Selecting the right filler Metal - Part 4 SMAW AWS E7014

"Once you try 7014, you'll throw rocks at those other rods." Thinking back to that comment made jokingly by my long-in-the-tooth welding instructor in college, I often get a chuckle. But what he said in hyperbole is really not that far from the truth. The 7014 is a great rod. Some professionals tend to dismiss it, largely because they haven’t used it and tend to stick to the code required 7018.

Alongside the E 7018, the E7014 matches the 70,000 lb tensile strength and is fairly similar in weld appearance. But it is different in the fact that it is distinctly easier to start an arc and the flow of the metal is unmatched. The iron powdered flux creates a full slag coating that releases so effortlessly that a mere brushing is all that is needed. It is an all purpose welding rod designed for high speed fabrication. Technically classified as a "fill-freeze" welding rod, it lays down a bead about as fast as the “jet” rods. It is also an all position rod that can be quite easily manipulated, and works well with a “weave” pattern.

Many shops use this rod for fabrication duties and repair of heavy equipment for areas where MIG isn’t practical. Its drawback is that ductility is a little bit less, and it is not considered low hydrogen so it’s not traditionally relied upon for code work. But then again, no special storage requirements are needed for it and it holds up well without keeping it hot and dry in a rod oven. For people that don’t have storage capabilities and don’t want to treat a welding rod with kid gloves, but want a strong weld and smooth welding experience, the 7014 is a rod that offers the best of both worlds.

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