We received a message through our new website asking if it was okay to use Flux Core arc welding as opposed to short circuit MIG. The emailer has heard a lot of misleading information surrounding Flux Cored welding.
There are many misconceptions regarding flux core. It gets a pretty bad wrap and I've never understood why. Flux Core is a great welding process and has many applications. I have always liked running flux core, especially in the field. It is portable, easy to run, and just as strong as stick welding. It seems the biggest problem most people have is the initial setup. Most self-shielding wires have to be ran on DC-, but not all. Drive rolls are another important part with Flux Cored wires, you should be running the appropriate size for the wire diameter, and they should be knurled. You also want to make sure your wire tension is less than what you would run solid wire at. If you have the tension on the drive rolls too tight, it will crush the wire. You have to remember that Flux Core wire has a powdered flux on the inside of the wire so it is not as dense as a solid wire. Another important factor is the contact tip to work distance (CTTWD). Flux core wires run anywhere from 3/4" to 3-1/2 inch CTTWD, for this reason, it is highly recommended to check out the manufacturers specifications on the type and diameter of the wire you are using. A CCTWD that is too short will lead to porosity because the flux on the inside of the wire has not had time to preheat before being added to the molten puddle. A CCTWD that is too long will cause a drop in amperage because it will cause too much resistance. This will produce a less than adequate weld. All in all, I really enjoy running flux core and if you pay attention to the tips in this article, I am sure you will too. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the website and our videos. Until next time, Make Every Weld Better Than Your Last!
About Jason Becker
Jason Becker is a welder/fabricator with 22 years of field experience in the welding industry and a Marine Corps Veteran. He is also an AWS Certified Welding Inspector and Certified Welding Educator (CWI/CWE). While teaching welding at his local college, Jason pursued his Bachelors Degree in Construction Management from Seminole State College and graduated with honors in 2016. He now works full-time as the co-host for Weld.com.