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​How to Choose the Right Welding Rod ?

How to Choose the Right Welding Rod ?
A welding rod (also called a filler rod or stick), is used to add material into a weld. For automated welding guns, the welding rod is produced as a spool of wire, but for manual welding rigs, the welding rod is a straight piece of thin metal with a circular cross section. The selection of a welding rod is highly dependent on the type of welding being performed and the material to be welded. Each type of welding rod has a number that is based on American Welding Society standards, allowing welders to choose the right rod based on their application.
1. Determine the type of welding being performed. For most arc welding applications, the welding rod also acts as the electrode, and must be electrically conductive. Welding rods with numbers that begin with the letter “E” indicates that the rod can be used as an electrode.
2. Verify the material of the parts to be welded. For most materials, the welding rod material should closely match the material of the parts to be welded. For steels, which can vary greatly based on alloy, welding rods can be selected based on tensile strength. The first part of the welding rod number (after an optional letter prefix) will have a four or five digit number, the first two or three of which provide the minimum tensile strength of the welding rod material.
3. Determine the welding position. The second to last digit in the welding rod number states how the rod can be used. A “1” means the rod can be used for all applications, a “2” means the rod should be used in horizontal or flat applications, and a “3” should only be used for flat applications.
4. Determine whether flux is needed. Welding rods can be fabricated without flux, or with a flux coating. The last two digits of the welding rod number taken together describe the coating of the welding rod, and in the case of arc welding rods, the type of current that can be used.

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