Having the right welding rod is an integral part of properly welding a joint. The 7018 rod is one of the most popular rods for welding, and for good reason.
It has been used for welders for many years and is a popular choice for structural welding, pipe welding, and other applications. With over 3 million tons of 7018 rods produced in the US each year, we can certainly see why it is so popular. So, what is a 7018 welding rod used for, what advantages does it have, and what makes it the preferred choice of welders?
That’s what this article will cover. With its long history of success, strong welds, and great arc characteristics, the 7018 rod is a powerful tool in any welder’s arsenal.
What is a 7018 Welding Rod?The 7018 welding rod is an all-purpose, low-hydrogen, mild steel electrode used for shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) processes.
It is made of mixtures of cellulose, graphite, silica, fluoride, lime and other compounds for use with the harder ferrous materials like various steel alloys. This type of electrode is used for both maintenance and production processes, providing benefits such as superb weldability and high welding speed.
Types of 7018 Welding RodsThe 7018 welding rod is available in different forms; such as covered electrodes, flux-cored electrodes, cut-lengths, and open arc electrodes.
Each is designed for particular welding tasks.
Covered Electrodes:Covered electrodes are often referred to as electrodes, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
A 7018 electrode features an outer covering that creates the protective shield for the arc welding process. It usually consists of larger diameter rods with more mixtures in their composition, making them suitable for high currents with smooth and stable arc characteristics.
Flux-Cored Electrodes:Flux-cored electrodes are similar to a covered electrode but with a different outer covering material that includes a flux core instead of a metallic one.
The flux core eliminates the need for a separate shielding gas and is perfect for welding thicker materials. Since the flux core provides the arcing current, flux-cored electrodes are efficient for welding outdoors or in areas with less access to a shielding gas.
Cut-Lengths:Cut-lengths are 7018 welding rods that are pre-cut to a certain length and do not come with any outer covering.
This type of electrode is suitable for running high-amperage machines, as they keep the current density in the weld pool. Cut-lengths can be used for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals and are suitable for fillet and lap joints.
Open Arc Electrodes:Open arc electrodes are designed to be used along with a shielding gas, and they provide a cleaner and more consistent arc. These electrodes can be used in both upright and flat positions, allowing for productivity and welding performance. As they don’t have a covering that provides protection when stored and handled, open arc electrodes must be used within one hour or so of being exposed to the atmosphere.
Uses of 7018 Welding Rods7018 welding rods are some of the most commonly used and versatile welding rods available in the market. Their ability to transfer heat quickly and a low hydrogen content makes them perfect for welding low, medium, and high carbon steels, alloy steels, and various stainless steel grades. Some of the applications of 7018 welding rods include:
- Welding and repairing sheet steel.
- Structural and piping assemblies.
- Welding low and high carbon steels.
- Repairing farm, truck, and automotive parts.
- Welding pressure vessels, such as pipes and tanks.
- Welding and repairing shear blades, molds and dies.
- Welding and repairing cast iron.
- Welding stainless steels, super alloy steels, and alloy steels.