Introduction to Stick Welding and Stick Welding Electrodes
The American Welding Society defines SMAW as Shielded Metal Arc Welding
SMAW is commonly known as stick welding or manual arc welding, and is where you use stick welding electrodes.
Stick welding and stick welding electrodes are the most widely used arc welding process in the world and can be used to weld most common metals and alloys. To perform stick welding, the current flows through the electrode cable, to the electrode holder, through the electrode, and across the arc. On the work side of the arc, the current flows through the base material to the work clamp and back to the welding machine
Stick Welding Electrode
The stick welding electrode is a consumable – it gets melted during the SMAW (stick) welding process. To understand stick welding, you must also understand the stick welding electrode.
The stick welding electrode is composed of two parts; the core rod (metal filler) and the flux coating. The Core Rod or Metal Filler, Carries welding current and becomes a part of the weld when complete. The Flux Coating produces a shielding gas, can provide additional filler, and also forms a slag during the stick welding process. Lets review each in more depth.
The Stick Welding Electrode ARC
An arc occurs when the electrode comes in contact with the work-piece and completes the circuit … like turning on a light! The electric arc is established in the space between the end of the electrode and the work. The arc reaches temperatures of 10,000°F which melts the electrode and base material
Stick Welding Electrode Weld Puddle
As the core rod, flux coating, and work pieces heat up and melt, they form a pool of molten material called a weld puddle. The weld puddle is what a welder watches and manipulates while welding
Stick Welding Electrode Shielding Gas
A shielding gas is formed when the flux coating melts. This protects the weld puddle from the atmosphere preventing contamination during the molten state
Stick Welding Electrode Solidified Weld Metal
Stick Welding Electrode Slag