A Complete Guide to Choosing a Flux Cored Wire

Published on 10 February 2022

5 min

Flux cored wires were developed in the late 1950s. To date, they are one of the widely used materials in welding applications for the following reasons:

  • High performance

  • High weld quality and finish

  • High deposition rate

  • High stability in windy climate

  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor conditions

  • Ideal for most welding positions

A flux cored wire should be chosen wisely for the best results. Here are some tips to help you.

Types 

There are two types of flux cored wires: self-shielded and gas-shielded.

Both have an external sheath and are filled with alloys and deoxidizer mix called flux. They can also weld thicker metals and deposit more welding material. However, the similarities end here.

Self-shielded flux cored wires requires no gas tank, welders can carry them outdoors easily. The main disadvantage is that they emit more smoke and spatter, Hence most suitable for Hard Surfacing applications.

Gas-shielded flux cored wires need an external gas supply. They are suited for welds that require excellent joint penetration. The main disadvantage is that it is difficult to manoeuvre in remote locations.

Industry

The usage of flux cored wires varies across industries and applications. Each type of flux cored wire is designed for a specific purpose. For example, 

Self-shield flux cored wire is suitable for outdoor welding in bridge construction, structural steel and shipbuilding applications. 

Gas-shield flux core wire is suitable for indoor welding applications in heavy-equipment manufacturing, general fabrication, petrochemical piping and pressure vessels.

Diameter

The diameter of the flux cored wires is another key factor to bear in mind while choosing the same. It is influenced by other variables such as welding position, material thickness, weld size, and weld current and polarity.

Small diameter wires are ideal for all positions, while large ones are better for flat and horizontal welding.

Appearance 

The choice of flux cored wire also depends on the aesthetic appeal that welders want to achieve. For example, gas-shielded wires give a better finish and look than self-shielded wires.

Reputation of Manufacturer

The reputation of the flux core wire manufacturer is as crucial as the technical specifications. The welders should buy flux cored wires from manufacturers with long-standing experience in the market. They should not compromise quality for low prices. Find a manufacturer who can offer the best quality flux cored wires at competitive rates.

There is no doubt that flux cored wires hold great importance in the welding industry. Irrespective of the choice, the right application and welder’s experience makes all the difference eventually.

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