arc and flux wire welding

by tom
(warrington pa united states)

what is the difference between arc and flux wire welding

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Usually when people say arc welding, they are talking about stick welding also called shielded metal arc welding, smaw for short.
in Europe and other countries it is sometimes called mma , short for manual metal arc.

stick welding uses a stick electrode that has flux on the outside. They come in diameters as small as 1/16 for sheet metal welding and go up to 1/4" for heavy duty welding on really thick metal. Stick electrodes can be found for stainless, cast iron, inconel, aluminum, and even copper alloys but it is mainly used for steel.

flux core arc welding uses a small diameter wire usually .030" --1/16" that has granulated flux inside the tubular wire.

some flux core wires still require gas shielding but some can be used without gas.

the small 115v mig welders are popular for using flux core because the welders are cheap, no gas is needed, and learning curve is small.

but there are limitations to using flux core.

its hard to weld anything thinner than about 18 ga .048" with flux core.

and there is often a lot of spatter.

some flux core wires are better than others and some are not rated for multi pass welds.

lot of smoke with flux core also

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