7 Tips & Tricks to Get You Started with Flux Core Welding for Beginners
Flux core welding is a popular welding technique that is used in a variety of industries. It is known for its simplicity and versatility, making it a great option for beginners. If you’ve made the decision to start flux core welding, that’s a great choice, especially for beginners. The equipment is user-friendly and you can easily initiate an arc with the trigger pull. Compared to other welding techniques like stick welding, flux core is easier to learn.
Although flux core welding is not the traditional first step in welding (stick welding is usually learned first), it can still teach you a lot about welding principles. However, there is still a learning curve involved. To help you get started, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Here are 7 tips and tricks to help you get started with flux core welding:
Tip #1: Verify Your Polarity is Correct
When using a dual shield flux core (flux-cored wire with shielding gas), it’s important to confirm the wire is DC+, meaning direct current electrode positive. This directs 2/3 of the heat in the arc toward the wire.
On the other hand, some wires, particularly those that are self-shielded, require DC-, which means direct current electrode negative. Using DC+ with these wires may result in significant spatter as the wire cannot handle that level of heat. It also won’t provide as much penetration into the joint.
Tip #2: Master Dragging the Welding Gun
For FCAW, it’s best to use a slight drag as your travel angle. This is because flux and slag are produced during welding, and dragging the gun helps prevent slag from getting underneath the weld. However, be careful not to drag too much.
Keeping your gun at an angle of 15°–30° while dragging it is acceptable. Going beyond this angle can result in a too-convex throat of your weld (the distance from the joint to the surface of the weld), which can affect the appearance of the weld. Generally, you want a flat weld appearance, unless specified otherwise. Although pushing the gun can create a flatter weld appearance, it can also trap slag and result in a too-concave weld. Therefore, it’s best to stick to a slight drag.