Stock Code


Shenzhen Megmeet Welding Technology Co.,Ltd.jpg

Frequently Asked Questions About Stick Welding

Stick welding, also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), is one of the most common and versatile welding processes. It uses a consumable electrode coated with flux to create an electric arc between the electrode and the workpiece. The flux forms a protective gas shield and slag covering that protects the weld from contamination.

Stick welding is widely used for repairing and maintaining equipment, pipelines, structures, and fabrication. It can weld various metals and alloys, including carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and hard-facing materials. Stick welding can also be performed in any position and outdoor or windy conditions.

However, stick welding also requires a lot of skill and knowledge to achieve good results. There are many factors that affect the quality and appearance of the weld, such as the choice of electrode, the current setting, the arc length, the electrode angle, the travel speed, and the technique of manipulating the electrode.

To help you improve your stick welding skills and knowledge, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about stick welding and their answers. These questions cover the basics of stick welding, such as the types of electrodes, the classifications, the settings, and the techniques. We also provide some tips and tricks to help you overcome common stick welding challenges and problems.

I. What are the most common stick electrodes?

There are hundreds of stick electrodes available, but the most popular ones fall into the American Welding Society (AWS) A5.1 Specification for Carbon Steel Electrodes for Shielded Metal Arc Welding. These include the E6010, E6011, E6012, E6013, E7014, E7024, and E7018 electrodes.

These electrodes are suitable for welding mild and low alloy steels. They have different characteristics and applications, depending on their coating type and the type of welding current they can use.

stick electrodes classification.jpg

II. What does AWS stick electrode classifications mean?

The AWS uses a standardized classification system to identify the properties and performance of stick electrodes. The classifications are printed on the sides of the electrodes and consist of numbers and letters. For example, E7018.

The letter E stands for electrode. The first two digits indicate the minimum tensile strength of the weld in thousands of pounds per square inch (psi). For example, 70 means 70,000 psi. The third digit indicates the welding position that the electrode can be used in. For example, 1 means all positions, and 2 means flat and horizontal positions only. The fourth digit indicates the type of coating and the type of welding current that the electrode can use. For example, 8 means low hydrogen potassium coating and AC or DC reverse polarity current.

III. How do I choose the right stick electrode for my application?

The choice of stick electrode depends on several factors, such as the type and thickness of the base metal, the welding position, the joint design, the welding code or standard, the service conditions, and the desired weld properties.

stick electrodes.jpg

Some general guidelines for choosing the right stick electrode are:

  1. Match the electrode strength to the base metal strength. For example, use E7018 electrodes for welding ASTM A36 steel, which has a minimum yield strength of 36,000 psi.

  2. Choose an electrode that can produce a ductile weld that can withstand the stress and strain of the service conditions. For example, use E7018 electrodes for welding low alloy steels that are subject to low temperatures or high-impact loads.

  3. Select an electrode that can provide good penetration and fill the joint adequately. For example, use E6010 or E6011 electrodes for welding root passes or open gaps, and use E7018 or E7024 electrodes for welding cover passes or thick sections.

  4. Use an electrode that can resist cracking and corrosion. For example, use E7018 electrodes for welding high carbon or high sulfur steels, and use E309 or E316 electrodes for welding stainless steels.

  5. Consider the welding position and the ease of use. For example, use E6013 or E7014 electrodes for welding in flat or horizontal positions, and use E6010 or E6011 electrodes for welding in vertical or overhead positions.

IV. What are the recommended settings and techniques for stick welding?

The settings and techniques for stick welding vary depending on the type and size of the electrode, the type and thickness of the base metal, the welding position, and the desired weld quality. However, some general principles are:

  1. Adjust the welding current according to the electrode diameter and the base metal thickness. For example, use a higher current for a larger electrode or a thicker metal, and use a lower current for a smaller electrode or a thinner metal.

  2. Maintain a short and consistent arc length, about the diameter of the electrode. A longer arc will produce more spatter, a wider and flatter bead, and less penetration. A shorter arc will produce less spatter, a narrower and higher bead, and more penetration.

  3. Hold the electrode at a proper angle to the workpiece. For most electrodes, the angle should be between 15 and 30 degrees from the vertical. A steeper angle will result in more penetration and a narrower bead, while a shallower angle will result in less penetration and a wider bead.

  4. Move the electrode along the joint at a steady and uniform speed. The speed should be fast enough to avoid excessive melting of the base metal, but slow enough to allow proper fusion and fill of the weld. A faster speed will produce a thinner and smoother bead, while a slower speed will produce a thicker and rougher bead.

  5. Manipulate the electrode in a suitable pattern to control the shape and appearance of the weld. For example, use a straight or slightly weaving motion for a smooth and uniform bead, and use a whipping or circular motion for a deeper and narrower bead.

V. What are some common stick welding problems and how can I avoid or fix them?

Stick welding can encounter various problems that affect the quality and appearance of the weld, such as porosity, slag inclusions, lack of fusion, cracking, distortion, and spatter. These problems can be caused by improper electrode selection, incorrect welding settings, poor welding techniques, or unfavorable welding conditions.

stick welding defects.jpg

Some tips and tricks to avoid or fix common stick welding problems are:

  1. Prevent porosity by using a fresh and dry electrode, removing any rust, oil, paint, or dirt from the base metal, and avoiding excessive arc length or travel speed.

  2. Avoid slag inclusions by using the correct electrode angle and travel speed, chipping and brushing the slag between passes, and filling the crater at the end of the weld.

  3. Ensure good fusion by using the appropriate welding current and arc length, maintaining a tight fit-up and a small root opening, and using a backstep or backhand technique for starting the weld.

  4. Prevent cracking by using a low hydrogen electrode, preheating and post-heating the base metal, avoiding rapid cooling or quenching of the weld, and minimizing the weld restraint and residual stress.

  5. Minimize distortion by using a proper joint design and welding sequence, clamping and tacking the workpiece securely, welding in opposite directions or from the center outwards, and applying intermittent or staggered welds.

  6. Reduce spatter by using a smooth and stable arc, adjusting the welding current and arc length, using an anti-spatter spray or gel, and cleaning the electrode holder and cable connections.

VI. Conclusion

Stick welding is a versatile and widely used welding process that can weld various metals and alloys in different positions and conditions. However, it also requires a lot of skill and knowledge to achieve good results. In this article, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about stick welding, covering the basics, the electrode selection, the settings, the techniques, and the common problems. We hope this article helps you improve your stick welding skills and knowledge.

Related articles

1. AC Vs DC Stick Welding – Which One Is The Best & Why?

2. How to Improve Your Stick Welding Technique?

3. All You Need To Know About Overhead Stick Welding

4. Pros and Cons of Stick Welding and MIG Welding

5. What is the Difference Between Stick Welding and MIG Welding?