3 Reasons to Break Free From Flux-Cored Wire in Welding

Posted by OTC DAIHEN on May 2, 2024


As welding technology advances, it's becoming increasingly clear that flux-cored wire might not always be the best option. In this article, we'll explore three compelling reasons why it might be time to bid farewell to flux-cored wire and embrace solid wire for your welding processes.

Three Reasons to Bid Farewell to Flux-Cored Wire in Welding

1. Flux-Cored Wire Is More Expensive

When it comes to the bottom line, cost considerations are paramount. Solid wire typically has a lower price point than flux-cored wire. A quick comparison online reveals that solid wire ranges from $3.5 to $4.5 per pound, while flux-cored wire can cost anywhere from $7 to $10 per pound. This substantial cost differential can impact your budget, especially for high-volume welding operations.

2. Solid Wire Produces a Higher Quality Weld in Most Situations

The quality of the weld is non-negotiable in any welding application. Take a look at the image showcasingImage showcasing the differences between a weld with flux-cored wire (left side of the image) and a weld with 0.035” solid wire (right side of the image) the differences between a weld with flux-cored wire (left side of the image) and a weld with 0.035” solid wire (right side of the image). 

Notice the distinct differences: the flux-cored weld (left) exhibits a lack of penetration, a small slag inclusion and a less desirable profile, whereas the solid wire weld (right) demonstrates deep penetration and a superior weld profile. Ideally, a weld will have a flat, uniform and consistent profile.

One advantage of Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) is the slag produced when welding vertically or overhead. The slag covering supports the weld puddle for vertical and overhead welds. If welds are made in the flat or horizontal position, weld quality is typically much better with solid wire.

3. Flux-Cored Wire Creates Potential Working Hazards

Beyond the weld itself, the working environment is another critical consideration. The flux coating on flux-cored wire produces substantial amounts of smoke and fumes during the welding process, leading to a potentially hazardous work environment.

On the other hand, solid wire, especially when paired with a high Argon shielding gas, generates significantly less smoke and fumes, thereby promoting a safer and healthier workplace for welders.

In the end, solid wire emerges as the clear winner in terms of cost-effectiveness, weld quality and fume control in welding. 

The Power Source Can Support a Switch in Welding Wire

Oftentimes, expensive flux-cored wire is used because it has a wider range of operating parameters and is more forgiving for operators. However, a switch in welding equipment can cut costs in many ways, including the kind and amount of wire and gas used.Welbee II

For example, the OTC DAIHEN Welbee II welding power source has technology that allows standard wires to weld with the same appeal as the more expensive wires and gas combinations. There is no need to purchase the more expensive welding wires or gases for these machines.

Also, the Welbee II creates minimal spatter, which equals minimal wasted wire and less post-weld cleanup, including labor and grinding materials. Want more information on Welbee power sources? Learn more in the Welbee II Welding Power Source Buyer's Guide and Comparison Chart.

OTC DAIHEN is your one-stop welding system supplier. We produce everything you need — welder, robot, torch, wire feeder and all the know-how to put it together and apply it to your toughest welding challenges.

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Topics: Robotic Welding, Manual Welding


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