Welding is a process where two pieces of metal or other materials join together by melting their ends and then cooling them to form a strong bond. This process is often done with electric currents, but can also be done with flames or lasers. Welding rods are consumables that are used in welding.
The rods are usually made of metal and have a coating of flux on the surface. The use of welding rods is necessary for the process to work because they provide heat, which melts the surfaces together, as well as protection from oxidation during cooling, which would otherwise weaken the weld.
Two of the most commonly used welding rods are the 6010 and 7018. But which one should you choose? This article will discuss the properties, pros & cons and essential information you need to know about the 6010 vs 7018 welding rod.
The 6010 Welding Rod
6010 welding rod is a type of welding rod that is used for joining aluminum, copper, brass, and bronze. It is a DC-only, all-position rod commonly known for its deep penetration used in root pass welds. It is considered a great choice for Arc Welding thanks to its fast-freezing and deep penetration abilities. Unclean, painted and galvanized surfaces do not affect the performance of a 6010 rod.
6010 welding rods are made from high silicon steel and have a low carbon content. They also have good corrosion resistance and can be used in marine environments. This type of welding rod can be used for the following applications:
- Arc welding
- Resistance welding
- Gas tungsten arc welding (TIG)
6010 Number Representation
The first two digits of an electrode denote its tensile strength. In the case of 6010, the tensile strength is 60,000 psi.
The third digit on any electrode denotes the positions in which that electrode can be used. The 6010 rods can be used in all positions i.e flat, overhead, bent, or horizontal.
The fourth digit denotes the coating of an electrode and the coating itself denotes a few things:
- Metals that these rods can be used on
- Their penetration levels
- Their sensitivity toward air and moisture
- Polarity (Current flow direction respective to the electrode)
In this case, the 6010 rod has a cellulose and sodium coating which makes it stand against rust, air, and moisture.
The 7018 Welding Rod
The 7018 welding rod is a low hydrogen electrode used for welding clean surfaces. Although mainly used with DC input, the 7018 rod is suitable for both AC and DC. It has good thermal stability and oxidation resistance and it can be used with all types of gas-shielded arc welding processes.
It has a noiseless and splatter-free arc which is best suited for low penetration projects. The 7018 welding rods are typically clad with copper or nickel to give them better corrosion resistance, but this is not always the case.
It is suited for usage with metals such as structural and high-carbon metals because the inherent low hydrogen levels prevent cold cracking. The 7018 rods can be used in several different applications and they can be used on different thicknesses of steel. It can be used for both manual and mechanized welding processes. Although it has many advantages, it requires to be stored in moisture-free surroundings and oven-baked before use.
7018 Number Representations
As discussed above, the first two digits denote the tensile strength of the rod. So the 7018 electrodes will have a tensile strength of 70,000 psi.
The second digit denotes the position in which an electrode can be used. Since the third number is ‘1’, It denotes that the 7018 rods can be used in every position.
The last digit denotes the coating on an electrode. This coating represents several things as discussed above. 7018 rod has an iron powder and low hydrogen coating making it sensitive to moisture.
Key Differences in 6010 vs 7018 Rods
Any of the following methods can be used to determine which type of rod should be used in a specific application:
- Oxidation resistance is determined by the length of time it takes for oxidation to occur compared with other types of stainless steel. A 7018 rod will oxidize faster than 6010 rods and so should be used for applications where corrosion needs to be controlled.
- Corrosion resistance can also be determined by the length of time it takes for corrosion to occur compared with other types of stainless steel. A 6010 rod will corrode faster than 7018 rods and so should be used for applications where oxidation doesn’t need to be controlled but where corrosion needs to be kept at a minimum.
Can you store 6010 and 7018 rods in the same conditions?
No, you can not. The 7018 electrode is sensitive to moisture and needs to be protected from it. For this purpose, you will have to keep it at a significant temperature inside an oven. The 6010 is strong against moisture and air, so it can be stored in normal conditions.
Which electrode between 6010 and 7018 is easier to use?
The 7018 runs differently from 6010. It is much smoother and easier to use. Of these two, the 7018 rod is easier to use but for beginners, the 6013 rods are preferred.
After discussing a lot of things above, we can come to the conclusion that both 6010 and 7018 are excellent electrodes. If 6010 excels in penetration, the 7018 beats it in ease of use.
In this article about 6010 vs 7018 welding electrodes, we discussed the properties of both of these electrodes, their strengths, and weaknesses and compared the two rods. We also discussed what the numbers on these electrodes represent and also derived a conclusion about whether 6010 or 7018 is better.
We hope that now you won’t have to face any difficulties in differentiating between these rods, their qualities, weaknesses and the right way to use them.