which electrode sizes you can use with a particular machine.

Amperage for Stick Electrodes
Stick diameter and type 332" 18" 532" 316" ¼"
6010, 6011 40-85 75-125 110-165 140-210 210-315
6013 40-90 80-130 105-180 150-230 250-350
7018 60-100 110-165 150-220 200-275 320-400

Amperage and Voltage for Wire Electrodes — Part 1
Wire diameter and type .030" .035" .045" .052" 116"
Tubular (flux or metal cored) N/A N/A 15-36V
Self-shielded flux cored N/A 14-20V
N/A 14-22V
Solid (MIG) 17-23V

Amperage and Voltage for Wire Electrodes — Part 2
Wire diameter and type .072" 564" 332" 764" 18"
Tubular (flux or metal cored) 22-36V
N/A 26-32V
Self-shielded flux cored 16-25V

Amperage for TIG Welding
Tungsten type & diameter 116" 332" 18" 316" ¼"
2% type 50-140 125-200 150-325 300-340 -
Pure type 60-90 125-160 190-240 260-320 330-450

Amperage for Carbon Arc Gouging
Carbon diameter 316" ¼" 516" ½"
Amperage 250 300 500 600 750

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