Welding wire is an integral part of the welding process and it is estimated that over 800 million pounds of welding wire is produced in the United States each year. Though the exact composition of each welding wire varies, they are traditionally composed of three core components; copper, mild steel, and zinc.
In addition, a variety of alloys are also used to increase the strength, abrasion-resistance, or durability of the wire. In this article, we will discuss what exactly welding wire is made of, the different types of welding wire, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
What Is Welding Wire?Welding wire is a type of consumable electrode used in welding, a process that joins two or more pieces of metal. Welding wire is typically made of mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or copper-coated steel, and is available in both solid wire and flux-cored wires.
The wire feed of the welding unit is what controls the size and amount of the welding wire being used.
Uses Of Welding WireWelding wire is most commonly used in MIG welding (metal inert gas) and TIG welding (tungsten inert gas) processes.
Welding wire is used to construct and reinforce structures, and strengthen components in industrial, automotive, aerospace, and other industries.
Types Of Welding WireThere are two types of welding wire available: solid wire and flux-cored wire.
Solid WireSolid wire is a single-strand wire composed of a metal alloy. It is typically used in MIG welding and some TIG welding applications. It is available in a range of diameters, from 0.
02 inch (0. 5 mm) to 1/16 inch (6 mm), and is used for various types of welding jobs, from general-purpose to highly specialized.
Flux-Cored WireFlux-cored wire is composed of a hollow tubular electrode containing a flux-filled welding compound. It is primarily used for welding ferrous metals, such as mild steel, stainless steel, and hardox steel, among others.
It is available in a variety of diameters and is considered more convenient to use than solid wire, as it doesn’t require an external shielding gas.