Excellent Penetration, compatibility with thicker materials, versatility, and cost-efficiency make the flux-core welding method stand out from the rest. Although MIG welding is so popular these days, FCAW has also gained plenty of fame due to its higher deposition rates.
Now the question that comes to mind
Is flux core welding strong
Yes it is!
Unlike the MIG, flux-core is highly capable of depositing 25lbs/hour, making it cost-effective. Alongside it, FCAW has got the ability to deal with thicker materials; the credit goes to the superior deposition rates and effective electrode wires.
Let’s dig deeper into the flux core welding strength.
What Is Flux Core Welding
When we talk about any semi-automatic or automatic process of arc welding, the name of FCAW (Flux-core Arc Welding) appears. Speaking of the practical view, this is kind of similar compared to the Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding as both of them utilize the electrode of filler to get the arc welding process done.
In general, Flux-core takes the assistance of the heat produced by an arc of DC electric. Hands down, it’s a quite productive method of welding for a variety of different types of materials, including alloy, duplex steels, nickel, plain carbon, and stainless steel.
What is Flux Core Welding Used for
FCAW is known for ensuring excellent penetration, making it much friendly with relatively thicker steel joints. Furthermore, flux-core enables you to reach in every single direction possible, ensuring ultimate efficiency, performance, and accuracy.
In this way, FCAW is a perfect welding method ideal for shipbuilding, pipeline welding, general repairing, underwater welding, and such types of manufacturing where precision matters a lot!
Do Flux Core Welding Stronger Than MIG, Stick, and TIG Welding
If you make the approximate count of any filler material’s deposit rate, you’ll easily notice that FCAW gets the highest number compared to the other welding methods like MIG, TIG, or even stick welding.
Although a Metal Inert Gas Welder is able to deposit for no more than 8lbs/hour, it’s unable to beat the flux-core at all as FCAW delivers no less than 25lbs/hour.
What Are the Reasons Of Strength?
Although MIG, TIG, and Stick welding have their own unique specialties and specs, the flux-core seems to be stronger enough due to the superior electrode wire it uses.
Because of this fact, it can withstand heavy pressure, and at the same time, give you the chance of welding comparatively thicker materials without much effort. That’s the reason why many people find it versatile and relatively more potent than the other welding methods.
Another thing that makes the flux-core stronger than the MIG is the higher deposit rate. As I’ve mentioned above, FCAW provides 25lbs/hour while the MIG can only deliver 8lbs/hour. All of these things make the flux-core welding process much stronger and multi-functional.
Pros and Cons of Flux Core Welding Method
Flux-core welding method has both some benefits and drawbacks, although the number of advantages is definitely higher. So let me show you step by step of its pros and cons:
Pros of Flux Core Welding Method:
- More Energy-efficient: This is probably the reason why flux core welding method is gaining popularity day by day. As you already know, the electrode of MIG is able to deposit 8lbs/hour, while the flux-core has the ability to deposit no less than 25lbs/hour.
Guess what? It strongly affects your overall costs of operation as consuming more energy will be required in order to deposit a single pound of wire. Thus, flux core can be your cup of tea in terms of saving as much cost as possible!
2. Easy-Peasy to Learn: Unlike the TIG and stick welding, flux-core welding process is way easier to learn that requires to professional skills to get the work done A recent study of Ohio State University shows that it can be performed with ease and quick compared to those two welding processes.
3. It is Versatile: Let it be carbon, alloy, aluminum, stainless steel, or even duplex steel; FCAW has the ability to weld multiple materials. Not only it can provide excellent precision, but it also eliminates rust, corrosion, or moisture in the best way possible using flux-core.
Quick Overview of the Advantages:
- Superior deposition rates (25lbs/hour)
- Cost-effective and pretty easy to learn than the TIG and stick
- Compatible with multiple materials
- Ideal for pipeline welding, shipbuilding, underwater welding, general repairing, etc
Cons of Flux Core Welding Method:
- Generates Excessive Fume: Unlike the mainstream welding methods, flux core tends to produce excessive amount of fume and smoker, which can’t be tolerable at times. This way, nobody can’t utilize this technique around indoor surfaces. And also, you may end up with several issues due to the emission of toxic gases. So wearing a full-face mask is a must!
2. Electrode Itself Is A Bit Costly: Although flux-core is known for its reduced amount of cost, you may have to pay a little higher to get its electrode wire. Compared to the others, FCAW tends to generate relatively more slag at the zone of welding.
Quick Overview of the Disadvantages:
- Tends to generate excess fumes and gasses
- The electrode might cost you a bit more than usual
- Shouldn’t be utilized in outdoor areas
Flux Core Welding Common Mistakes
I’ve seen many welders make several mistakes while welding thicker materials, especially when they utilize flux-core welding methods. Let’s get familiar with the probable mistakes and why they occur:
- Newbie welders often keep their welding guns way closer to their project. Alongside it, they sometimes feed the wire of electrode at a snail’s pace, which ultimately results in accidental burnback.
- Inappropriate travel angle, incorrect weld heat, improper placement; these are some of the probable reasons behind slag inclusion. Any of them may appear in case flux’s small particles get stuck in the metal of weld.
- During the flux core welding period, it’s necessary to confirm that emitted gas doesn’t get trapped in the materials. Many people these days make the mistake of focusing on this part, which is why they become unable to eliminate grease, rust, and moisture from the metals’ base.
- Beginners can’t manage the heat in the way it requires. As a result, it might cause extended weld penetration from time to time. And similarly, using too little heat might cause shallow welding.
Tips for Avoiding Common Flux-Cored Problems
Getting worried after looking at the mistakes? Cool, if you know how to avoid the common flux-cored mistakes, it’ll be possible to continue your welding tasks without any risks. So let’s see what you have to do:
- Making yourself well-prepared is what you should do at first. In this case, don’t forget to cover yourself entirely using safety gear like helmets, welding gloves, safety boots, goggles, etc
- Never get yourself the drive rolls which are smoother. Instead, get your hands on the knurled rolls
- Make sure you hold the welding gun, maintaining the safest distance. This way, you’re allowed to prevent accidental burnback
- Always go for side-to-side welding movements, avoiding undercut or such issues
- Welding isn’t child’s play, so you better choose the convenient and comfortable welding position for which you can safely perform your tasks
- According to experts, quick travel speed is required while performing overhead welding
- After every pass, never forget to clean slag
If anybody asks – “is flux core welding strong,” show them this single post where I’ve elaborated the reason behind its strength. From general repairing to pipeline welding to shipbuilding, flux-core can do it all.
So considering the fact, you should utilize the welding technique in the way it requires. And don’t forget to learn properly before you directly jump into the flux core welding process.
After all, safety comes first.