Types and Benefits of Electrodes in the Welding Process

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Welding electrodes serve a vital purpose in the welding process. These electrodes operate in a wide variety of applications in manufacturing, from construction to automobile assembly. Electrodes provide the electric arc that heats, melts, and fuses two pieces of metal. This action creates a stronger bond that makes the weld successful. The type of electrode that is needed is dependent on the given task. Learn about the different kinds of welding electrodes to make the best choice for the job.                                                                       

Different Types and Uses of Electrodes

1. 6013 Electrodes

Hobart 770472 6013 Stick Electrodes

The “1” located in the third position of this code indicates this electrode is applicable for all welding positions. The last two digits communicate that the electrode is protected by a high titanium-potassium layer. It is therefore highly versatile and can operate using various types of currents. This type of electrode is most appropriate for smaller welding operations. It is designed to work with thin metal sheets and allows a medium-range penetration.

2. 7018 Electrodes

Firepower 1440-0196 Type 7018 Arc Welding Electrodes 3/32-Inch Diameter, 5-Pound

The 7018 electrode also has a distinctive “1” in the third position of the code. This electrode can also be utilized for all standard welding positions. The last two digits shown together reveal that this electrode is encased with iron powder and a low hydrogen coating. Because of the low percentage of hydrogen found in the 7018 electrodes, they produce high-quality, seamless welds that can withstand extreme amounts of pressure. The welds that these electrodes produce are unlikely to crack under low to medium penetration. They are coated with very low moisture, which reduces the level of hydrogen. This process stops seepage into a weld too much. Thanks to the low hydrogen content of these welding electrodes, the electrodes produce even, exceptional welds that are crack-resistant under low to medium penetration.

3. 6011 Electrodes

Hobart 770462 6011 Stick, 5/32-5lbs

The 6011 electrodes can also be used for all welding positions. They can be used in coordination with large-sized welding machines. They can withstand a high amount of pressure. The 6011 has a very high level of coating of cellulose potassium. Both AC and DC+ currents can operate safely with these types of electrodes. The 6011 welding electrodes are adapted for deep welding penetration. This electrode category makes it suitable to work with corroded or dirty metals that are covered with corrosion and dirt and successfully complete repair jobs.

4. 6010 Electrodes

Blue Demon 6010 X 3/32" X 14" X 5LB Carton,Steel Pipe Welding Electrode

The 6010 electrodes are also adapted for all welding positions. Like the 6011 electrodes, the 6010 electrodes are designed to withstand deep penetration and work with metals covered with corrosion and dirt. Coated with high cellulose sodium, these electrodes are limited to use with DC+ currents. They can achieve deep penetration and can work with metals encrusted with dirt and corrosion. 

The Composition Of Electrodes

  • Bare Electrodes. Bare welding electrodes are not coated other than those necessary for wire drawings. The wire drawing coatings have an effect that brings some stabilization to the arc but have little effectiveness beyond this application. They are made of wire compositions that permit particular applications. Bare electrodes are helpful when a coated electrode is neither necessary or safe. They are also fashioned to weld manganese steel. 

  • Light Coated Electrodes. This versatile group of electrodes reduces or dissolves impurities such as phosphorus, oxides and sulfur. These electrodes operate by reducing  the flow of  metal to a molten, uniform state. They increase the stability of the arc by including ionized materials into the stream caused by the arc. 

  • Shielded Arc Or Heavy Coated Electrodes. This category of electrodes is created with a thick coating applied by extrusion or dipping. This process gives this group a definite shape. The three types of shielded or heavy-coated electrodes include those with cellulose, minerals or a combination of the two. These protective electrodes are used for welding cast iron and steel. The mineral-coated electrodes form a slag deposit.

Frequently Asked Questions   

What are the four types of welding?

The four main types of welding are:       

  1. MIG. Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW). 
  2. TIG. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). 
  3. Stick. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). 
  4. Flux-cored. Flux-cored Arc Welding (FCAW).

What are the different sizes of welding rods?

There is a precise range of welding rod sizes that each perform a particular feature. The standard welding rod sizes include: 

  1. 1/16″ 
  2. 3/32″
  3. 1/8″
  4. 5/32″
  5. 3/16″
  6. 1/4″
  7. 5/16″       

Welding is a promising, in-demand trade that develops into a career for many who invest in learning the skill. There are numerous opportunities to apply welding techniques in both public and private arenas. This life skill provides financial security and the flexibility to travel and use the training in a variety of settings. Educate yourself about the various types of welding electrodes and their uses in the welding process. Take advantage of the growing trend that will serve you well personally and professionally.  

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