Are you an aspiring welder or a seasoned professional looking to brush up on your welding material handling skills? Look no further!
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about properly storing, handling, and using welding rods, wires, and flux. From the impact of moisture on welding quality to the dos and don’ts of electrode drying, we’ve got you covered.
So, grab your safety gear and let’s dive in!
1. Welding rod
(1) To properly store welding rods, ensure proper ventilation and dryness in the warehouse. Maintain a relative humidity of the air below 60%. When stacking, maintain a distance of 30 cm from the ground and walls.
(2) Properly label and store the welding rods according to their model and specifications, avoiding any mixing of different types.
(3) Handle and stack the welding rods with care to avoid damaging their coating. Pay extra attention to electrodes with weaker coatings, such as stainless steel, surfacing, and cast iron electrodes. Do not stack the welding rods too high.
Related reading: How to Choose the Right Welding Rod?
2. The welding rod is affected by moisture
After the electrode becomes damp, its coating color typically darkens. The electrode also loses its crisp metal sound upon impact and some even develop a white alkali residue, referred to as “white flowers.”
Influence of damp electrode on welding process:
(1) The arc is unsteady, the spatter has increased, and the particles are too big.
(2) Deep melting, which is easy to chip.
(3) Poor slag coverage and uneven welding bead.
(4) Slag removal is challenging.
Influence of damp electrode on welding quality:
(1) Welding cracks and pores are easily caused, especially with alkaline electrodes.
(2) The mechanical properties are easily reduced in value.
3. Electrode drying
(1) Welding rods that have been stored for an extended period of time are susceptible to moisture.
However, if the rods are free of rust and the coating remains intact, their original performance can be preserved after they have been dried, without affecting their usability.
(2) The baking temperature should be maintained at an appropriate level, not too high or too low. If the temperature is too low, it will not be able to remove the moisture, but if it is too high, it may cause the coating to crack, become brittle, fall off or undergo changes to its composition, which can negatively impact the welding quality.
(3) The dried alkaline electrode should not be left exposed for more than 4 hours.
(4) The electrode should not be subjected to too many repeated drying cycles, as this can easily cause the coating to fall off.
4. Electrode scrapping
The welding core has developed rust, and the coating has adhered, peeled off, and been severely impacted by moisture (especially in the case of low hydrogen type welding rod, heat-resistant steel welding rod, and low-temperature steel welding rod).
These welding rods can no longer be used and must be disposed of.
2. Welding wire
(1) Welding wires must be stored in a designated welding material warehouse, ensuring proper ventilation and drying. The air’s relative humidity should be kept below 60%. During stacking, keep the wires 30cm away from the ground and walls.
(2) Ensure proper labeling and storage of different models and specifications of welding wires, avoiding mixing them.
(3) Handle the welding wire packages carefully to prevent damage. Avoid littering during handling. Any damage to the package may result in moisture absorption and rusting of the welding wire.
(4) When handling barreled welding wires, avoid rolling the container, and ensure it is not placed down or tilted. This will prevent the winding of the welding wire inside the barrel and ensure proper usage.
(5) Avoid stacking the welding wires too high.
(6) Flux-cored wires do not need to be dried and should be used as soon as possible after opening. If the welding wire is not used up and needs to be stored in the wire feeder overnight, cover it with canvas, plastic cloth, or other materials to reduce exposure to moisture in the air.
(7) Only use pure anhydrous CO2 gas for flux-cored welding wires.
2. The welding wire is affected by moisture
Moisture-absorbing welding wire can increase the amount of hydrogen diffused into the deposited metal, resulting in defects such as pits and pores. This can also negatively impact the performance of the welding process and the mechanical properties of the welded metal, leading to serious cracking issues.
3. Flux for submerged arc welding
The flux is typically packaged in bags and should be handled with care during transport to avoid any damage to the packaging.
It is important to store the flux in a dry room to prevent moisture from impacting the quality of the welding. The ideal room temperature is between 5-50°C, and it should not be stored in an environment with high temperatures and humidity.
Before using the flux, it should be baked according to the instructions outlined in the manual.
When baking the flux, it should be spread evenly on a plate and the maximum thickness should not exceed 50mm.
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