Welding is an essential and versatile manufacturing process used to join two materials together in a strong and permanent bond. Have you ever wondered what exactly is “flux” in welding?
If yes, then this article is just for you! Flux is the material used to protect and contain the welding arc, which creates a high temperature, melting the metals and connecting them together. It is essentially a cleaning agent, removing any debris that can form during the welding process.
Studies show that flux usage in welding accounts for as much as 10% of all industrial welding activity, with around 10 billion lbs of flux powder and 4 billion lbs of flux-cored wire used annually in the U. S.
What is Flux in Welding?Flux in welding refers to a material that shields the welding zone, prevents oxidation, and facilitates the flow of electrons to form a consistent reliable weld.
It is a device used in MIG, TIG, arc welding and other welding processes that is placed between the junction of two parts to be welded and provides a layer of protection from the environment. It is also necessary for other reasons, such as controlling the deposition rate, controlling the arc heat and protect against oxidation, or cleaning the base material.
Properties of Flux
- It burns away in the arc, thus cleaning the surface and removing contaminants.
- It increases the rate of deposition and gives the weld more strength.
- It reduces the tendency of the weld to form cracks, fissures, or shrinkage cavities.
- It increases the wetting action of the molten metal, resulting in greater heat transfer.
- It inhibits atmospheric contamination of the weld joint.
Types of Flux
- Active Flux: It is a flux that requires an external heat-source and can only be used in the presence of an arc.
- Inert Flux: It is a flux that is not consumed by the welding process and is used to protect the weld area during welding.
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) Flux: It is a flux that is used for SMAW welds.
- Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) Flux: It is a flux that is used for SAW welds.
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) Flux: It is a flux that is used for GMAW welds.
Advantages of Flux
- It allows for more control over the welding process as it can be used to control the rate of deposition, the implementation of filler material, and to control temperature.
- It allows for higher quality welds as it helps prevent oxidation, contamination and slag inclusion in the weld.
- It improves weld penetration and mechanical properties.
- It reduces the amount of electrode material consumed during the welding process, thus reducing costs.