Welding Electrodes

Welding Electrodes

Arc Welding Electrodes

  • Arc Welding Electrodes contain core wire and flux coating
  • Core wire provides filler for the joint being welded
  • The Flux of a welding electrode provides five main functions
    • Helps maintain the welding arc
    • Provides gaseous shield
    • Forms slag to allow weld to cool slow
    • Serves as an insulator
    • Floats to surface

Care of Welding Electrodes

  • Welding electrodes must be stored in warm, dry places.
  • Do not chip the the flux away from the welding electrodes core.

Welding Electrode Identification

  • Welding electrodes typically consist of a number system developed by the American Welding Society (AWS)
  • It is typically found on the welding electrodes container, in addition to the manufacturer’s number
  • “E” stands for Electric Arc Welding
  • The first two digits of the welding electrodes identification number, is the tensile in thousand pounds per square inch.
  • The third digit indicates the welding position.
    • 1 = ALL POSITIONS
    • 2 = HORIZONTAL AND FLAT WELDING POSITIONS
    • 3 = FLAT WELDING POSITIONS ONLY
  • The fourth digit indicates the type of flux coating found on the welding electrode.

Classification of Welding Electrodes

Welding electrodes are typically classified into four general groups. The first group of welding electrodes is known as the fast freeze group. The fast freeze group of welding electrodes has three main traits. The first is that the fast freeze group of welding electrodes produces very little slag. This group is also known for its forceful arc that it creates, and is also capable of being performed in all positions. Welding electrodes commonly used for this classification are E6010 Welding Electrodes and E6011 Welding Electrodes.

The next classification of welding electrodes is fill freeze group of welding electrodes. The fill freeze group of electrodes contain a Heavy Flux, are known to have very easy slag removal, and is capable of having a bead that has very even ripple formations. Common welding electrodes used in the fill freeze group, are the E6012, E6013, and E7014 welding electrodes.

The third group of welding electrodes are classified as the fast fill group of welding electrodes. Welding electrodes in this classification contain a VERY HEAVY flux coating found on the rod. They also have a very fast deposit rate while welding. E6027 and E7028 are common welding electrodes used in the fast fill group of welding.

The final group of welding electrodes is the low hydrogen group. These are considered low hydrogen mainly because the flux has very little hydrogen found in it. This welding electrode can be used on high carbon steels. E7018 and E7028 are welding electrodes commonly found in the low hydrogen group and used on high carbon steels.

A Basic Guide of Arc Welding Electrodes 

Arc welding electrodes are identified using the A.W.S, (American Welding Society) numbering system. AWS rods are made in sizes from 1/16 to 5/16. Ex: a welding rod identified as an 1/8″ E6011 electrode. The electrode is 1/8″ in diameter. The “E” stands for arc welding electrode. Next will be either a 4 or 5 digit number stamped on the electrode. The first two numbers of a 4 digit number and the first 3 digits of a 5 digit number indicate the minimum tensile strength (in thousands of pounds per square inch) of the weld that the rod will produce, stress relieved. Examples would be as follows: E60xx would have a tensile strength of 60,000 psi E110XX would be 110,000 psi; The next to last digit indicates the position the electrode can be used in. EXX1X is for use in all positions, EXX2X is for use in flat and horizontal positions, EXX3X is for flat welding. The last two digits together, indicate the type of coating on the electrode and the welding current the electrode can be used with. Such as DC straight, (DC -) DC reverse (DC+) or A.C.

Welding Electrodes and Currents Used

  • EXX10 DC+ (DC reverse or DCRP) electrode positive.
  • EXX11 AC or DC- (DC straight or DCSP) electrode negative.
  • EXX12 AC or DC-
  • EXX13 AC, DC- or DC+
  • EXX14 AC, DC- or DC+
  • EXX15 DC+
  • EXX16 AC or DC+
  • EXX18 AC, DC- or DC+
  • EXX20 AC ,DC- or DC+
  • EXX24 AC, DC- or DC+
  • EXX27 AC, DC- or DC+
  • EXX28 AC or DC+
SMAW is performed using either AC or DC current. Since DC current flows in one direction, DC current can be DC straight, (electrode negative) or DC reversed (electrode positive). With DC reversed,(DC+ OR DCRP) the weld penetration will be deep. DC straight (DC- OR DCSP) the weld will have a faster melt off and deposit rate. The weld will have medium penetration. Ac current changes it’s polarity 120 times a second by it’s self and can not be changed as can DC current.

Electrode Size and AMPs Used

The following will serve as a basic guide of the amp range that can be used for different size electrodes. Note that these ratings can be different between various electrode manufactures for the same size rod. Also the type coating on the electrode could effect the amperage range. When possible, check the manufactures info of the electrode you will be using for their recommended amperage settings.

Types of Welding Electrodes

The thicker the material to be welded, the higher the current needed and the larger the electrode needed.

Typical type rods used in our shop:

Four electrodes that are commonly used for maintenance and repair welding of mild steel.

E6010 This electrode is used for all position welding using DCRP. It produces a deep penetrating weld and works well on dirty, rusted, or painted metals

E6011 This electrode has the same characteristics of the E6010, but can be used with AC and DC currents.

E6013 This electrode can be used with AC and DC currents. It produces a medium penetrating weld with a superior weld bead appearance.

E7018 This electrode is known as a low hydrogen electrode and can be used with AC or DC. The coating on the electrode has a low moisture content that reduces the introduction of hydrogen into the weld. The electrode can produce welds of x-ray quality with medium penetration. (Note, this electrode must be kept dry. If it gets wet, it must be dried in a rod oven before use.)

The thicker the material to be welded, the higher the current needed and the larger the electrode needed

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