By: Bob Moffatt on June 3rd, 2019

Print/Save as PDF

GAS SHIELDED FLUX CORE WELDING FOR BEGINNERS

Gas Shielded Flux Core

 

- [Director] Action.

- Hey, welcome to Weld.com. I'm Bob Moffatt. We've had a lot of comments, people getting into flux core. And, you know, the flux core, self-shielded, dual-shielded. 

Today, I want to do a quick lesson here and get some folks started. We've had a lot of requests, "How do I get into this?" You know, the settings or the wire and everything. So, I want to explain a few things and just keep it real simple. I'm going to go through a bunch of settings. Just want to run some straight lines, flat position, get into some things to look for, get you started. Today, we are running Select-Arc 045 730 dual-shield flux core wire, designed to run on mixed gas 75/25. And, I'm going to be running about 25 cubic feet per hour. We're going to be running off of an ESAB 285 that has various modes in here. Right now, it's set to sMIG, and I'm going to take this and run it up to the Flux Core and select that.

-I'm going to set this at 26 5 volts, 26.5 volts, 450 on the wire feed speed. That's going to be kind of my baseline, and I'm going to run a series of straight beads and just see how everything reacts. I'm going to start here at this base point, because this is real close to what the manufacturer recommends for settings. And then, from there, I'll ruin the settings. I'll go way low in voltage, leave the wire feed speed alone. We'll just change up a lot of stuff and see how the machine reacts. So, that's going to be our starting point, 26.5 volts, 450 wire feed speed. Also, one thing to note is this is a gas-shielded wire.

-It's kind of like running any hard MIG wire. Your polarity is DCEP on hard MIG wire, gas-shielded flux core wire, dual shield. If you have self-shielded wire, the self-shielded wires run on DCEN, electrode negative. Okay, that's very important to remember. I found a dummy plate over here and I ran, it was a groove weld that somebody had set in their machine that looked like, ran a big, wide route for gas metal arc welding. Had a pass, a couple of passes in there. I went ahead and filled this thing up with the flux core, ran a couple of stringer beads in here. And so now, I want to take this and start running beads away from these here. So, always want to run straight beads. I use the groove as a guide.

-So, therefore, these two stringer beads are pretty straight. If you have a hard time seeing, then you can come in here and kind of put a chalk mark in here, get some contrast. After you run a couple of beads, you probably won't need this anymore, simply because we're going to be out here on this plate, and it's going to round up a little bit, and you'll always be able to put the wire in the toe of the previous weld, which is important for running straight lines and running straight beads. So, we can cheat a little bit and run a little soapstone in here, so that when we're under the hood, we might be able to pick that contrast up better.

-This side does have more of a toe than this one, here. Okay, I have never been one to teach or to have people weld pulling the gun toward themselves. I like to be able to move, so I'm going to turn this to the side a little bit. I like to see where I'm going, and I like to see my finished weld. Flux core, dual shield, I want to drag this slightly. I want to put about five to ten degrees of drag angle in here, so I'm going to start on my right side and weld in that direction. So, this would be a drag angle. This would be a push angle.

-Okay, so I want to use a slight drag angle. I also, I don't want to get my hands in here close to the weld. It's going to put out quite a bit of heat. So, I want to hold the gun back here. I'm always wanting to hang on to a gun lightly, anyway, so I can move. But, I want to hang onto the gun back here toward the back. I don't want to get my hand up in here where all this heat is going to be on the back of my knuckles, 'cause it's going to get uncomfortable quickly. So, I want to stay back here and just kind of glide along. Okay, real simple, I want to run straight lines. I've got a soapstone mark along the toe of the weld, so first thing to do is get comfortable. Always want to maintain your wire angle. Remember I said I was going to have about a five to ten degree drag angle, so I want to kind of set that, first.

-My wire's sticking out about 5/8 of an inch past the contact tip. The electrical stickout on dual shield flux core is more than regular short arc. Short arc's about 3/8 of an inch. Dual shield, you want about 5/8 to 3/4. So, I'm going to set the wire over this toe, this weld and just kind of glide along and do a couple of dry runs. Okay, to get comfortable, I'm using my pinky. I'm on this piece of sheet metal, so I'm not going to hook my glove in the hole, accidentally. Light pressure on everything, for me. And I just kind of want to glide along here and see what happens. I made this first run here, and as soon as I pulled the trigger, I couldn't see my white line. I couldn't see where I was going. I think I had my hood set down too dark. I think I have it on a number 12, but, again, I couldn't see my white line, so I made a little bit of an arc here. Ooh, my bad.

-Pretty good condition, because this slag is already cracked. So, really, all I got to do is just kind of touch it on the edges here, and it'll come right off. I'm not one to beat the crap out this slag, because it can become airborne and come right back up in your face. Okay, now I have some place that I know I can see. Also, if you've watched our videos long enough, you'll know that I can't move real good just gliding along. So, this next bead, I'm going to adjust the sensitivity in my hood so I can see a little better, and I'm going to position myself over here, and I'm probably going to just do a very small rocking motion, so that I can time my movements. Also, another important thing is, when I said, "Get comfortable," I'm just kind of standing here. Some of you'll put a lot of weight on your forearm here, and then you can't move. So, you know, I'm kind of just centering my weight down through here, trying to relax. Stuff just runs in so smooth and so forgiving. It just pours in there like butter. It's pretty nice. And, believe it or not, this is one of those wires that you can weld horizontal, uphill, overhead. It just goes in really nice.

-So, we've run multiple beads here at the same setting, 26.5 volts, 450 on the wire feed speed. From here, you know, we can do multiple things here. We can take the voltage and decrease it. We can increase the wire speed. Both of those will do about the same thing. It'd be like really shortening up the arc. So, let's just leave the wire feed speed where it is, and we'll decrease the volts by three. We'll go from 26 5 down to 23 5 and see what happens. So, I decreased the volts by three. I was at 26 5, I went down to 23 5. Hopefully, what you'll be able to see here is it's going to be a shorter arc, less fluidity of the weld pool, and it may spatter and buck a little bit. About the only thing that I noticed happen was a little more spatter.

-Remember, I said this wire is very forgiving. The slag is still coming up in chunks. The weld stood up a little taller. Okay, and we had more noticeable hard spatter that came off of it. But, it still ran fine, and the bead looks fine. And if we want to increase that effect, then we would decrease our voltage even further. So, let's just run it on down to another three volts and see what happens. I don't expect it to run very well at all with another three volts. Well, it's trying to run, I can tell you that. And I'm pretty impressed with what I'm seeing with this particular wire here. Three volt change, and it still ran decent. It just had some hard spatter. We're six volts off of our baseline. At 26 5, I dropped it down to 20 1/2. It's still trying to run.

-It just doesn't have the voltage to combust the wire and get fluid. While I was running this, and this is why I quit halfway through, is because you can kind of feel the wire just coming down and bumping the grounded plate. So, you know, not a good condition, and you can see why. So, now, we can go back to our baseline of 26.5, 450. We can leave, we can recreate this effect kind of on the higher end, and run way too much wire, but I don't think we need to recreate that condition.

-What we probably should do at this point is go back to our baseline at 26.5, leave the wire feed speed alone, and increase the voltage, but I don't want to go by threes. Let's go up by a volt and a half and show some effects. What we should see is longer arc, wider weld pool. So, this bead here was a volt and a half higher than our original 26 1/2. Now, we're at 28. I notice that the bead is wider and flatter, definitely, from what we just got through running too cold. But, from 26 5 compared to this, I noticed it being wider and flatter.

-From here, we can go up yet another volt and a half, and here's where I start getting, I don't know, I get a little uncomfortable. I don't like this too far out of balance here. I think this is going to be too wet, too wide, too fluid. I just lose control. In the flat position, probably wouldn't be bad. Vertical up, horizontal, I don't think I'd like this condition at all, but I'm going to try it. So, now we're at 29. We're three volts above where we had started at 26 5, and I said this wire, I keep saying this, this wire is very forgiving. We went low, it still ran, by three volts. Now, we're three volts above, and it did exactly what we thought it was going to do. It's wide, and it's fluid. And, under certain conditions, you may want this. So, you know, again, I'm not seeing any adverse effects here. I'm not seeing the wormhole porosity. I'm trying to keep my electrical stickout the same. Wow, so you know, again, find that baseline of where the wire is kind of supposed to run, and, you know, run some straight line beads in there. Play with your settings, somewhat. Go a little at a time, little bit in voltage, little bit of wire feed speed. All these machines run different, so find that spot in there where it's nice and smooth, it's not throwing out a lot of hard buckshot, edges are wetting in nice.

-Again, I wanted this to be kind of an introductory for those that are getting into running dual shield. We are running the Select-Arc 730, 045. Runs extremely well. So, I hope you found this educational. Please hit us in the comments if you have questions. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Hit that Love button. Subscribe to the channel. And thanks for watching Weld.com.