Many times, during welding, when filler metal is needed to be added to the part that is being welded, welding rods are used. Sometimes, welding rods are also used as electrodes in some methods of arc welding. Usually, the welding rod is manufactured of the same materials as the base metal and often, a flux is used to aid the process of welding. An electrode holder holds the welding rod, which also helps keep the operator insulated from the electric current produced during the process of welding. A thin wire is utilised as a welding rod in the case of automated welding.
The welding rod plays the role of an electrode in many arc welding processes, which helps to guide the arc to the area of the weld. If the welding method does not need a shielding gas, then it is a good idea to use flux-coated welding rods. The coating vaporises due to the heat and creates a shield that prevents the weld area from being contaminated by the air and also helps you produce a clean weld.
Types of Welding Rods
When the materials being welded is mainly steel, steel rods are most commonly used. The welding rods are available in various types of steel alloys such as low alloy steel, stainless steel and mild steel and as per the kind of work that is being done, the steel welding rods are flux-coated or come do not have a flux coating.
These are usually utilised for welds to join aluminium pieces and also for aluminium alloys. Welding rods made of aluminium are used in regular arc welding, MIG and TIG welding.
Welding rods made of bronze are usually used when there is a need for brazing to join copper and other metal pieces and for repairing damaged bronze pieces. The process of brazing makes use of welding rods made of bronze because they are highly resistant to corrosion due to salt water.
These days, the use of composite welding rods is becoming quite popular, which essentially comprises 2 layers of material or more which when combined produces a weld that is stronger and of higher quality.
Welding rods with a flux core contain the flux, which is located in the centre of the rod. This also stops the flux from being eroded while being stored or when being handled. Welding rods with metal cores have an outer layer made of mild steel and have a filling of a mixture of metal powders which complement the alloy required to produce a superior-quality weld.
When you are using the process of welding, the welding rod must be matched to the method of welding. This will ensure that the welds produced are clean and sturdy. If you are unsure about the kind of rod that must be used for a particular technique, then it is a good idea to check the instruction manual that will give you the types of welding rods which are compatible with the different types of metals.