Stick Electrode Selection Continued

Any discussion of stick welding electrodes requires a quick rundown and review of the most common stick welding electrodes and their properties. The E6010 is a rod that has a forceful, sharp arc with deep penetration. It’s typically used in the pipe welding and pressure vessel industry. It’s typically used to weld the first pass, especially when it is open root. It can be used in any position. The cellulose based slag is minimal, and difficult to remove. Rather than a weave, a slight whipping or stepping motion is required because of the fast freezing puddle. The E6011, a close relative of the E6010, is more “domesticated,” with arc stabilizers in the flux, making it more widely accepted in many home shops, garages and farms. It also allows for use with AC to control arc blow. It’s ability to cut through paint and rust while welding is great and is frequently referred to as the “rust rod”. The E6013 can be used in AC or DC + or -. It’s about as smooth and easy to weld with as they come. The flux is heavy though and can flow in front of the weld if forward travel is too slow, creating inclusions. It’s penetration is shallow. It’s typically a farm rod, or used for welding up sheet metal. The All position E 7014 has an iron powder based flux which makes for a smooth, and fast flowing rod. Penetration is better than the 6013, but still relatively shallow compared to the 6010. It can be used with all polarities, including AC. But it does shine on DC+. It’s used commercially in fabrication and general repair. The flux is fairly thick but should slip right off, if amps are tight. E7024 is not as common, and it is another rutile, or iron powder flux rod. In fact it is probably the fastest flowing rod. But it is limited in position, to only flat and horizontal welds. It’s use is usually found in heavy equipment fabrication and repair. The E 7018, is one of the most widely used commercial rods. It is considered low hydrogen, and is a low moisture rod, preventing hydrogen being trapped in the weld and causing porosity, and embrittlement. It is an easy to weld with rod though it can be difficult to restrike though due to the flux holding preventing good contact with the metal. There are other rods in use for mild steel, but most are higher strength versions of the rods discussed and are not as popular. Most welders, across the industry will find that they will hardly ever stray from these rod categories while welding Mild steel.