There is a saying that one cannot use the same approach to get different results, this phrase suits correctly the welding process, there are different welding methods like SMAW, GTAW, MIG, SAW, etc and for these different methods, we cannot use the same wire/electrode.
Many fabricators/ welders ignore the efficiencies which can be achieved by changing of consumable or process. Several points came into observation, one of which is while asking fabricators why they are using a particular consumable on different material, the response was “It is the only way we know and it is going great for us”, even though another way might allow significant improvement.
Let’s deep dive into the factors which is important to look into while choosing the right consumable:
Properties of the Base Metal: This is the first point that leads the welder to choose the exact welding consumable of need. Here you need to check the composition of the base metal and similar to that you need to match the electrode/wire to that.
Tensile strength: In the second point the welder needs to match the minimum tensile strength of the consumable to the tensile strength of the work piece. For ex: if there is an electrode of E6013, given 60 indicates that the filler metal produces a weld bead with a minimum tensile strength of 60000 PSI which will work better with the steel of similar strength.
Welding current: In the third point you need to check that the electrode is compatible with which kind of power source, some electrodes are only compatible with AC or only with DC or with both. To know this you need to refer to the AWS classification where the 4th digit is referred to and represents the type of coating and welding current. Base Metal thickness, shape, and joint fit-up.
Welding position: this information is printed on the AWS classification, for example, E6013, here the 1 stands for the welding position. The 1 stands for the flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead positions, and if 2 is printed it means it can weld only flat and horizontally.
Environmental conditions: Here the welder should remove the excessive mill sclare, rust, moisture, grease and paint to prevent porosity and increase the travel speed.