When Smaw Welding On Carbon Steel What Polarity Is Used?

Welding is a common yet complicated process that requires precise science and skill. It’s used to create almost any custom metal object or ensure stronger and more durable connections.

With the process of welding, comes a considerable amount of questions, chief among them being “when SMAW welding on carbon steel what polarity is used?”. This question is asked and searched for nearly 80,000 times a month by welding enthusiasts and professionals.

By learning and understanding the basics, you will be able to understand the fundamental concepts of when SMAW welding on carbon steel, choose the correct type of polarity, and ensure you produce stronger, longer lasting welds.


When the goal is to create the highest quality welds, the selection of welding polarity is an important factor to consider. One of the most commonly used welding processes, SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding) typically uses direct current (DC) for electronic welding. But when it comes to determining the correct polarity for welding carbon steel, there is not just one answer – it depends on a variety of factors.

Positive and Negative Polarity: Understanding the Basics

When the current flows in one direction in the welding circuit, it is known as positive polarity. In the opposite direction, it is described as negative polarity.

The selection of polarity can affect the weld’s electrical arc characteristics, bead shape and penetration, as well as the temper color and size of the weld deposit.

Polarity Selection for Welding Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is relatively easy to weld, and many welds on carbon steel can use both AC and DC polarity settings. In various positions and environments, different polarity settings can be used for SMAW.

AC is typically used for welding outside on carbon steel, as it provides greater arc stability and is less likely to cause porosity in the weld. DC can be used for SMAW welding on carbon steel in short circuits, where it provides greater penetration to the weld.

It is usually used for a variety of welding positions, including flat and horizontal, with an electrode favorable for DC welds.


When welding carbon steel, the selection of polarity depends on the welding environment.

AC is commonly used for welding outside on carbon steel, while DC is generally used for welding on carbon steel in short circuits and a variety of welding positions. Citation URL’s:https://www. millerwelds.

com/resources/article-library/articledetail/tabid/445/articleid/10594/what-is-welding-polarityhttps://www. strictlyderivatives. com/features/arc-welding

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