Have you heard of stick welding in Umatilla County, OR? Stick welding is also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) or covered electrode welding, and is an extremely popular method of welding.
How Stick Welding Works
Stick welding joins metals together by using a fixed length electrode and a power source. The core of the electrode is covered with metal compounds, minerals and a binding agent, and conducts metal filler and electricity to the joint. As the workpiece and electrode metal becomes molten, they make a pool of metal that will form a joint when cooled. Typically, the arc voltage requirements run from 16 to 40 volts, and the amperage range is 20 to 550 amp.
Benefits of Stick Welding
- Versatile: Stick welding can be done virtually anywhere welding is required, from ships to pipelines. The equipment also allows welders to reach into difficult areas. Some electrodes are 12 to 16 inches in length. Since the equipment is portable, it can be done inside or outside, in the field or on a production line—even in the wind or rain. That’s part of the reason it’s so popular.
- Simple and inexpensive equipment: The simple and inexpensive equipment used in stick welding makes it portable and adds to its versatility. Since it doesn’t require shielding gas, it’s significantly cheaper. Stick welding also makes it easy to switch between metals—all the welder has to do is change out the electrode, and the rest of the equipment stays the same.
- Less sensitive: Since stick welding is less sensitive to dirt, paint and corrosion on the joint site, it cuts down on time for the pre-welding cleanup that must be performed.
Limitations of Stick Welding
- It’s slow and complicated, even if you’re experienced: Stick welding is slower than other forms of welding, and since it’s a more complicated process, it requires a welder with experience in stick welding. It’s also more difficult to weld thinner metals, and it takes more time to chip away the slag that forms during the process.
- Higher risk of flaws: With stick welding, there’s a higher rate of porosity, excessive splatter and rough surfaces.
- Not suitable for reactive metals: Reactive metals like titanium, zirconium, tantalum and columbium aren’t good for stick welding because there’s nothing to shield it from oxygen contamination.
- Entirely manual process: Stick welding can’t be mechanized, which is good for portability, but bad for your time and manual labor costs.
Do you have questions about stick welding? Are you wondering if it’s the right method for your project, or just want to learn more? The experienced team at NW Metal Fabricators Inc. is here to help. Since 1986, we’ve been the go-to team for stick welding in Umatilla County, OR. Our specialties include custom production of storage bins, conveyors, catwalks, handrails, gates, storage tanks, water heater tanks, sanitary piping, steam piping and trailer truck hitches. Contact us today to discover what we can craft for you—we look forward to working with you soon!
Categorised in: Welding
This post was written by Writer