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3. 4.

List the percentage of usage of SMAW in the industry. Name the components that make up the schematic representation of the shielded metal arc. Know the maximum arc temperature of an SMAW electrode. List the four constant current welding machines.

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6. 7. 8.


List the common type and uses of constant current welding machines. Name the power supply ratings. Name the characteristics of the four basic types of welding machines. Choose the correct cable size based on the application. List the welders safety equipment.

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Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

Manual arc welding Heat for welding generated by electric arc established between flux-covered consumable metal rod (electrode) and work Called stick electrode welding Combustion and decomposition of electrode creases

gaseous shield

Protects electrode tip, weld puddle, arc, and highly

heated work from atmospheric contamination

Additional shielding provided by covering of molten slag (flux)

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American Welding Society

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Process Capability
9% 13% 2%

Shielded metal arc welding one of most used of

various electric arc welding processes



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SMAW Advantages
Equipment less complex, more portable and less costly
Can be done indoors or outdoors, in any location and

any position Electrodes available to match properties and strength of most base metals
Not used for welding softer metals Not as efficient in deposition

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SMAW Operating Principles

Sets up electric circuit
Includes welding machine, work, electric cables,

electrode holder and electrodes, and a work clamp

Heat of electric arc brings work to be welded

and consumable electrode to molten state

Heat intense: as high at 9,000F at center (4980 C)

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Welding Process
Electric arc started by striking work with electrode
Heat of arc melts electrode and surface of base metal Tiny globules of molten metal form on tip of electrode

and transferred by arc into molten pool on work surface After weld started, arc moved along work

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SMAW Operating Principle

American Welding Society

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Welding Power Sources

Also known as power supplies and welding machines Two classifications Output slope

Whether constant current or constant voltage

Power source type Transformer Transformer-rectifier Inverter Generator

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Type of Output Slope

Two basic types
Constant current

Referred to as variable voltage Referred to as constant potential

Constant voltage

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Output Slope
Relationship between output voltage and output

current (amperage) of machine as current increased or decreased

Also called volt-ampere characteristic or curve

Largely determines how much welding current will

change for given change in load voltage

Permits welding machine to control welding heat and

maintain stable arc

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Output Slope
Indicates type and amount of electric current designed

to produce Each arc welding process has characteristic output slope

SMAW and GTAW require steep output slope from

constant current welding machine GMAW and FCAW require relatively flat output slope from constant voltage power source Submerged arc welding adaptable to either slope

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Typical Output Slopes

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Four Types of Power Source

Engine-driven generators Powered by gas or diesel combustion engine Can be found with a.c. or d.c. electric motor

No longer being manufactured and rarely found

Transformer-rectifiers Use basic electrical transformer to step down a.c. line power voltage to a.c. welding voltage Welding voltage then passed through rectifier to convert a.c. output to d.c. welding current May be either d.c. or a.c.-d.c. machines
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Four Types of Power Source

A.C. transformers
Used to step down a.c. line power voltage to a.c. welding


Increases frequency of incoming primary power Constant current, constant voltage, or both Produce a.c. or d.c. welding current

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Constant Current Welding Machines

Used for shielded metal arc welding and gas tungsten

arc welding
Current remains fairly constant regardless of changes in

arc length
Called drooping voltage, variable voltage, or droopers

Load voltage decreases as welding current increases

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Constant Current Output Slope

Constant current welding machines Steep output slope Available in both d.c. and a.c. welding current Steeper the slope, the smaller current change
Enables welder to control welding current in specific

range by changing length of arc

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Constant Current Output Slope

Some jobs require steep volt-ampere curve Other jobs use less steep volt-ampere curve

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Open Circuit Voltage

Voltage generated by welding machine when no

welding being done

Machine running idle

Arc voltage Voltage generated between electrode and work during welding Load voltage Voltage at output terminals of welding machine when arc is going Combination of arc voltage plus voltage drop in welding circuit

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Open Circuit and Arc Voltage

Open circuit voltage runs between 50-100 volts Drops to arc voltage when arc struck Arc voltages Range: 36 volts (long arc) to 18 volts (short arc) Determined by arc length held by welder and type of electrode used Arc lengthened, arc voltage increases and current


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Open Circuit and Arc Voltage

Open circuit voltage on constant current machines

higher than on most constant voltage machines Arc voltage depends on physical arc length at point of welding and controlled by welder
Shielded metal arc welding
Gas Tungsten arc welding

Arc voltage much lower than open circuit voltage

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Motor Generator Welding Machine for SMAW

Variable voltage control Instruction on the Name-plate

Polarity switch Constant voltage Toggle switch

The Lincoln Co.

Current control
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Motor Generator Desirable Characteristics

Have forceful penetrating arc
Versatile Can be used to weld all metals that are weldable by arc process Flexible With proper electrode, can be used in all positions Durable and have long machine life

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Contacts of starter switch and control rheostat should

be inspected, cleaned frequently and replaced when necessary Brushes need frequent inspection for wear
Check commutator for wear or burning Rewound and turned on lathe

Main bearings on shaft inspected and greased at each

6-month period
Clean old grease out of bearing housings

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D.C. Transformer-Rectifier Welding Machines Have many designs and purposes

Flexibility one reason for wide acceptance Deliver either DCEN or DCEP May be used for: Stick electrode welding Gas tungsten arc welding Submerged arc welding Multi-operator systems Stud welding
Miller Electric Mfg. Co. The Lincoln Electric Co.

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Transformer-Rectifier Machines
Have two basic parts Transformer for producing and regulating alternating current that enters machine rectifier that converts a.c. to d.c. Third important part is ventilating fan Keeps rectifier from overheating Design improves arc stability and makes it easy to hold

short arc which is soft and steady No major rotating parts so consume little power

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A.C. Transformer Welding Machines

Most popular a.c. welding machine
Function of transformer Step down high voltage of input current to high amperage, low voltage current required for welding Especially suited

for heavy work

Miller Electric Mfg. Co

The Lincoln Electric Co.

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Advantages of a.c. Power Sources

Reduces tendency to arc blow Can use larger electrodes Resulting in faster speeds on heavy materials Lower cost Decreased power consumption High overall electrical efficiency Noiseless operation Reduced maintenance

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D.C. and A.C.-D.C. Inverter Welding Machines

Portable, lightweight, and versatile
May be either constant current, constant voltage or

both Can perform several different processes

Miller electric Mfg. Co.

The Lincoln Electric Co.

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Cost Comparisons: Arc Power Sources

Three main areas Cost of purchasing equipment (nearly equal) Operating efficiency
Motor generator machine: 52-65% Transformer-rectifiers: 64-72% Inverters: 85% Motor generator machine: replacing parts, lubrication Transformer-rectifiers and inverters have no moving parts


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Multiple-Operator Systems Can be installed away from work site and be connected
to control panels close to welding operator When using direct current, all welders must weld with same polarity

Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

Most installations are d.c. Power: 600-2,500 amperes Cost less, saves space and cable, lowers operating cost
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Open Circuit Voltage

Maximum allowable used for manual welding 80 volts for a.c. or a.c.-d.c. machines 100 volts for d.c. machines

Very smooth output (less than 2% ripple)

Automatic machine welding Some constant current machines rated up to 125 Constant voltage types normally rated from 15 to 50

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Duty Cycle
Percentage of any given 10-minute period that

machine can operate at rated current without overheating or breaking down

Rating of 100% means machine can be used at rated

amperage on continuous basis

Required by continuous, automatic machine welding

Rating of 60% means machine can be used at its

capacity 6 out of every 10 minutes without damage

Satisfactory for heavy SMAW and GTAW

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Relationship of secondary power output to primary

power input
Indicated in percent

Determined by losses through machine when actually

welding at rated current and voltage Average efficiencies

Motor generator welding machines: 50% Transformer-rectifier: 70% Inverter: 85%

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Development of Covered Electrodes

During the 1890's, arc welding was accomplished with bare metal electrodes.

The welds produced were porous and brittle because the molten weld puddle absorbed larg quantities of oxygen and nitrogen from the atmosphere. Operators noticed that a rusty rod produced a better weld than a shiny clean rod. Observations also showed than an improved weld could be made by wrapping the rod in newspaper or by welding adjacent to a pine board placed close to and parallel with the weld being made. In these cases, some degree of shielding the arc form the atmosphere was being accomplished. These early observations led to the development of the coated electrode. Around 1920, the A.O. Smith Corporation developed an electrode spirally wrapped with paper, soaked in sodium silicate, and then baked. This was the first of the cellulosic type electrodes. It produced an effective gas shield in the area and greatly improved the ductility of the weld metal.

The coating ingredients, from which there are literally hundreds to choose, are carefully weighed, blended in a dry state, wet mixed, and compacted into a large cylinder that fits into the extrusion press. The coating is extruded over the cut core wires which are fed through the extrusion press at a rapid rate. The coating material is removed from the end of the electrode that is clamped into the electrode holder to assure electrical contact, and also from the welding end of the electrode to assure easy arc initiation. The electrodes are then stamped with the type number for easy identification before entering the ovens, where they go through a controlled bake cycle to insure the proper moisture content before packaging. Of the many quality control checks made during the manufacturing process, one of the most important is the procedure that insures that the coating thickness is uniform. In shielded metal arc welding, the coating crater, or the cup-like formation of the coating, that extends beyond the melting core wire, performs the function of concentrating and directing the arc.




Manufacturing Covered Electrodes

Concentration and direction of the arc stream is attained by having a coating crater, When the coating is not concentric to the core wire, it can cause the condition shown at B in Figure 1. The poor arc direction causes inconsistent weld beads, poor shielding, and lack of penetration. The electrode burns off unevenly, leaving a projection on the side where the coating is the heaviest. This condition is often referred to as "fingernailing Functions of Electrode Coatings The ingredients that are commonly used in coatings can be classified physically in a broad manner as liquids and solids. The liquids are generally sodium silicate or potassium silicate. Solids are powdered or granulated materials that may be found free in nature, or solid materials such as alloys or other complex synthetic compounds. The particle size of the solid material is an important factor. Particle size may be as coarse as fine sand, or as minute as sub-sieve size. The physical structure of the coating ingredients may be classified as crystalline, fibrous or amorphous (non-crystalline). Crystalline materials such as rutile, quartz and mica are commonly used. Fibrous materials such as wood fibers, and non-crystalline materials such as organic compounds are also common coating ingredients.


Shielding of the Weld Metal - The most important function of a coating is to shield the weld metal from the oxygen and nitrogen of the air as it is being transferred across the arc, and while it is in the molten state. This shielding is necessary to ensure the weld metal will be sound, free of gas pockets, and have the right strength and ductility. At the high temperatures of the arc, nitrogen and oxygen combine readily with iron to form iron nitrides and iron oxides that, if present in the weld metal above certain minimum amounts, will cause brittleness and porosity. Nitrogen is the primary concern since it is difficult to control its effect once it has entered the deposit. Stabilization of the Arc A stabilized arc is one that starts easily, burns smoothly even at low amperages, and can be maintained using either a long or a short arc length. Alloying Additions to Weld Metal A variety of elements such as chromium, nickel, molybdenum, vanadium and copper can be added to the weld metal by including them in the coating composition. Mild steel electrodes require small amounts of carbon, manganese and silicon in the deposit to give sound welds of the desired strength level. A portion of the carbon and manganese is derived from the core wire, but it is necessary to supplement it with ferromanganese and in some cases ferrosilicon additions in the coating. Concentration of the Arc Stream Concentration or direction of the arc stream is attained by having a coating crater form at the tip of the electrodes .


Furnish Slag for Fluxing The function of the slag is (1) to provide additional protection against atmospheric contamination, (2) to act as a cleaner and absorb impurities that are floated off and trapped by the slag, (3) to slow the cooling rate of the molten metal to allow the escape of gases. The slag also controls the contour, uniformity and general appearance of the weld. This is particularly true in fillet welds. Characteristics for Welding Position - It is the addition of certain ingredients, primarily titanium compounds, in the coating that makes it possible to weld out-ofposition , vertically, and overhead. Slag characteristics, primarily surface tension and freezing point, determine to a large degree the ability of an electrode to be used for outof-position work. Control of Weld Metal Soundness - Porosity or gas pockets in weld metal can be controlled to a large extent by the coating composition. Specific Mechanical Properties to the Weld Metal - Specific mechanical properties can be incorporated into the weld metal by means of the coating. High impact values at low temperature, high ductility, and increases in yield and tensile properties can be attained by alloy additions to the coating. Insulation of the Core Wire - The coating acts as an insulator so that the core wire will not short-circuit when welding in deep grooves or narrow openings; coatings also serve as a protection to the operator when changing electrodes.


Classification of Coating Ingredients - Coating materials can be classified into the following 6 major groups: Alloying Elements - Alloying elements such as molybdenum, chromium, nickel, manganese and others impart specific mechanical properties to the weld metal. Binders - Soluble silicates such as sodium and potassium silicates, are used in the electrode coating as binders. Functions of binders are to form a plastic mass of coating material capable of being extruded and baked. The final baked coating should be hard so that it will maintain a crater and have sufficient strength so that it will not spall, crack or chip. Binders are also used to make coating nonflammable and avoid premature decomposition. Gas Formers - Common gas forming materials used are the carbohydrates, hydrates, and carbonates. Examples would be cellulose (such as wood flock), the carbonates of calcium and magnesium, and chemically combined water as is found in clay and mica. These materials evolve carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and water vapour (H2O) at the high temperature of the welding arc. Free moisture is another gas-forming ingredient that is found particularly in cellulosic type electrodes and is a part of the formulation in amounts of 2%-3%. It has a marked influence on the arc and is a necessary ingredient in the E6010 type electrode.


Arc Stabilizers Air is not sufficiently conductive to maintain a stable arc, so it becomes necessary to add coating ingredients that will provide a conductive path for the flow of current. This is particularly true when welding with alternating current. Stabilizing materials are titanium compounds, potassium compounds, and calcium compounds. Fluxes and Slag Formers These ingredients are used primarily to give body to the slag and impart such properties as slag viscosity, surface tension, and melting point. Silica and magnetite are materials of this type. Plasticizers Coatings are often very granular or sandy, and in order to suc- cessfully extrude these coatings, it is necessary to add lubricating materials, plasticizers, to make the coating flow smoothly under pressure. Sodium and potassium carbonates are often used. The chart in next slide shows typical coating constituents and their functions for two types of mild steel electrodes. Note that the moisture content in the cellulosic E6010 is much higher than in the low hydrogen E7018 type. The moisture in the E6010 coating is necessary to produce the driving arc characteristic and is not harmful when welding the lower strength steels. Hydrogen can cause problems when welding the higher strength steels .



This American Welding Society (AWS) specification has been developed over the years by a filler metals committee, composed of members who represent electrode producers, users from the welding industry, and independent members from colleges, universities and independent laboratories. This balanced membership is required to prevent prejudice from entering into the specifications. Individual Mild Steel electrodes are classified by the manufacturer according to the above specification on the basis of the mechanical properties (also called physical properties) of the weld metal, the type of covering, the welding position of the electrode, and the type of current (AC or DC). The classification system is designed to give certain information about the electrode and the weld metal produced from it. These classifications, with the AWS Specification A5.1 are assigned by the manufacturer of the electrodes according to the results of his own tests. The American Welding Society does not approve or disapprove electrodes. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) uses the AWS Electrode Specifications word for word by adding the letters SF before the specification number. Thus, AWS Specification A5.1 becomes ASME Specification SFA5.1. The classification and requirements are the same.

SFA-5.1/SFA-5.1M 2010

Classification British Classification Metric Electrode Classification Required Tests Chemical Pad preparation Chemical Composition Mechanical Test Assembly

Radiography Standards Mechanical Properties Fillet Test Details Requirements as per AWS

Details Welding Data for Sequence of Welding

specification Dimentional Accecptance Fracture test Moisture test H2 Evaluation Dimention of consumables.



(1) Both the highest and lowest test values obtained shall be disregarded in computing the average. Two of these remaining three values shall equal or exceed 20 ft-lbf [27 J]. (2) Electrodes with the following optional supplemental designations shall meet the lower temperature impact requirements specified below


The fractured surfaces shall be visually examined without magnification. The fracture surface shall be free of cracks. Incomplete fusion at the weld root shall not be greater than 20% of the total length of the weld. There shall be no continuous length of incomplete fusion greater than 1 in. [25 mm] as measured along the weld axis except for electrodes of the E6012 [E4312], E6013 [E4313], and E7014 [E4914] classifications.

Fillet welds made with electrodes of these classifications may exhibit incomplete penetration through the entire length. They may also exhibit incomplete fusion which shall at no point exceed 25% of the smaller leg length of the fillet weld.

CLASSIFICATION: E6010 [E4310] Classification E6010 [E4310] electrodes are characterized by a deeply penetrating, forceful, spray type arc and readily removable, thin, friable slag which may not seem to completely cover the weld bead. Fillet welds usually have a relatively flat weld face and have a rather coarse, unevenly spaced ripple. The coverings are high in cellulose, usually exceeding 30% by weight. These electrodes are recommended for all welding positions, particularly on multiple pass applications in the vertical and overhead welding positions and where welds of good soundness are required. They frequently are selected for joining pipe and generally are capable of welding in the vertical position with either uphill or downhill progression E6011 [E4311] Classification E6011 [E4311] electrodes are designed to be used with ac current and to duplicate the usability characteristics and mechanical properties of the E6010 [E4310] classification. Although also usable with dcep (electrode positive), a decrease in joint penetration will be noted when compared to the E6010 [E4310] electrodes. Arc action slag, and fillet weld appearance are similar to those of the E6010 [E4310] electrodes. E6012 [E4312] Classification E6012 [E4312] electrodes are characterized by low penetrating arc and dense slag, which completely covers the bead. This may result in incomplete root penetration in fillet welded joints. The coverings are high in titania, usually exceeding 35% by weight, and usually are referred to as the titania or rutile type.

CLASSIFICATION(CONTD) E6013 [E4313] Classification A7.4.1 E6013 [E4313] electrodes, although very similar to the E6012 [E4312] electrodes, have distinct differences. Their flux covering makes slag removal easier and gives a smoother arc transfer than E6012 [E4312] electrodes. This is particularly the case for the small diameters 116 in., 564 in., and 332 in. [1.6 mm, 2.0 mm, and 2.5 mm]. This permits satisfactory operation with lower open-circuit ac voltage. E6013 [E4313] electrodes were designed specifically for light sheet metal work. However, the larger diameters are used on many of the same applications as E6012 [E4312] electrodes and provide low penetrating arc. The smaller diameters provide a less penetrating arc than is obtained with E6012 [E4312] electrodes. This may result in incomplete penetration in fillet welded joints. E7014 [E4914] Classification A7.5.1 E7014 [E4914] electrode coverings are similar to those of E6012 [E4312] and E6013 [E4313] electrodes, but with the addition of iron powder for obtaining higher deposition efficiency. The covering thickness and the amount of iron powder in E7014 [E4914] are less than in E7024 [E4924] electrodes . The iron powder also permits the use of higher amperages than are used for E6012 [E4312] and E6013 [E4313] electrodes. The amount and character of the slag permit E7014 [E4914] electrodes to be used in all positions. The E7014 [E4914] electrodes are suitable for welding carbon and low alloy steels. Typical weld beads are smooth with fine ripples.

Low-Hydrogen Electrodes Electrodes of the low-hydrogen classifications E6018 [E4318], E7015 [E4915], E7016 [E4916], E7018 [E4918], E7018M [E4918M], E7028 [E4928], and E7048 [E4948] are made with inorganic coverings that contain minimal moisture. The covering moisture test such as specified in AWS A4.4M, Standard Procedure for Determination of Moisture Content of Welding Fluxes and Welding Electrode Flux Coverings, converts hydrogen-bearing compounds in any form in the covering into water vapor that is collected and measured. The test thus assesses the potential hydrogen available from an electrode covering. All lowhydrogen electrodes, in the as-manufactured condition or after conditioning, are expected to meet a maximum covering moisture limit of 0.6% or less . E7015 [E4915] Classification E7015 [E4915] electrodes are low-hydrogen electrodes to be used with dcep (electrode positive). The slag is chemically basic. E7015 [E4915] electrodes are commonly used for making small welds on thick base metal, since the welds are less susceptible to cracking . They are also used for welding highsulfur and enameling steels. Welds made with E7015 [E4915] electrodes on high-sulfur steels may produce a very tight slag and a very rough or irregular bead appearance in comparison to welds with the same electrodes in steels of normal sulfur content E7016 [E4916] Classification A7.6.6.1 E7016 [E4916] electrodes have all the characteristics of E7015 [E4915] electrodes, plus the ability to operate on ac. The core wire and coverings are very similar to those of E7015 [E4915], except for the use of a potassium silicate binder or other potassium salts in the coverings to facilitate their use with ac.

CLASSIFICATION(CONTD) E6018 [E4318] and E7018 [E4918] Classifications E7018 [E4918] electrode coverings are similar to E7015 [E4915] coverings, except for the addition of a relatively high percentage of iron powder. The coverings on these electrodes are slightly thicker than those of the E7016 [E4916] electrodes. E7018 [E4918] low-hydrogen electrodes can be used with either ac or dcep. Electrodes designated as E7018-1 [E4918-1] have the same usability and weld metal composition as E7018 [E4918] electrodes, except that the manganese content is set at the high end of the range. They are intended for welds requiring a lower transition temperature than is normally available from E7018 [E4918] electrodes. E6018 [E4318] electrodes possess operating and mechanical property characteristics similar to E7018 [E4918] except at a lower strength level. The electrode coating and low hydrogen characteristics are also similar. This electrode is desirable where matching or undermatching weld deposit is required. Electrodes that meet this classification may also be suitable for buffer layer application in cladding operations. E7018M [E4918M] Classification E7018M [E4918M] electrodes are similar to E7018-1H4R [E4918-1H4R] electrodes, except that the testing for mechanical properties and for classification is done on a groove weld that has a 60 deg included angle and, for electrodes up to 532 in. [4.0 mm], welded in the vertical position with upward progression. The impact test results are evaluated using all five test values and higher values are required at 20F [30C]. The maximum allowable moisture-in-coating values in the as-received or reconditioned state are more restrictive than that required for E7018R [E4918R].

CLASSIFICATION(CONTD) E7028 [E4928] Classification E7028 [E4928] electrodes are very much like the E7018 [E4918] electrodes. However, E7028 [E4928] electrodes are suitable for fillet welds in the horizontal welding position and groove welds in the flat welding position only . E7048 [E4948] Classification. Electrodes of the E7048 [E4948] classification have the same usability, composition, and design characteristics as E7018 [E4918] electrodes, except that E7048 [E4948] electrodes are specifically designed for exceptionally good vertical welding with downward progression E6019 [E4319] Classification E6019 [E4319] electrodes, although very similar to E6013 and E6020 [E4313 and E4320] electrodes in their coverings, have distinct differences. E6019 [E4319] electrodes, with a rather fluid slag system, provide deeper arc penetration and produce weld metal that meets a 22% minimum elongation requirement, meets the Grade 1 radiographic standards, and has an average impact strength of 20 ft lbf [27J] when tested at 0F [20C]. E7024 [E4924] Classification E7024 [E4924] electrode coverings contain large amounts of iron powder in combination with ingredients similar to those used in E6012 and E6013 [E4312 and E4313] electrodes. The coverings on E7024 [E4924] electrodes are very thick and usually amount to about 50% of the weight of the electrode, resulting in higher deposition efficiency. E6027 [E4327] Classification E6027 [E4327] electrode coverings contain large amounts of iron powder in combination with ingredients similar to those found in E6020 [E4320] electrodes. The coverings on E6027 [E4327] electrodes are also very thick and usually amount to about 50% of the weight of the electrode.


Position of the Weld Weld position will determine whether an all-position electrode or a flat and horizontal type electrode should be used. Higher welding currents, and therefore, higher deposition rates are possible when welding flat or horizontally. Whenever possible, the work should be positioned both for ease of welding and Many factors must be considered when selecting the proper electrode for a given application. Some items to be considered are: Type of Base Metal Welding mild steels or low carbon steels (carbon content below 0.30%) with mild steel coated electrodes presents no problems as far as tensile strength is concerned since the tensile strength of the weld metal usually exceeds the tensile strength of the base metal. However, chemistry of the base metal is important. Available Equipment Electrode choice will depend on whether AC or DC welding machines are available. If both currents are available, consider these general facts. 1. For deepest penetration, use DC reverse polarity (Electrode Positive). 2. For lower penetration and higher deposition rate, use DC straight polarity (Electrode Negative). 3. For freedom of arc blow, use AC.


Plate Thickness When welding sheet metal, low penetration electrodes should be chosen. Heavier plate may demand an electrode with deep penetration. Very heavy plate may require a deep penetrating electrode for the initial or root pass, and a higher deposition type for succeeding passes. Fit-Up Some electrodes are more suitable than others for bridging gaps between the members to be welded. This is termed "poor fit-up" and some electrode manufacturers produce electrodes that are specially formulated for this purpose. Welding Costs The major factors that affect welding costs are labor and overhead, deposition rate, efficiency of the electrode being used and the cost of the elec- trodes. The cost of electrical power is also a factor to a lesser degree. By far, the largest factor is labour and overhead. Welder Appeal Welder appeal is definitely important, although this factor must not be allowed to subordinate other more significant criteria.



Electrode Deposition
The deposition rate of a given electrode influences the total cost of depositing weld metal substantially. The deposition rate is the weight of weld metal deposited in a unit of time. Deposition rate increases as the welding current increases within the limits of a given electrode. As can be seen in Figure 4, a 5/32(4.0 mm) diameter E7024 electrode can deposit weld metal more than twice as fast as a 5/32" (4.0 mm) diameter E6010 electrode. It is apparent that a substantial saving in labor and overhead can be achieved if one of the higher deposition electrodes can be used. The deposition efficiency of a given electrode also has an effect on welding costs. The deposition efficiency is the weight of the weld metal deposited compared to the weight of the electrode consumed, expressed as a percentage. When welding with coated electrodes, some of the electrode weight is lost as slag, spatter, fumes, gases, and stubs. If an electrode is 65% efficient, it means that for every 100 Kgs of electrodes consumed, 65 Kgs of weld metal will be produced. Stub loss, the part of the electrode that is thrown away, is not considered in the deposition efficiency, since the stub length will vary with the operator or the application. Figure in next slide illustrates how stub loss affects efficiency.


ACID AND BASIC SLAG SYSTEMS The type of slag produced from covered electrodes has a definite effect on the quality of the weld metal. The E6010, 6011, 6012, 6013, 7014, 7024 and other cellulosic and rutile electrodes, produce slags that are predominantly silicon dioxide (sand) and have an acidic behavior. Acid slag systems do no refining of the weld metal. In contrast, the slag from the E7016, E7018 and other low hydrogen electrodes is made up mostly of lime and fluorspar,two items that are basic in chemical behavior. Basic slags do some refining of the weld metal, resulting in lower nonmetallic inclusion content.

Every imaginable shape and structure made of medium or low carbon steel has been welded with mild steel covered electrodes. The welding advantages of this process are several. It is the simplest welding process available. All that is needed is a constant current power source, two electrical leads and the electrode. It is the most flexible welding process in that it can be used in any position on almost any thickness of carbon steel in any location. The disadvantages are that the covered mild steel welding has lower deposition rates than other processes, thus making it less efficient. Also, the use of covered mild steel electrodes requires more welder training than the semi-automatic and automatic welding processes.

Electrode Core Wire - The steel wire about which the coating is applied. The electrode size is determined by the diameter of the core wire. Electrode Coating - The mixture of chemicals, minerals and metallic alloys applied to the core wire. Mild Steel - An alloy of mostly iron with low content of alloying elements such as carbon and manganese. Low Alloy Steel - An alloy of iron with alloy additions, usually in the range of 1 to 5%. Hardenable Steel - An alloy of iron that is subject to hardening when rapidly cooled. Deposition Rate - The weight of weld metal deposited compared to the time of welding. It is usually expressed in pounds per hour. Deposition Efficiency - The relationship of the electrode used to the amount of the weld metal de- posited, expressed in percent, i.e.; DE = Weight of Weld Metal Weight of Electrode Used Arc Blow - Welding with direct current may set up a magnetic field in the steel plate being welded. This magnetic field causes the arc to flutter and blow, creating difficulty in controlling the arc. Cellulose - A chemical of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. As used in mild steel electrode coatings, it consists of wood pulp or flour

Rutile - The natural form of the mineral titanium dioxide (TiO2). Titania - The synthetic form of titanium dioxide (TiO2). In this text the terms rutile and titania have the same significance. Root Pass - The initial weld bead deposited in a multi-pass weld requiring high weld integrity. Root Opening - The intentional gap between members to be joined to assure 100% penetra- tion in groove type welds



Low alloy steels are those steels to that have small amounts of alloying elements added for specific purposes; i.e., to increase strength, toughness, corrosion and rust resistance, or to alter the response to heat treatment. Many of the steels are designed to develop their specific properties such as high strength or toughness in the hot rolled and controlled cooling condition, rather than by subsequent heat treatment. Other compositions of low alloy steels are designed to develop specific properties following heat treatments. Examples of these types are U.S. Steel T-1, Armco Steel SS-100, Great Lakes Steel NA XTRA 100, all of which are quenched and tempered to reach high strength with good toughness. Covered low alloy welding electrodes are designed, in most cases, to match the properties of the low alloy steels rather than to match the exact chemical composition of the steel.

Exceptions to this are the chromium molybdenum electrodes that need to contain about the same amounts of the alloy ingredients as the steel in order to match the properties of the steel.


One of the reasons that low alloy steels are becoming more popular is because of the extensive research that was conducted in the development of electrodes for welding them.
Although special precautions and care are required in welding the low alloy steels, they can now be joined with a high degree of reliability. But that was not always so. During World War II when there was a dramatic increase in the use of high strength low alloy steel, there was also a corresponding increase in weld defects. It was quickly realized that hardenable steels could not be welded in the same manner and with the same electrodes as were then commonly used for welding the lower strength mild steels. Through extensive research, it was found that entrapped hydrogen was the culprit in causing weld defects, and the term "hydrogen embrittlement" became synonymous with red flags warning of impending disaster.


When hydrogen bearing compounds such as water, minerals, or chemicals are present in the electrode coating, as is common with mild steel electrodes, the chemically combined hydrogen is dissociated into atomic hydrogen by the heat of the welding arc. The molten weld metal has the capacity to dissolve the atomic hydrogen. However, as soon as the weld metal solidifies, it loses the ability to hold the hydrogen in solution and the hydrogen is either expelled into the atmosphere or moves throughout the weld zone. Steel and weld metal are not as solid as they appear to the naked eye, being filled with tiny submicroscopic pores. The hydrogen atoms are smaller than the crystalline structure of the steel or the weld metal, and the hydrogen can move about somewhat freely in the steel, just as air can move through a filter. The hydrogen atoms move out of the weld metal into the heat affected zone. The heat affected zone (HAZ) is an area of critical importance in welding, especially in welding high strength steels.


The heat affected zone (See Figure ) is that area of the weld joint that did not become molten in the welding process, but underwent a microstructure change as a result of the heat induced by the arc. This zone can become a weak link in the normally very strong joint. First of all, the grain structure of the HAZ is less refined and therefore, weaker than the sur- rounding unaffected base metal or the once molten weld metal. And secondly, if the HAZ is permitted to cool too rapidly in certain steels, a hard brittle crystalline structure, known as Marsenite, is locked in place. The relatively large pores of the heat affected zone are a natural collecting place for atomic hydrogen. When two hydrogen atoms meet, they immediately unite to form molecular hydrogen. The resulting molecules are larger than the crystalline structure of the metal and can no longer move about freely. As more and more hydrogen atoms come into the pores, form molecules, and are trapped, tremendous pressure can develop.

Mild steel and lower strength steels are sufficiently plastic to move a little with the hydrogen pressure and not cause the steel to crack.
Steels that have high hardness and high strength do not have sufficient plasticity to move with the pressure, and if enough hydrogen is present, cracking of the steel occurs This hydrogen caused defect, known as underbead cracking (See Figure ), begins in the HAZ making it particularly sinister since the crack is not immediately apparent to the eye. It occurs after the metal has cooled from about 400F to room temperature, and it is sometimes referred to as "cold cracking". The defect may occur immediately after cooling, or it may take hours, days, or even months before it happens. Preheat - Steels that are highly hardenable by a rapid cooling in the heat affected zone require pre- heat and interpass temperature control. As preheat is applied to the steel, the cooling rate of the steel from higher temperatures is slowed. When this technique is combined with the use of low hydrogen electrodes, a high degree of reliability can be expected from the welds.


The discovery of hydrogen related weld defects initiated the development of low hydrogen electrodes. The functions of the coating with low hydrogen electrodes (i.e., shielding, arc stabilizers, alloy additions, etc.) are much the same as of Mild Steel Covered Electrodes, but the coating is formulated with ingredients that lack hydrogen in their chemical composition.

This is primarily accomplished by eliminating organic and chemical compounds high in moisture content. In fact, control of the moisture levels in the coating is critical in the manufacture and use of low hydrogen electrodes.
In addition to eliminating hydrogen in the coating formula, the manufacturing process entails a high temperature bake cycle. Further,electrodes are immediately packaged in hermetically sealed metal container /vaccum packed following the high temperature bake. Storage and Reconditioning All low hydrogen electrodes will absorb some moisture from the air after the electrode container is opened. Therefore, those electrodes that are not intended for use within a given period of time must be stored in a vented oven and maintained at a constant temperature. If the low hydrogen electrodes are exposed to the atmosphere beyond 1 Hr they must be reconditioned by rebaking in a vented oven for a specified time at a specific temperature as per manufacturer recommendation.


Moisture absorption is of special concern to end- users such as shipbuilders and oil rig fabricators who are situated in areas of the world that have a high level of relative humidity. As the temperature and relative humidity increase, the chance of absorbing moisture in the low hydrogen coating is greatly increased. To combat this possibility, major electrode manufacturers have in recent years developed low hydrogen electrodes with moisture resistant coatings. These coatings low the rate of moisture absorption in electrodes that have been exposed to the air for extended periods, thus adding an extra degree of reliability to low hydrogen electrodes. The tests were conducted on E7018 electrodes. The method of moisture testing chosen is that described in Section 25 of the AWS A5.5 Specification. This method was chosen because it satisfies the AWS specifications and is sensitive only to water, making it one of the most accurate and reliable methods of moisture determination currently in use. The AWS structural code and military specifications allow a maximum of 0.40% and 0.20% moisture content, respectively, for E70XX low hydrogen electrodes.



With very few exceptions, low alloy electrodes are made by adding the appropriate alloying elements to the electrode coating rather than having a core wire that matches the low alloy steel. Low alloy covered electrodes are classified according to the American Welding Society filler metal specification A5.5 This specification contains the mechanical property requirements and stress relieved condition, the chemical requirements, and the weld metal soundness requirements. Electrodes are classified under this specification according to the mechanical properties and chemical composition of the weld metal, the type of covering, and the welding position of the electrode. The classification of the electrode is designated by the manufacturer according to the results of his own tests. The manufacturer, thereby, guarantees his electrode to meet the requirements of the AWS specification The letter-number designations for low alloy electrode classifications mean much the same as with mild steel electrodes, except that the major alloy composition is indicated by a letter-number suffix.

Effect of Alloying Elements

Molybdenum - When mild steel weld metal is stress relieved, the yield point is lowered 3,000 psi or more and the tensile strength is also lowered 3,000 psi or more. When 1/2% of molybdenum is added to the weld, both the yield point and the tensile strength remain constant from the as-welded to the stress relieved condition. The presence of molybdenum also increases the tensile strength of the weld metal. Chromium - When chromium is added to the weld metal, the corrosion and high temperature scaling resistance are increased. The combination of chromium and molybde- num allows the weld metal to retain high strength levels at medium high temperatures. Nickel - Mild steel weld metal usually becomes brittle at temperatures below -20F. The addition of 1-3% nickel to the weld metal enables the weld metal to remain tough at con- siderably lower temperatures. The presence of the nickel also makes the weld metal more resistant to cracking at room temperature. Manganese - The presence of 1-1/2% to 2% manganese in weld metal increases the tensile strength and when 1/3% molybdenum is added in combination, the high strength weld metal is crack resistant. It should be noted that the A5.5-96 specification covers not only the low alloy low hydrogen electrodes, but also low alloy versions of the cellulosic, titania, and iron oxide type electrodes. A full list of all the electrodes covered by this specification is presented in Table .

SFA-5.5/SFA-5.5M 2010


Mechanical Properties (AWS A5.5-96) Since many low alloy steels require some post-weld heat treatment to relieve the internal stresses generated from the welding process, physical testing on the weld metal of most low alloy electrodes is required to be performed after the specimen has been stress-relieved. Only the E8016-C3, E8018C3, E9018-M, E11018-M, and E12018-M types are permitted to be tested in the as-welded condition for classification purposes. Impact Properties - Since many low alloy steels are developed for low temperatures service, impact properties of the weld metal designed to join these steels are very important. Except for those types already mentioned, all impact testing is performed on specimens after they have been stressrelieved. Table 3 lists the minimum charpy vnotch.



As stated earlier, low alloy electrodes are often selected to match the properties of the steel to be welded rather than matching the exact chemical composition of the steel. These properties (i.e., strength, toughness, creep, and corrosion resistance) reflect the type of service for which the steel is intended. The letter-number suffix of the electrode classification gives an indication of that service. Whenever possible, the electrode should be selected on the basis of the appropriate strength levels and the intended service of the weldment. Service Conditions Some of the low alloy high strength steels are intended for use at subzero temperatures. Nickel bearing low hydrogen electrodes (C1, C2, C3 types) are available for such low temperature applications. Chromium molybdenum low alloy steels are used for moderately high temperature service. Piping, tubing, boilers, etc., that are used extensively in power generating plants, are fabricated from these steels. Chrome-moly low hydrogen electrodes (B1, B2, B3, etc.) are produced to weld these steels. Many bridges and outdoor structures are constructed from "weathering" grade steels. These are low alloy steels that, on exposure to the atmosphere, develop a thin, tightly adhering layer of rust that prevents further rusting and eliminates the need for painting. Low alloy electrodes with additions of chromium and copper are available for welding these steels. Quenched and tempered low alloy steels usually develop high strength with good toughness. These types are used where substantial savings in the weight of the structure is important. Quite often, but not exclusively, these steels are used by the military. One of the more exotic applications for quenched and tempered low alloy steels is in the fabrication of the pressure hulls for nuclear submarines. The "M" series of high tensile low hydrogen electrodes is intended to weld these steels. High tensile line pipe for the transmission of oil and gas is being used with greater frequency today. Low alloy cellulosic electrodes of the 7010 and 8010 variety are used for field welding.

Joint Design - In fillet welding of high strength quenched and tempered steels, toe cracking alongside the welds (see Figure ) is frequently a problem. The toe cracking is caused by the high strength weld metal having a higher yield point and tensile strength than the steel. When the weld area shrinks on cooling from the welding temperature, something must give, and because the yield and strength levels of the steel are lower than those of the weld metal, cracking occurs in the heat affected zone of the steel.

The solution to this problem is to use a lower strength weld metal and increase the fillet size to meet the weld joint strength requirements.

With a somewhat lower strength weld metal as the filler, the yield point of the weld metal is reached during the shrinkage on cooling. The weld metal stretches without overloading in the heat affected zone of the steel and there is no cracking

GLOSSARY OF TERMS Quench - The rapid cooling of steel from a temperature above the transformation temperature. This results in hardening of the steel. Temper - Reheating of steel to a temperature below the transformation temperature following the quenching of steel. This usually lowers the hardness and strength and increases the toughness of the steel. Stress Relieved - The reheating of a weldment to a temperature below the transformation temperature and holding it for a specified period of time. A frequently used temperature and time is 1150F. for 1 hr. per inch of thickness. This reheating removes most of the residual stresses put in the weldment by the heating and cooling during welding. Transformation Temperature - The temperature at which the crystal structure of the steel changes, usually about 1600F. Heat Affected Zone - The area of the base metal that did not become molten in the welding process, but did undergo a microstructure change as a result of the heat induced into that area. If the HAZ in hardenable steels is cooled rapidly, the area becomes excessively brittle. Underbead Cracking - A weld defect that starts in the heat affected zone and is caused by excessive molecular hydrogen trapped in that region. It is sometimes referred to as cold cracking, since it occurs after the weld metal has cooled. Low Hydrogen Electrodes - Stick electrodes that have coating ingredients that are very low in hydrogen content. The low hydrogen level is achieved primarily by keeping the moisture content of the coating to a bare minimum. Weathering Steel - Low alloy steel that is specially formulated to form a thin tightly adhering layer of rust. This initial layer prevents further rusting and thus, the need to paint the steel is eliminated. The main alloys in this steel are copper and chromium. Toe Cracking - A weld defect that occurs at the toe of the weld metal. The cracking occurs when the weld metal does not stretch with the base metal because the yield and tensile strength of the weld metal is greater than the steel

Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

S. Sankaran



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Specification for CS Welding Electrodes

AWS A - 5.1

IS - 814



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Classification as per AWS A-5.1

Suffix indicates Toughness, Hydrogen, Coating moisture

Type of coating, type of current, Nature of arc, penetration characteristic Welding psosition Tensile strength of weldmetal in kpsi Denotes Electrode



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

IS 814

Metal recovery 120% Hydrogen control < 15ml / 100gm Welding current Welding Position %E and Impact at specified temp UTS and YS Coating type basic Covered electrode
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Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use Attributes of a welding electrode which can be defined for the purpose of a specification are

Dimension Electrode length Wire diameter Limits for coating eccentricity Packing Types Marking & Identification Properties of weld metal Chemical Composition Mechanical Properties Soundness of weld metal



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

A specification for a product defines those attributes which can be quantified and readily measured.
In the case of Welding Electrodes, many of the attributes quantified are those of the WELDMETAL derived from the electrode rather than the ELECTRODE itself. ( How the weld metal is derived from the electrode can cause variations in the properties )
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Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

So, preparation of a Standard Test Weld is a part of the specification for Welding Electrodes
The defined attributes are measured on the Standard Test Weld which may not be representative of the weld in any particular application
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Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Specification for welding electrodes must be viewed

as a way of classifying the types of electrodes, rather than as a way of defining the performance
Performance of the electrode wrt a WPS is measured

in a Procedure Qualification Test



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Packing of Electrodes
Cardboard carton Plastic cartons Vacuum sealed in Al foil Hermetically sealed cans



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Electrode Identification
Colour coding Tip and/or grip end Name Printing Brand Name and/or Spec



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Recommended Storage for Electrodes
Below 50% relative humidity Between 20 to 40 degree C



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Shelf life of Electrodes
Depends on Type of packing Storage condition



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Conditioning of Electrodes before use
Baking at 150 to 300 deg C

depending on type of electrode

Holding above 100 deg C till use



Welding Electrodes Proper Use & Preventing Mis-use

Wastage of Electrodes

Tip damage Coating damage Stub loss







Because of the method used to manufacture these paper covered electrodes, it was difficult to effectively add other ingredients to the coating. In 1924, the A.O. Smith Corporation began work on coatings that could be extruded over the core wire. This method allowed the addition of other flux ingredients to furhter improve or modify the weld metal and by 1927, these electrodes were being produced commercially. Since 1927, many improvements have been made and many different types of electrodes have been developed and produced. Through variations in the formulations of the covering and the amount of covering on the mild steel core wire, many different classifications of electrodes are produced today Mild steel covered electrodes, also commonly called coated electrodes, consist of only two major elements;the core wire or rod and the flux covering. The core wire is usually low carbon steel. It must contain only small amounts of aluminum and copper, and the sulfur and phosphorous levels must be kept very low since they can cause undesirable brittleness in the weld metal. The raw material for the core wire is hot-rolled rod (commonly called "hot rod"). It is received in large coils, cleaned, drawn down to the proper electrode diameter, straightened, and cut to the proper electrode length.