E6013 Welding Rod, What Can You Do With It?

What can you do with the E6013 welding rod?

The words thrown around that attack the virtues of the E6013 welding rod are words like “Sheet metal Rod” or “Beginner’s Rod” or “Easy Rod”.  These may be generally true as they are commonly used for these type applications.  True it can be used to weld thin material and is a good welding rod to train with that is very forgiving, but what is wrong with that?  On the negative side, E 6013 does leave a heavy slag formation and is relatively shallow penetrating if not correctly used.  But it does yield an extremely high quality weld which, while not as strong as a E7018, is a strong reason not to discount it.   While it won’t penetrate as well as an E6010 or even an E7018, it puts down a large amount of metal relatively quickly without much difficulty.  A tight arc and advanced rod angle  is needed to help control the slag from rolling in front of the weld on most brands.  This rod is good for filling on multi pass welds where layer after layer is going to be needed to make the weld.  Though penetration is more shallow, it only needs to bond with the metal laying directly underneath it to provide a quality weld.    One of the other things that people in the Western hemisphere may not appreciate about it is that it is the trusted welding rod for root pass welds in Europe and Asia.  Yes, that’s correct, root pass welds.   As far as welds go, every professional knows that a welded joint on a pipe is no better than the root pass.  This brings up a very good question: “What does Europe and Asia know about the 6013 that welders in the West don’t?”  This environment tends to favor a more pragmatic approach to welding as to using “what works” with the least amount of problems.   And 6013 seems to be their choice.  Having experimented with it myself, it does seem to have some merit as it leaves a smooth inside root and after a little trial and error, is fairly easy to keep it from over reinforcing the root.  The easy flowing nature of the 6013 would seem to work against it in the root pass, but not so.  It simply allows the welder to move a little more quickly.  The slag formation on the backside of the weld leaves a cleaner and brighter backside which means less oxidation, an desirable quality in a root pass weld, particularly in pressurized situations.  While it may take years or decades for people in the Western hemisphere to rethink the 6013 roll in welding, the rest of the world has already seized upon its capability.  It’s definitely something everyone should be familiar with if they want to be considered a serious or professional level welder.

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