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Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) electrode types and selection


Continuing with the article series on SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding), I will cover the electrode types that can be found in a sheet metal fabrication workshop.

The appropriate type of electrode is selected based on the material being welded, the welding position, and the desired weld properties. The common SMAW electrodes that can be found in a sheet metal workshop are cellulosic, rutile, and basic.

SMAW cellulosic electrodes have a high cellulose content in its flux coating and are typically used for welding in the vertical and overhead positions, as they are known for their ability to provide good penetration and high welding speeds.

SMAW rutile electrodes have a flux coating that contains rutile, a mineral composed of titanium dioxide, and can be used in all welding positions, including flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead, making them suitable for a wide range of welding tasks. They are not recommended for welding high-strength steels since the weld metal does not offer high tensile properties. They are commonly used in general fabrication, maintenance and repair, where a versatile and easy-to-use electrode is required.

Basic electrodes, also known as low-hydrogen electrodes or basic-coated electrodes, are characterized by a flux coating that contains a high proportion of basic compounds, such as calcium carbonate, calcium fluoride, and other alkaline materials. One of the key advantages of basic electrodes is their ability to produce high-quality welds with excellent mechanical properties, including high strength, good ductility, and good toughness.

In following posts, I will go in more detail on each of these.
    Portoroz, Primorska - si

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