The Elements of a Successful Stick Weld – Welding Career Tips from the Pros
Submitted by OTC on Wed, 1/23/2013 - 12:36pm
01/23/2013 - 11:36
Welding Career Tips from the Pros
The life of heavy machinery can be described in two ways – working and not working. When the latter situation rears its head, you’re often left ill-equipped to pick up the pieces. If you’ve ever been a victim of non-mechanical equipment breakage that only a proper weld can fix, you’re in luck. Today we’re going to provide a blueprint for creating the perfect stick weld – exactly what you need to get your machinery back up and running in no time.
Why Stick Welding?
As a one of the more common processes used for field repair, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) or stick welding, as it’s commonly called, is primarily used because of its convenience and effectiveness. Stick electrodes are self-shielded and cut down on the amount of equipment needed to produce a solid weld. Don’t worry about bringing a gas cylinder, hose or regulator; you won’t need them. Stick welds provide sufficient protection of the weld bead in outdoor environments where the wind often affects shielding gases.
Choosing the right replacement material
To avoid premature breakage and ensure a strong weld, it’s important to choose replacement material that is as strong as or stronger than the parent material. Make note of the wear resistance, impact strength, ductility and tensile strength of the material you select. Perfect material matches are preferred as they most often result in quality welds that last.
Selecting the proper equipment
Proper equipment selection is largely dependent on the diameter of the electrodes being used. For instance, a 1/8 in. electrode will weld up to 145 amps whereas a 5/32 in. will perform better at 180 amps. It stands to reason, then, that a welding generator with a 100% duty cycle at 250 amps will provide sufficient welding power to satisfy the needs of most stick welding jobs. Electrodes commonly used in stick welding include 6010, 6011, 6013, 7018 and 7024. The most common diameters for these range from 1/8 in to 5/32 in.
Ample preparation is key
After you have selected your replacement material and welding equipment, it’s vital to spend some time preparing your weld.
Prep step 1: Clean the area completely – oils, rust, paints and other debris can compromise the weld.
Prep step 2: Cut the replacement material to the proper size and bevel the edges at a 30-degree angle. Make sure to leave a landing spot at the bottom of the joint – this allows for better welding penetration.
Prep step 3: Preheat the weld area if necessary – Preheating will limit shrinkage and distortion that can happen when cold steel meets a hot weld arc. (Welding career tips extra – If the carbon content of the steel exceeds 0.4%, it’s probably necessary to preheat the area. Always check with you material supplier for process and material requirements before beginning a weld.)
Now you’re ready to stick weld
If all this information seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry. The more practice and experience you get, the easier this process becomes. The next time a piece of heavy machinery breaks down, you’ll be ready to fix it with your welding torch firmly in hand. For more welding career tips from the pros, visit Ohio Technical College today.
1374 East 51st Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44103 Phone: 216.881.1700 or 800.322.7000, FAX 216.881.9145