Welding Rod Types and Usage

Welding Rod Types and Usage

If you are new to the world of welding equipment, no doubt you are learning that there are a variety of welding rods out there. Obviously, the kind of electrode, or stick, required for use in a welder depends on the kind of welding machine you have purchased, whether from Miller welders or any other trusted brand sold by Sidney Lee Welding Supply in the Atlanta, GA area.

Types of Welding Rods

The basic division of welding rods is between those that are consumable, and those that are non-consumable. The first kind falls within the domain of both the traditional stick, and the submerged arc welder (SMAW) varieties of welding equipment. These consumable electrodes are so-called because the metal electrode melts into the weld, becoming a part of the welded metal. In this case, working with stick welders, you have to continually feed new rods into your welding machine. Consumable rods will either be coated with something, or bare. Bare rods are used mostly for the application of welding manganese. Needless to say, then, you will usually be choosing a coated kind of electrode in your stick welding. Coated wire (of either cellulose or minerals) creates more stable arcs, and so make welding a lot easier.

Non-Consumable Welding Rods

The non-consumable kind of electrode is the kind used by the TIG welder. The basic difference between these is that one requires a flux to be consumed in order to create a weld, while the other (TIG) does not. In the case of TIG, the tungsten will either be found in a pure form or in an alloyed form, containing a certain percentage of thorium or zirconium. These additional elements create a higher resistance and so make for better electrodes in high-current welding situations.

Types of Electrode Products

The standard classification system of these crucial welding supplies is a color coding scheme to look out for when making your choice of product. Pure tungsten has green markings; thorium 1% has yellow markings; thorium 2% has red; and tungsten fortified with thorium is marked brown.

One recommendation for using pure tungsten rods in TIG welding applications is to grind the rod into a point. Even still, you will find longer-lasting use if you select a non-consumable rod combining tungsten and one of the other elements. If all this complexity has left you with any questions about how to choose the right welding equipment in the Atlanta, GA area, don’t hesitate to contact your local Sidney Lee Welding Supply Co expert to clarify your welding questions.