Flux core has always been the go-to choice for some beginners and those who are tight on budget. Nonetheless, flux core welding stainless steel to mild steel seems to be a complex job among fresher
That’s why I’m going to describe what you need to consider for stainless to mild steel, including electrode requirements, benefits, and drawbacks.
Can You Flux Core Weld Stainless Steel & Mild Steel?
The answer is “yes.” Even after having some strict limitations and considerations, you are still allowed to weld stainless steel using a flux-cored shielding wire.
The best part of using a flux core is that it can deal with tons of different projects. However, for welding stainless steel to mild steel, you need to keep a few things in mind.
What to Consider Welding These Metals with Flux Core?
Before you get into flux-core welding stainless steel to mild steel, make sure to consider the following things given below:
- Keep the Surface Clean and Tidy
The first thing you shouldn’t overlook is the cleanliness of the surfaces of those materials. There might be grease, oil, or any kind of general dirt, which will eventually cause perforation unless you clean them up using a wire brush or piece of rag.
In order to eliminate stubborn dirt, apply soap with a decent scrub and then wash them off using fresh water.
- Reduce the Heat While Welding
The stainless steel might get wrapped or cracked if it comes into contact with extreme heat. Although steel can tolerate excess heat at times, still, it is a safe option to turn the amps on the lowest side.
- Say No to Thicker Filler Objects
You’ll require more heat to deal with larger filler wires/rods. In this case, avoid thicker objects like floor pans and go for the thinnest one. This way, you won’t have to increase the heat/amps during steel welding.
- Turn the Travel Speed Up
Many welders make mistakes by turning up the travel speed during steel welding and end up with excess heat. You should avoid this highly
Can You Flux Core Weld Stainless Steel to Mild Steel
1. Stainless Electrode on Mild Steel Base
Here comes confusion among a lot of newbie welders about whether they can use stainless electrodes on mild steel bases or not. Luckily, the welding procedure between steel to mild steel or mild steel to steel isn’t much different.
As a result, it isn’t going to be a bad decision if you want to take assistance from any stainless electrode in terms of welding the base of mild steel. These are some of the effective electrodes on mild steel you may try out –
- 316L/316: This particular electrode is highly popular in manufacturing food-related steel products, especially kitchen utensils.
- 304L/304: Hands down, it is considered to be a very common stainless steel that highly suits a mild steel base. Yes, you can create any basic material made of mild steel using 304L/304.
2. Mild Steel Electrode on Stainless Base
Just like you’re allowed to use stainless steel on mild steel, you can similarly use mild steel electrodes on the base of stainless, following the right guideline. For this, using the correct electrode is crucial, as you can’t just pick any random choices from the shop.
According to expert welders, E7018 is considered to be an ideal mild steel electrode you may use to deal with stainless steel base. The good thing about this is that it eliminates the requirement for pre-heating, especially on heavy-duty stainless steel objects.
As a result, you won’t have to get at risk of excess heating.
Electrode Requirements for Doing This
Choosing the right electrode is one of the key factors, particularly for welding stainless steel and mild steel. So let’s check out the following electrode requirements –
- Considering the Base Material
Determining the metal composition’s base is quite essential when you tend to select an electrode. The filler rod/wire must match the material you want to weld. Ensure to consider the material’s appearance, whether it is magnetic or not, and most importantly, the type of base material.
- Current of Welding
Note that a few electrodes suit only DC or AC power sources. In contrast, some other types may work with both at the same time. An electrode with AC compatibility (e.g., E6013) can generate mediocre penetration and a softer arc.
Conversely, an electrode with DC compatibility (e.g., E6012) tends to offer mild penetration. Furthermore, it allows you to join both stainless and mild steel at high speed.
For deeper penetration, feel free to go with the one that’s friendly with the DCEP electrode, like the E6010.
- Positioning of Welding
Believe it or not, positioning is closely related to electrode requirements. Let’s say every electrode doesn’t suit the same welding positions to get your work done. In such a case, choose the one that matches your welding position the most.
Let me disclose a secret; only a few electrodes can match every single welding position, including overhead, vertical, horizontal, and flat. The 7018 is one of them.
- Environmental Conditions
All stainless and mild steel electrodes can’t withstand the same environmental effects. For instance, E6011 and E6010 have the ability to offer deeper penetration, even under light contaminants.
On the flip side, if you choose other electrodes, they mightn’t match the harsh environment or weather conditions.
What Are the Benefits and Cons of Flux Core Welding Stainless to Mild?
For flux core welding stainless to mild, you need to accept both the benefits and drawbacks. So let’s see what they are –
- You may use multiple types of electrodes to weld stainless steel to mild steel.
- While welding stainless to mild, you won’t have to use excessive amounts of heat. This means the overall cost will be comparatively low.
- Cleaning up the stainless steel is a snap, which makes it hassle-free to weld.
- Welding stainless to mild steel is relatively affordable.
- Flux core is one of the easiest methods to try out, especially when welding stainless, mild, copper, and so on.
- In case you apply too much heat, the steel may get wrapped as its tensile strength isn’t that high.
- You must choose any outdoor locations because welding through stainless to mild steel produces excess fume from time to time.
These days, I’ve seen many welders, even experts, who prefer flux core welding stainless steel to mild steel due to its affordability and ease.
So if you also find it efficient, make sure to go through my entire writing and get the most out of it.