Flux core welding is a specialized process that uses a hollow wire electrode fed through the welding gun and into the joint. One main benefit of this process is that flux core welding doesn’t require a shielding gas to protect the weld pool. Flux core welding is typically used when welding thicker metals. It is ideal for heavy-duty, industrial, or automotive applications since the finished bond is very secure. One of the main benefits of flux core welding is that it can be easily performed outside in a variety of conditions, quickly and effectively.
Before you begin, you must take your safety into consideration. Make sure to wear welding goggles, a welding mask, gloves, a leather apron, and work boots. Wear goggles under the mask to protect from hot slag and debris. Make sure to wear safety goggles at all times, even during cleanup. Always wear welding gloves, even during setup and cleanup to prevent cuts from metal edges. Additional safety garments can include a properly fitted welding jacket and proper work pants. Denim is recommended for ultimate comfort and safety.
The first step is to gather all your equipment. This includes your flux cored welder, ground clamps, slag chipping hammer, wire brush, and a spool of flux core wire.
To start, cut your steel to size. The steel must be free from any rust, paint or other contaminants. Clean it with a carbon steel wire brush to remove any debris. Next, load the wire into the machine by following the proper instructions that came with your machine.
Connect the grounding clamp to the workpiece. Clean the area the clamp contacts the workpiece with a wire brush. Clamp the workpieces together with C-clamps, locking pliers or magnetic squares.
Set the correct voltage, amperage and wire feed speed for your project. Tap the wire to the steel and quickly pull back, striking an arc. Keep squeezing the trigger as you move the gun along the steel. Move at the right speed for the steel, this will take some testing on your part.
Finally, Unplug the welder, but keep your safety equipment on. Using a slag chipping hammer, chip all of the slag off of the weld. A spring handled hammer is easy to grip even with gloves on and reduces shock for long periods of work. Brush the weld with a nylon wire brush to get the little bits of slag out. Flux core welding is something you can master only with experience. If you’re not yet a pro, practice on scrap or test projects before taking on tougher work. Flux core welding can take time to learn, so don’t jump into important projects right away. Make at least a few test welds first even if you’re already familiar with other types of welding. If you’re not ready to take on a welding project on your own, enlist the help of an auto body shop. Breezy Point Auto Body in Stratford, CT is available for all auto body repair needs, including welding. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment.