When it comes to stick welding, choosing the right rod is important. Forney Industries offers a multitude of electrodes for pretty much any welding project, however there is one rod that stands above all the rest: Forney’s E7018 electrode.
It’s no coincidence Forney has no trouble selling their E7018 electrodes. They are easy to strike, cause little spatter, create a smooth puddle flow and an easy slag release. In general, the 7018 welding rod has established a reputation of being incredibly versatile, and from that notoriety has become one of the most widely-used rods on the market. Designed for welding low, medium and high carbon steels and higher strength low alloy steel, this rod will give you good control over the arc and minimize the post-weld mess. The E7018 rod is capable of producing strong and aesthetically pleasing welds time after time.
Read on to learn more about this multifaceted electrode.
Features of the E7018 Electrode
The low-moisture outer coating helps reduce the amount of hydrogen that makes it’s way into the weld. The addition of iron powder to the coating of the electrode offers good deposition rates, allowing welders to add more weld in a short amount of time.
The low hydrogen nature of this rod prevents cracking and peeling of the weld material, in addition to low spatter levels. This rod also allows good penetration to avoid weld defects such as lack of fusion.
This rod has an excellent restart capability. This feature helps eliminate porosity at the beginning or end of the weld. Make certain you remove the silicon deposit formed at the end of the stick electrode before you attempt to initiate a new arc.
Arguably one of the greatest benefits of the E7018 electrode is that a weld can be made while holding the electrode in any position. The smooth and stable nature of the arc results in more control, making out-of-position welding on hardenable steels where no pre-heat is used a breeze. This rod is sure to produce high quality welds on steel and hard-to-work metals.
Construction applications that require strong quality welds
Low, medium and high carbon steels
Higher strength low alloy steel
When Vertical Up Welding
Do what you can to create a weld bead width around 2.5 to 3 times the size of the core wire. Weld beads wider than this can increase the potential for slag inclusions- ultimately compromising the integrity of a structural weld. Employing a slight weaving technique in this position tends to work well, and a 3 to 5 degree angle is ideal.
When Horizontal and Flat Surface Welding
Maintain a tight arc length. This will help keep the stick electrode on top of the weld puddle. Doing this can minimize the chance of porosity and inclusions. A good rule of thumb is to maintain a weld bead width approximately 2.5 to 3 times the diameter of the core wire inside the stick electrode for flat and horizontal welding applications.
Helpful Tips And Information
Practice Different Angles
Now that you know E7018 electrodes are all-position, practice different angles while stick welding. This can help you maneuver difficult positions, and take advantage of this rod’s versatility.
This type of electrode must be stored in a dry place. Using a moist 7018 electrode can cause hydrogen induced cracking (HIC). It could also result in the creation of a weak, faulty or otherwise ineffective weld. You should also make certain you handle these electrodes with clean, dry gloves to prevent dirt and debris from sticking to the coating. Doing so can also eliminate the chances of sweat or oils from your hands damaging the rod.
Keep a Tight Arc
You can achieve a clean stick weld by keeping a tight arc that concentrates the heat in the weld joint and the filler metal. The longer the arc length, the higher the possibility of arc-start porosity. A wide arc can distort the metal and deposit material all over it, leaving slag and bits of metal rather than a strong weld joint. You can keep a tight arc by learning how to manage your distance from the metal work piece while the electrode shortens. With a consumable electrode, you’ll need to move it closer to the metal while you work. Running your welder at the higher range of your recommended settings will help you weld nice and hot without sticking to the metal.
Check Your Amperage
As you’re welding, make certain you have set the welding power source to the correct amperage range. If you run at too high of an amperage, you will prematurely destroy the coating and cause defects in the weld. In addition to this, don’t set the hot start control too high (setting on machine); it can generate a long arc and melt the electrode’s coating too soon, this can create insufficient shielding and porosity in the weld. If you see that your rod keeps sticking to your material, try increasing the amperage.
E7018 electrodes have good restart capability, but remember that restarting can cause a variety of problems if it’s not done carefully. To avoid frustrating scenarios such as fingernailing or a long arc, restart about 1/4″ to 1/2″ above your work or the previous weld.
The tensile strength of a material refers to the amount of tension required to make a material break, snap or deform. Welding with E7018 electrodes results in a weld that offers a relatively high tensile strength. You can learn an electrode’s tensile strength by looking at the first two numbers of the electrode’s identification number. E7018 electrodes offer a 70,000 pound-per-square-inch minimum tensile strength.
Grab a Chipping Hammer
Stick welds with an E7018 electrode aren’t fancy, but you can avoid scratches and dents by dragging a chipping hammer along the slag. This will also clean up the weld, making it more pleasing to look at. The Forney Industries E7018 electrode has excellent slag release. All you need is a gentle tap with a chipping hammer, and the slag comes right off.