The amperage used with a 7018 welding rod will vary depending on a few factors, such as the thickness of the metal being welded, the welding position, and the specific welding machine being used. However, there are some general guidelines that can be followed when determining the appropriate amperage for welding with a 7018 electrode.
The amperage range for welding with a 7018 rod is typically between 70 and 140 amps for a 1/8-inch diameter electrode. For thicker electrodes, such as a 5/32-inch diameter rod, the amperage range may be between 100 and 185 amps. However, it’s important to note that these are just general guidelines, and the specific amperage used will depend on the factors mentioned above.
To determine the appropriate amperage for a specific welding project, it’s important to consult the welding machine’s user manual and refer to the electrode manufacturer’s recommendations. Additionally, it’s important to practice proper welding technique, such as maintaining a consistent travel speed and maintaining the proper arc length, as these factors can also impact the quality of the weld.
The 7018 welding rod is known for its high-quality welds and strong mechanical properties. Here are some of its unique characteristics:bv
- Low Hydrogen Content: The 7018 electrode has a low hydrogen content, which helps prevent weld cracking and ensures a strong, high-quality weld.
- Smooth and Stable Arc: The electrode’s coating helps create a smooth and stable arc, making it easier for welders to maintain control and produce clean, precise welds.
- Versatile: The 7018 electrode is suitable for welding a wide range of metals and can be used in all positions (flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead).
- Strong Welds: When used correctly, the 7018 electrode produces welds with high tensile strength, good ductility, and excellent impact resistance.
- Easy to Use: The electrode is relatively easy to use, even for beginners, thanks to its smooth arc and forgiving nature.
- Low Spatter: The electrode produces minimal spatter, which reduces cleanup time and helps ensure a clean weld.
- Long Shelf Life: The 7018 electrode has a long shelf life, making it a good choice for welders who need to keep a supply of electrodes on hand. However, it’s important to store the electrodes in a dry place to prevent moisture absorption, which can reduce their effectiveness.
Designators and classification
The American Welding Society (AWS) has established a classification system for welding electrodes, including the 7018 electrode. The designation for a 7018 electrode is “E7018.” Here’s what the classification and designators mean:
- “E” stands for electrode
- The minimum tensile strength of the weld metal deposited by the electrode is “70” in thousands of pounds per square inch (ksi).
- The number “1” denotes that the electrode can be utilised in all places (flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead).
- “8” indicates that the electrode should be used with direct current electrode-positive (DCEN) polarity.
So, the complete classification for a 7018 welding electrode is “E7018.” Other information, such as the electrode diameter, may also be included in the designation. For example, a 1/8-inch diameter 7018 electrode may be designated as “E7018-1/8.”
It’s important to use the correct electrode classification and designators for a specific welding project to ensure the electrode is appropriate for the intended use and welding conditions.
Here are the basic steps for using a 7018 welding rod:
- Prepare the surface: Clean the metal surface to be welded with a wire brush or grinder to remove any dirt, rust, or other contaminants. Make sure the surface is dry and free from any oil or grease.
- Select the appropriate welding machine and settings: Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate welding machine and settings for the specific 7018 electrode being used, based on the metal thickness and other factors.
- Prepare the electrode: Remove any coating or slag from the end of the electrode using a wire brush. Wipe away any debris with a clean, dry cloth.
- Set up the electrode holder: Insert the electrode into the electrode holder and tighten it securely.
- Position the electrode: Position the electrode at a 10- to 15-degree angle, with the tip of the electrode pointed in the direction of the weld.
- Start the arc: Strike the arc by tapping the electrode against the metal and quickly pulling it back. This should create a small arc that melts the tip of the electrode and creates a pool of molten metal on the surface of the metal being welded.
- Control the arc: Keep the arc length short (around 1/8 inch) and move the electrode slowly and steadily along the joint, maintaining a consistent travel speed.
- Add the filler metal: As you move the electrode along the joint, add filler metal to the molten pool as needed to create a strong, continuous weld.
- Inspect the weld: After the weld is complete, inspect it carefully for any defects or inconsistencies, such as porosity or cracks.
- Clean up: Use a wire brush or grinder to remove any slag or debris from the surface of the weld
Here are some techniques for welding with a 7018 electrode:
- Maintain a consistent travel speed: It’s important to maintain a consistent travel speed to ensure a uniform bead and avoid cold laps or undercutting. Practice moving the electrode at a steady pace, and use your non-welding hand to support your welding hand and maintain a steady grip.
- Keep the arc length consistent: Keep the distance between the electrode and the metal surface consistent, typically around 1/8 inch. If the arc is too long, the weld may have a weak, porous structure. If the arc is too short, it can cause the metal to burn through and create a weak spot in the weld.
- Use a weaving motion: To ensure an even distribution of heat, use a weaving motion as you move the electrode along the joint. This involves moving the electrode from side to side in a gentle, sweeping motion. Be careful not to weave too wide or too fast, as this can lead to a weak, inconsistent weld.
- Use the correct amperage: Using the correct amperage is critical for achieving a strong, high-quality weld. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate amperage based on the thickness of the metal being welded and the welding position.
- Clean the metal surface: Make sure the metal surface is clean and free of rust, oil, or other contaminants before welding. This will assist in ensuring a strong, uniform weld.
- Choose the right electrode diameter: The diameter of the electrode should be appropriate for the thickness of the metal being welded. For example, a 1/8 inch electrode is typically used for welding metal that is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
- Monitor the weld pool: Keep an eye on the weld pool to ensure it is stable and consistent. If it starts to boil or splash, reduce the amperage or increase the travel speed to maintain a stable pool. If the pool becomes too small, increase the amperage or slow down the travel speed.
Packing, storage, transportation, and reconditioning
Proper handling, packing, storage, transportation, and reconditioning of 7018 welding rods are important to maintain their quality and performance. Here are some guidelines:
- Packing: When packaging 7018 welding rods, use a container that protects the rods from damage and moisture during transportation and storage. The container should be made of a material that does not contaminate or damage the electrodes, such as plastic or cardboard.
- Storage: Store the electrodes in a dry, temperature-controlled environment to prevent moisture absorption, which can lead to hydrogen cracking and poor weld quality. Ideally, store them in a rod oven or a dry storage cabinet at a temperature between 250°F and 300°F.
- Transportation: Handle the electrodes with care during transportation to prevent damage to the coating or breakage of the electrodes. Use a sturdy container that can withstand handling during shipping and transportation.
- Reconditioning: If the electrodes have been exposed to moisture or have been stored improperly, they may require reconditioning before use. To recondition the electrodes, dry them in a rod oven or at a temperature of 700°F for one to two hours.
- Inspection: Before use, inspect the electrodes for any defects or damage, such as cracks, chipping, or damage to the coating. If the electrodes are damaged, do not use them.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your 7018 welding rods are properly handled, stored, transported, and reconditioned to maintain their quality and performance for welding applications.
In conclusion, the 7018 welding rod is a popular and versatile electrode used for welding in various industries. Its unique characteristics, such as low hydrogen content, make it ideal for welding critical applications where strength and quality are essential. Proper techniques for using 7018 electrodes include maintaining a consistent travel speed, controlling the arc length, using a weaving motion, and choosing the appropriate amperage. It is also important to handle, pack, store, transport, and recondition the electrodes properly to maintain their quality and performance. Following these guidelines can help ensure that your welding projects are successful and produce strong, high-quality welds.