What is Flux Core Arc Welding and How to Get Started

Flux Core Arc welding is a type of electric-resistance welding that uses an electric current to penetrate metals and join them. It is most often used for steel and stainless steel, but it can also be used on aluminum and titanium or other types of metal.

Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW) is a type of arc welding that uses gasless wire as the filler material instead of flux cored wire. It offers significant advantages over traditional welding processes by eliminating the need for flux cored wire shielding gasses, reducing the amount of waste material created, decreasing distortion in the finished welds, and increasing production rates.

If you are interested in getting started with FCAW, read on to learn more about what FCAW is and how to get started with it!

What Is Flux Core Arc Welding?

Arc welding is a process of joining metals by melting them with an electric current. The most common form of arc welding is gas metal arc welding (GMAW), which uses a continuous wire feed to deliver the filler metal. Flux cored arc welding (FCAW) also used the same basic principles of GMAW, but instead substitutes gasless wire for flux cored wire. The difference in the two types of arc welding is that FCAW doesn’t need shielding gasses, and it produces less waste material than GMAW.

FCAW was developed in response to a need for a more efficient welding process that could be used with different types of metallurgy. In traditional welding processes, flux cored wire must be used because it provides protection from fumes and particles released during the weld. However, these shielding gasses are not necessary for FCAW because the gasless wires do not produce any emissions or particles.

In addition to eliminating the need for shielding gas, FCAW also offers several other advantages over traditional methods: It reduces waste production by as much as 80%, decreases distortion in finished welds, and increases production rates by as much as 35%. These significant advantages make FCAW a very viable process for all welding jobs.

How to Get Started With Flux Core Arc Welding

FCAW welding is a type of arc welding that uses gasless wire as the filler material instead of flux cored wire. It offers significant advantages over traditional welding processes by eliminating the need for flux cored wire shielding gasses, reducing the amount of waste material created, decreasing distortion in the finished welds, and increasing production rates.

Getting started with FCAW requires three things:

  • A machine that produces an arc (electric current)
  • Source of gasless wire (the filler material)
  • Equipment that provides the shielding gases

The most popular types of machines for this type of welding are MIG welders or TIG welders.

Equipment You Will Need

In order to practice FCAW, you will need a machine that is capable of it. The machine you use should have a power source between 220 and 240 volts and a foot pedal or hand control for setting the current. You may also want to invest in some welding rods.

FCAW machines are typically designed for specific welding applications, so you should know what you’ll be welding before investing in one. A machine with a configuration that is not designed for the process will not provide the desired results.

How to Prepare For a With Flux Core Arc Welding Job

If you are unfamiliar with welding, the preparation process can be daunting. Learning how to weld takes time and practice! But don’t worry—we are here to help.

When getting ready for a FCAW job, it’s important to be prepared for the following:

  • You will need a ground clamp just in case you have any electrical leaks that cause your arc to go out.
  • You will need an electrode holder, which is what holds the electrode while you’re welding. FCAW electrodes come in different sizes. Be sure to get the right size for your project!
  • You will also need safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from any flying sparks or metal particles that may be emitted while welding.
  • To protect your skin from burns, make sure you are wearing heavy gloves and long sleeves.

Safety Precautions

One of the best things about FCAW is that it is a more environmentally friendly process than other welding methods. It produces less waste material, which means less clean up for you.

However, there are some safety precautions you’ll need to take when starting out with this type of welding.

For example, arc welding works by using an electric current that creates heat in metal. As a result, your clothing should have some fire-resistant qualities to protect you from the sparks created by the welding process.

Your clothes should also cover your arms and legs so they are not exposed to any potential sparks or flames. You’ll also want to make sure your skin is protected by wearing gloves and boots made of leather or canvas with rubber soles.

9
leaseek leather welding jacket

Leaseek Leather Welding Jacket Recommended for FCAW

Great balance of protection & price
Open back
Detachable apron

Common Problems and Fixes for With Flux Core Arc Welding

FCAW is a well-known and high-quality welding process for steel, but it does come with its challenges. Some common problems include:

  1. The welds are thicker than those made using traditional methods like shielded metal arc weld (SMAW).
  2. The heat input can be too high which can cause warping or burning in the finished weld.
  3. Welding resistance is not constant which results in an inconsistent and poor looking weld.
  4. An arc instability problem that causes intermittent and sporadic arcing, which leads to burnt and burned spots on the metal being welded.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, then you need to fix them before they get worse or cost you business time and money!

3 recommended With Flux Core Arc welders

YesWelder 250A MIG Pro

Budget option
Dynamic control-set arc control
Simple one button selection design
Manual MIG, Synergic MIG, MMA(STICK), Lift TIG

Lincoln Easy MIG 180

MIG/Flux Core process
Output Range 30 to 180A DC
Input Voltage 208/240V AC

Hobart Handler 210

Plenty of power on tap – 120/240V
Built-in gas solenoid value and dual-gauge regulator with gas hose
Fine control of parameters

Conclusion to Flux Core Arc Welding

Flux core arc welding, or FCAW, is a form of welding that uses an electric arc to melt the metal and create a weld. FCAW often uses flux cored, metal cored, or self-shielded flux cored welding wire. The process is good for thin metal sheets or pieces of metal that are less than 10mm thick.

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