Are you stuck with an FCAW (Flux core arc welding) machine? Or you might want to weld some stainless steel out in the wind in your backyard. Whatever it is, you can do some flux core welding on stainless steel. Want to know how?

Let’s hop into it and see how you can do it.

How To Weld Stainless Steel With Flux Core Wire

how to weld stainless steel with flux core
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For the flux core welding process, you have two options you can go for. One is welding without any gas, and the other one is welding with gas.

Usually, for light welding work, flux core welding without gas is one of the best options. This one allows you to weld without the use of gas which eliminates gas cost. Also, you can do this type of welding outdoors as well.

Now, let’s get on to the real thing, how you can do it step by step. Before we take you into the process, there are some things you have to go through.

First of all, you have to find a compatible flux core filler material for your stainless-steel grade. This can be a daunting task because it’s not easy to find good-quality flux core wire. So, you have to look for that a little bit and dig deeper to find them. Once that’s out of the way, you can start some flux core welding on your stainless steel.

How To Weld Stainless Steel With Flux Core Wire Without Gas

Flux Core Welding Stainless Steel Without Gas
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If you want to go for welding without shielding gas, you have to get self-shielding flux wires. This way, you won’t need extra gas at all. Here are the steps of welding with flux core wire

  1. Just like any other welding, you have to clean up your base metal properly. Otherwise, you can’t expect smooth and clean welds.
  2. Next up, take the flux wire you got for welding on your stainless steel. With a self-shielding flux core wire, you can start off welding right away. Just put the wire in the nozzle of your welder.
  3. Then, all you have to do is power up your welder and do all the necessary settings for your weld. These settings are relative to the grade of SS you are using and the filler metal you have gotten. Also, it depends on the kind of weld results you are expecting.
  4. If you are going to join two stainless steel, you can get easy and quick welds with stainless steel rods. And if you are joining stainless steel to other steels, it will be some difficult and time consuming for flux core unless you use galvanized steel welding rods. First, you have to tack weld your piece and then fill the areas with beads. Try to drag the electrode for better FCAW results.
  5. Try to take your time on the weld; don’t rush. Also, don’t go too slow, as it will make the welds look bad.
  6. You will have to go through several runs on your metal to get strength in the welds. If it’s a small project, one run would be enough too.
  7. Lastly, clean up the piece you worked on. Make sure the weld isn’t looking too bad through the finishing touches. You have to remove the slags to complete the flux core welding.

Pros and Cons Of Flux Core Arc Welding Stainless

pros and cons of flux core arc welding stainless steel
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Now, there are several pros of flux core welding on stainless steel over any other welding process. Also, there are some obvious negatives about it. Let’s check them out here-

Pros

  • This method of welding is much quicker to do than the rest. So, if you need to weld very quickly, it’s a great way.
  • If you have a small welding project and want to save up on the gas, you can opt for FCAW.
  • You can weld outside when you go for flux core arc welding.
  • Flux core welding is much easier and requires less effort than other welding methods.
  • It is a cost-effective way of welding.

Cons

  • The welds you get from this welding aren’t enough for heavy projects.
  • Finding a compatible working flux wire for stainless steel is very hard and quite expensive.
  • There will be much more smoke and fume than other types of welding.
  • You will see a lot of spatter in this method.
  • Requires experience to create good arcs.

What To Consider While Welding Stainless Steel With Flux Core Wire

Welding Stainless Steel With Flux Co
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When you opt for flux core wire welding on stainless steel, you have to be aware of some factors. Here they are-

  • Use stainless steel flux core wire: You can’t do flux core welding on stainless steel with normal flux core wires. You will need to have stainless steel flux core wires that go along with your base stainless steel grade. You can get two types of options. One comes with gas inside, and one comes without any gas. Flux core welder can be used for flux core welding stainless steel or you may use allrounder welding machine.
  • Use carbon dioxide or high argon oxygen mixes: If you want to go for gas shielded FCAW, you can use carbon dioxide to shield gas. You can also go for a high argon oxygen mixture. This mostly depends on the compatibility of your flux core wires.
  • Dialing in your settings: You have to look out for some settings when flux core welding. They are as follows-

You have to consider the speed you are welding your stainless steel in. With a low wire speed, you will face issues of hard slags and too much spattering. With a higher speed, you will get a lot of stubbing. So, you would want to have a balance and normal speed while flux core welding stainless.

Next up is the traveling speed. With a slower travel speed, the slag you drag will fail to cover the weld. This will end up in a bad weld. On the other hand, with a faster weld, the beads will turn out to be narrower than you want. So, go for a speed that’s not too fast or not too slow.

Always make sure of the polarity of your wire. If it doesn’t work with your machine or it’s not suitable, you will get in the world of spattering trouble.

Final words

All in all, this isn’t a beginner’s guide to welding with flux core. We brought this one for people who already know a bit about welding but didn’t know if they could weld stainless steel with flux core or not.

As you already know, you can do it if you use stainless steel flux core wire for the process. It’s just like regular flux core welding and nothing fancy. But you have to keep some things in mind which we already discussed above. So, we hope this helps you in your endeavor.

Maidul Islam

Maidul Shakil has an extreme love for welding. Welding metals and joining them is his hobby and he has also got a vocational training on welding. He strives to learn and teach welding processes and different gears to beginners and newbies. Cutting metal, fusing them and polishing to a shiny surface seems interesting.