Cigweld welding rods come in various sizes and shapes. Some are straight, some are round, and some even look like sticks or pencils. How do you tell them apart? What does each number mean?
Welding rods have numbers and letters on the ends of their shanks. These numbering systems indicate the type of rod they are. They can be made from various materials including carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper, nickel, titanium, brass, silver, bronze, lead, magnesium, zinc, tungsten carbide, and other alloys.
If your welding rod is labelled with a letter instead of a number, this particular rod contains more than one material. For example, if your welding rod says “A”, then it could have up to three different materials: carbon steel, aluminium, and/or stainless steel.
The most common types of welding rods used by welders today are listed below.
- Carbon Steel (CS)
These are the most popular rods for general use because they offer good corrosion resistance and high toughness. CS rods are also relatively easy to work with when compared to other types of rods. However, these rods are not as strong as others so they should only be used where strength is not required.
- Stainless Steel (SS)
SS rods are very similar to CS rods but they are slightly harder and stronger. They are ideal for applications that require extra strength such as cutting, grinding, drilling, etc.
- Aluminium (AL)
Aluminium has become an increasingly popular choice for many welding applications due to its lightweight properties. It is often combined with other metals to create new products. AL rods are commonly used in construction, automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, and heavy machinery industries.
- Copper (Cu)
Copper is another metal that is widely used in industry. This is mainly because of its electrical conductivity which makes it useful for wiring and power transmission.
Cu rods are generally available in two forms: solid and wire. Solid rods are usually used for welding tasks that involve large amounts of filler metal. Wire rods are usually used to join thin sections together.
- Titanium (Ti)
Titanium is one of the strongest metals known to man. Because of this, it is used in making aircraft parts. Ti rods are mostly used for welding applications where heat is generated quickly.
- Brass (Br)
This is probably the most versatile metal out there. It is lightweight, durable, and can withstand extreme temperatures. Br rods are used for welding tasks that need to be done quickly.
- Nickel (Ni)
Nickel is another metal that is sometimes used in manufacturing. It is hard, tough, and highly resistant to corrosion. Ni rods are best suited for welding applications that require high levels of hardness.
- Tungsten Carbide (WC)
This is a non-ferrous metal that is used for cutting tools. WC rods are often used by machinists who cut metals or perform other operations involving sharp edges.
- Iron Powder (IP)
Iron powder offers great versatility. It is used for welding applications that require a lot of filler metal. IP rods contain small particles of high iron oxide that are mixed into the base metal before being heated.
- Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)F
Shield metal arc welding is a process that uses electricity to melt the tip of the electrode and the surface of the metal pieces being joined. SMAW is suitable for joining thinner sheets of metal and is especially effective when working with low melting point metals.
These are the most common rods used in welding. There are many more rods on the market today. Some are made from different materials while some come in various shapes. If you want to learn more about what type of rod is right for your application, then check out our guide.
Cigweld welding rods are designed to provide specific characteristics to help welders complete their projects. These include things like durability, toughness, flexibility, and ease of general purpose.
How do these rods differ from each other?
The first thing we should discuss is how these rods differ from each other. This will help us understand why certain rods are better than others.
- Tensile Strength
When looking at any welding rod, you should look at its tensile strength. This number tells us how much force it takes to break a rod.
Generally speaking, the higher the number, the stronger the rod. You may also see numbers such as 1000 psi. This means that it would take 1,000 pounds per square inch of pressure to break the rod.
Another important characteristic of a welding rod is density. In general, the lower the number, the lighter the weight. For example, if you had 2.4 grams per cubic centimetre, it would weigh only 2.4 grams per ounce.
When talking about hardness, we are referring to the ability of a material to resist scratching. Cigweld welding rods are made up of different types of materials.
They are generally grouped according to their hardness. These groups include soft, medium, and hard. Soft refers to the least amount of resistance to scratching. Medium is next, followed by hard.
Flexibility is the ability of a material that allows it to bend without breaking. This can help you work around obstacles during a project. Flexible welding position rods allow you to move them around corners and curves.
- Electrode Size
Welding electrodes are the tips of the rods. They are usually made from tungsten carbide or copper. When choosing an electrode size, you need to consider the thickness and diameter of the rod.
- Base Metals
refer to the materials that make up the rest of the welding rod. Common examples include stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminium, and brass. Each one has its own properties. Stainless steel is harder than carbon steel and is good for cutting and grinding.
Carbon steel is softer than stainless steel and works well for bending and forming. Aluminium and brass have similar properties but they are not as strong as carbon steel.
Oxidation is the process where oxygen reacts with another substance. It happens naturally over time and makes the base metal rust. When selecting a welding rod, you want to avoid using ones that have been oxidized because this will affect their performance.
- Powder Coat Finish
refers to the coating applied to the end of a welding rod. This helps protect the rod against corrosion. However, it does not add any extra strength to the rod.
- Hydrogen Content
refers to the percentage of hydrogen in the alloy. If the amount of hydrogen is too high, then the resulting weld could be brittle. Conversely, too little hydrogen potassium can cause porosity in the weld. Porosity is when there is air trapped inside the weld.
- Potassium (K)
Potassium is used to increase the melting point of the alloy. It is commonly found in alloys that contain chromium and nickel.
Knowing the difference between rods from each other helps you choose which one to use.
The biggest thing to remember is that no two welding rods are exactly alike. So, when choosing your Cigweld welding rods, you should know what type of job you are going to do before purchasing one.