Welding is the process by which two materials are joined using either thermoplastics or metals. Stick welding is a common form of arc welding which we will be discussing in this piece of writing moving forward.
Introduction to stick welding
Stick welding uses a stick or an electrode made from solid metal. It is coated with compounds and metal powder which plays the role of a binding agent. Electric current is further used for making an arc between the electrode and the metals that must be joined together. It is an easy and versatile process which is why it is extremely popular.
Stick is used for welding iron and steel. It is mostly used in the repair and maintenance industries. It is being used since the 1800s.
How does stick welding work?
To get started, a welder is required to wear proper gear and a welding helmet that fits him right. It can be bought from reliable sellers such as Welding Corner.
In stick, a flux coated electrode is used for forming a weld. As an electric current passes through the electrode or the welding rod, the arc comes in contact with the base of the metal. The electrode then starts welding and the flux coating creates a cloud of gases shielding the metal and protecting it from oxidizing.
Pros of stick welding
Let’s start with the pros:
- The equipment used for performing stick welding is widely available, cheap, and easy to use
- As no external shielding gas is required, this saves a lot of money
- This welding technique can be performed even if it is windy or raining
- You can easily change the electrodes for different metals
- This technique can be used for welding a wide range of alloys and metals
- It works on rusted as well as painted surfaces
Cons of stick welding
Like every method, stick welding has its own cons too. Let’s have a look at them:
- The welding operator must have appropriate experience and high level of skills to perform it.
- Welding thin metals can be a little complicated.
- The process is slow as compared other welding processes.
- You will have to replace the electrode frequently as compared to other types of welding processes.
- It only allows a short length of welds before inserting a new electrode.
- It is not suitable for reactive metals like tantalum, titanium or zirconium.
Even though stick welding is a common method of welding, it is still a difficult process to learn. As a beginner, you must focus on 3 aspects. First is the current setting. Check whether the machine requires DC positive or negative or AC. Second one is the length of the arc. Each application requires you to choose a specific length and diameter. Usually, it should not exceed the diameter of the electrode. The third one is the angle of travel. You must keep the electrode perpendicular to the weld joint.
Stick welding is suitable for most metals and alloys. It is a great option even if you have limited working space.