From Artificial Intelligence to Handcrafting: A Manufacturing Blog

Do you think it's too draughty to weld?

by Jennifer Jones

MIG welding is a widely used technique and is probably the easiest welding method to learn. MIG welding can be used to weld most common metals and most plate thicknesses. It does, however, have some limitations. One of the most obvious problems with conventional MIG welding is that it doesn't work well outdoors, or in areas that suffer from draughts. A draught can be a problem when it blows the shielding gas away from the weld puddle and generates porosity in the weld. The most effect way to overcome porosity is to use a self-shielded, flux-cored wire.

What's involved in flux-cored welding?

Flux-cored welding operates in a similar way to stick welding, so it isn't impacted so much by draughty or windy conditions. It employs the same constant voltage equipment as MIG welding, but instead of using solid wire and an accompanying shielding gas for welding, the welder will select a self-shielded wire which contains flux inside it.

Create a better weld

Aside from resistance to draughts, one of the of the greatest advantages of flux-cored welding is that the wires can be filled with a flux material that is specially formulated for the base metal that is being welded. By matching materials in this way, a superior welded joint can often be created. This approach also allows flux-cored welding to be used on less-than-ideal surfaces, such as areas where dirt or rust is present. It may also offer a greater degree of penetration when attempting to weld thick sections. An additional, often-overlooked benefit is that flux-cored welding involves more metal deposition than stick welding; this is highly beneficial where rough hardfacing is desirable.

A more efficient solution

By adopting MIG and flux-cored capabilities, a welder can complete the same tasks as a stick welder, but in a more efficient way. The continuous wire feed reduces the need to continually stop and start the welding process and allows the weld to be completed at a faster pace than would be possible with stick welding. Using flux-cored welding may also remove the need for a shielding gas bottle and make the entire welding apparatus more portable.

No welding solution is perfect for every situation, but flux-cored welding is the most effective option for those times where you need to weld items outside the workshop in an open environment. Talk to your welding company today about the right welding solution for your business.