Here are some of the pros and cons of flux core vs solid wire mig
Pros of Flux Core Welding:
Portability: Flux core welding is commonly used in outdoor or field welding because it doesn't require a shielding gas, making it more portable compared to bare wire MIG welding.
Galvanized steel is one area where self shielded flux core shines.
Deep penetration: Flux core wires are designed to provide deep penetration, making them suitable for welding thicker materials, such as structural steel. ( provided the right high quality flux core wire is used )
Reduced surface preparation: Flux core welding can tolerate some surface contaminants, such as rust or paint, better than bare wire MIG welding. This can save time and effort on surface preparation..
Flux Core Cons
Slag removal: Flux core welding produces slag, which is a protective layer that needs to be chipped or brushed off after welding. This additional step can be time-consuming and may require additional cleaning.
Increased spatter: Flux core welding tends to produce more spatter compared to bare wire MIG welding, leading to more post-weld cleanup.
flux core weld deposit can sometimes be less ductile
some flux core wires are rated for single pass only
Bare Wire MIG Pros and Cons
Pros of Bare Wire MIG Welding:
Clean and precise welds: Bare wire MIG welding typically produces cleaner and more precise welds with less spatter compared to flux core welding.
Short circuit bare wire mig is much better than flux core for really thin metal like auto body panels.
Versatility: MIG welding can be used with a wide range of materials, including stainless steel, and aluminum...providing versatility in various applications.
Higher welding speeds: MIG welding generally allows for higher deposition rates and faster welding speeds, resulting in increased productivity.
Better weld appearance: MIG welding can provide aesthetically pleasing welds with a smooth and consistent bead appearance.
Cons of Bare Wire MIG Welding:
Need for shielding gas: Bare wire MIG welding requires a shielding gas, typically a mix of argon and carbon dioxide, which adds to the cost and requires a gas cylinder which is much less portable than a simple machine with gasless flux core.
Surface preparation: Bare wire MIG welding requires more cleaning of the metal than flux core welding.
Limited penetration: Compared to flux core welding, short circuit bare wire MIG welding may have less penetration, making it less suitable for thicker materials or heavy-duty applications.
Lack of portability: The need for a shielding gas and the associated equipment can make bare wire MIG welding less portable compared to flux core welding.