An Introduction To Flux Core Welding
Flux Core welding, Flux Cored welding, and Fluxed Cored Arc welding (FCAW) are different names for the same welding process. Flux core welding is used primarily in welding jobs that require a higher deposition rate than what regular MIG welding can offer.
The process is very similar to MIG welding with two significant differences:
- A consumable flux cored electrode wire is used instead of a traditional electrode wire, and
- An external shielding gas is not always required.
No Shielding Gas Required
Why doesn’t a weld arc require a shielding gas? In the case of flux core welding, it’s the flux itself that makes the difference. The core of the consumable electrode contains the flux plus other ingredients, which generate an arc-protecting shielding gas when exposed to the high temperatures of welding. The flux provides gaseous and liquid slag protecting the weld from both atmospheric contaminants and weak welds.
The lack of shielding gas makes flux core welding more portable than some of the other types of welding and more effective in outdoor weather conditions. Wind, for example, isn’t a problem when you don’t need a shielding gas to protect the weld.
Advantages And Limitations Of Flux Core Welding
We’ve already hit on some of the advantages of flux core welding – no need for shielding gases, portability, and high deposition rates. It’s also a quick welding method that isn’t limited by position. With the correct electrodes, flux core welding can be as simple as MIG welding, but choosing the right electrodes is critical to weld performance.
There aren’t too many disadvantages to flux core welding. Operators should be skilled in the method in order to select the right electrodes and limit porosity. The flux can produce excessive smoke, which can make it hard to see the weld and then there is post-weld cleanup to consider. The burned flux leaves slag or remnants on the weld bead, which must be removed once welding is complete.
Shop For Flux Core Supplies At Josef Gas
Visit Josef Gas online or in person at 201 Basaltic Road in Concord, Ontario for flux core welding supplies. We supply welders with the machines, electrodes, wires, gases, and related equipment necessary to get the job done!
The Basics Of TIG Welding, GTAW, And Tungsten Inert Gas Welding
TIG welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) or Tungsten Inert Gas Welding is used most commonly in weld applications where precision weld deposits and high quality bead appearances are required.
In TIG welding, an electric arc is created between the weld metal and a non-consumable Tungsten electrode. This differs from MIG welding, where the wire electrode is consumable. Like MIG welding, the weld pool is shielded from atmospheric contamination by inert shielding gases. Pure Argon, Helium and CO2 or some combination of the three are often used. The gas is fed through a TIG torch and surrounds the weld pool to keep it free of contaminants. Sometimes, a filler metal, called a TIG rod, is inserted into the arc to facilitate the welding process.
When To Use TIG Welding Processes
TIG welding is most often used to weld metals like stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys, particularly if they are thin sections. TIG welders have better control over the arc and the process than other methods of welding allow, which makes for stronger, higher quality welds. To get started with TIG welding, you’ll need: a welding torch, a non-consumable tungsten electrode, a constant-current welding power supply, and your shielding gas.
Advantages And Limitations Of TIG Welding
Although TIG welding produces impressive results when in the right hands – it is difficult to master. The process is more complex than other methods of welding and has slow deposition rates, as a result, it takes longer to complete the weld, making the entire process slower than other methods.
The trade-offs for this required level of precision and skill are many, however. TIG welding allows welders to control all of the welding variables with total precision. That means low distortion rates, superior weld quality, and minimal spatter. Welds can be made with or without filler material, which can help you save on costs.
TIG Welding Supplies At Josef Gas
MIG Welding Primer
MIG welding is an extremely popular type of welding today. It’s so popular, simple, and effective that many welders first start out their careers using this process. The acronym stands for Metal Inert Gas (MIG), but it can also be referred to as Gas Metal Arc Welding or even Metal Active Gas (MAG) welding.
No matter what you call it, the process is the same: an electric arc is created between the metal being welded and a wire electrode. The arc is hot enough to heat the metal and the wire, which causes them to melt and join together, creating the weld.
How Shielding Gas Comes In To Play In MIG Welding
Shielding gas plays an important role in this process by protecting the weld, or shielding it, from contaminants in the atmosphere. This shielding process helps create strong, clean welds quickly on many different kinds of metal. The most commonly used shielding gas for MIG welding is a mixed gas of Argon, CO2 and sometimes Oxygen, but the actual gas used will vary based on the material type and thickness.
Methods Of Metal Transfer
There are three main types of metal transfer in MIG welding: Short Circuit Transfer, Globular Transfer and Axial Spray Transfer. The type of transfer used also depends on material type and thickness, among other factors.
- Short Circuit. This mode of transfer sees electrode metal deposited in short electrical bursts or circuits. Short circuit is a low-heat method of transfer that requires use of absolutely the correct shielding gas and wire diameter for best results. Wire diameters of .025 to .045 and shielding gases of 100% CO2, or a mixture of 75-80% Argon and 20-25% CO2 are acceptable. The low heat makes short circuit transfer ideal for sheet metal in thicknesses ranging from .025″ – .20″ material.
- Globular. Globular metal transfer deposits the wire electrode in a combination of short circuits and gravity-assisted metal drops. The drops are irregularly shaped due to the point at which the short circuit ends and the globular dropping begins. Because of this, globular metal transfer welding is harder to control and creates more spatter than Short Circuit transfers. The advantage of globular transfer is in its use of inexpensive CO2 as shielding gas. Argon and CO2 mixes are also used with this method.
- Axial Spray. Axial spray transfer relies on continuous use of a wire electrode. The electrode is deposited as a stream of small molten droplets. The process is similar to Globular transfer but instead of being deposited as large drops, the droplets are propelled axially across the arc. Argon-Oxygen or Argon-CO2 gas blends are most often used in this method, which works well with all of the most common metal alloys including aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys and copper alloys.
Advantages And Limitations Of MIG Welding
As we mentioned above, MIG welding is one of the simplest welding processes to learn and it’s usually the first welding process a welder attempts to master. The advantages of MIG welding include:
- Ability to weld in all positions
- High deposition rates
- Less operator skill required
- Minimal post weld cleanup
- Long weld can be made without starting and stopping increasing efficiencies
There aren’t too many limitations to MIG welding but it isn’t as clean or precise as TIG welding which might be a problem in certain applications.
Visit Josef Gas For MIG Welding Supplies