Factors For Selecting Welding Rods

Before selecting welding rods, you should know the basics. For instance, welding rods are differentiated by the digits on them. The digits indicate their strength, position and flux coating.

Welding is not an easy job. It requires skill and a lot of practice. Similarly, selecting the correct welding rod for a particular job is also challenging. There are a wide variety of welding rods, and each has diverse mechanical properties and operates with a particular type of welding power source. While buying a welding rode, you should consider its base metal type, joint fit-up and welding positions.

Find the base metal typeSonyarc_Mswr_tn2-130x110

For a strong weld, first check your base metal composition. The composition of the welding rode should match the base metal type. You can easily determine the metal composition by checking the broken surface. If the internal surface is crude then the base material will be cast metal. If the base metal is magnetic then it will be made of alloy steel. If it is not magnetic, the base metal can be brass, copper or titanium. Also, check the sparks. If there is more flame in the sparks then the base metal will have higher carbon content.

Tensile strength

To prevent cracks, the minimum tensile strength of the welding rode should match the tensile strength of the base metal. You can identify a welding rod’s tensile strength by checking the first two numbers of the AWS classification printed on the side of the welding rode.

Welding current

Some welding rods can be used with only AC or DC power sources. However, certain welding rods will be well-suited for both. To find out the correct type, check the fourth digit of the AWS classification. It indicates the type of coating and type of compatible welding current. For example, if the classification is 6013, ‘60’ suggest the utility character of the rod, and ‘13’ means that it can be used in all positions but is best used flat.

AWS classifications

  • If the AWS classification is 6010, it can penetrate deeply with little spray. It is ideal for use on farm and road equipment.
  • 6011 is utility type welders, which can be used on steel that are rusty and dirty. 6010 and 6011 welders can be used on AC or DC power sources.
  • Welding rods with classification 6013 LV are best to use on sheet metal. It can be used for repair on fabrication that is not very thick. The easiest welding rods to use are 6013 and 6014.
  • High quality welding rods have 7018 classification. They are used for construction purposes that require good quality welding.
  • Welding rods with classification 7018 AC are easier to operate than most other low hydrogen welding rods.

There are dozens of other welding rods for different purposes, and it can be confusing which one will be best suited for a particular job. Before buying, it is always better to check with the manufacturer for suggestions about use, position, voltage range, and function of the welding rods.