Selecting the right filler Metal - Part 3 SMAW AWS E6013

Though it isn't as much of a commercially popular rod as the E6010 in the US, the E6013 is a welding rod that finds much use in other countries in place of the E6010 and E6011. It's a much more smooth and easy flowing rod, though penetration is relatively shallow. It's often derisively referred to in the US as a "sheet metal" rod, referring to its limited penetration. That's not all bad though. It simply means it’s a more forgiving rod. For beginners, this is an excellent rod for confidence building. Even a beginner can make a passable weld soon after picking the rod up. Slag is heavy and is easily separated away from the weld. In fact, if the weld is properly made with the correct amps and technique, the slag should “curl” up off the weld and little or no effort is required to remove it. Overseas, in other countries, the 6013 is used for root pass welds. The rod does not freeze as quickly as the 6010 or 6011, but because of the smoothness of the weld and easily removed slag, it has been adopted in place of the 6010. But what is more important is that this rod is very versatile and works well for many hobby welders and small shops. Sharing the same 60,000 lb tensile strength rating, it theoretically is capable of making as strong of a weld, though there is a difference in ductility. The iron powder coating on the 6013 makes this rod a fast deposit rod, meaning that the weld lays down much faster than the 6010 or 6011. For light gauge welding, the 6013 has no rival. Thin material easily welds without fear of burning big holes in the metal. The stable smooth arc that is characteristic of the 6013 makes it a joy to weld with. One problem that can be experienced with the 6013 is a problem commonly referred to as “wagon tracking”. This is a problem where slag, because of its plentifulness, can be rolled into the edge or center of the weld. This is usually a result of too low of amperage or too extreme of a rod angle. With a little practice, however, this problem is fairly well managed. Reverse polarity is typically used for this rod, though it will weld well with AC “buzz” boxes as well. Whether you are wanting to get your toes wet or just wanting to add another rod to your arsenal the 6013 is a quick study for joining mild steel.