Flux-cored arc welding, or FCAW, is a common welding technique that has existed since the 1950s. Arc welding uses an electric arc to generate heat that melts and ultimately binds metal. Since flux-cored welding is taught in welding training programs, here is a brief overview of this welding method.
What is fluxed cored welding?
Flux-cored arc welding is a semi-automatic or automatic arc welding process. This arc welding technique creates an electronic arc through a continuously fed consumable tubular electrode containing a flux (flow) and a constant voltage welding power supply. It is similar to MIG welding, only that the electrode is shielded from air by the flux core. 1 There are two types of flux-cored arc welding, with and without shielding gas.
Flux cored welding advantages and disadvantages
Ready to Move Forward?
Whether you need more information, want to speak to someone, or start the application process, we're with you every step of the way. Contact us to get started on working toward your future.
The advantages of flux-cored arc welding include:
- Has high efficiency and productivity
- Can be used with many types of metal with different thickness range
- Requires less pre-cleaning than MIG
- Arc is easy to see and use
- No need for gas apparatus
- Can be used outdoors
- Doesn’t require high skill level
However, this welding technique also has some downsides:
- Limited to ferrous metals and nickel-based alloys
- Produces slag that must be removed
- Equipment is more expensive
- Produces more fume than MIG welding 2
Flux cored welding applications and industries
Because of its many advantages, flux-cored arc welding is used in industries that require a high number of welds or involves outdoor welding. It is also used in areas where gas cylinder and gas shielding cannot be readily used, and a useful method for welding material that has some scale, rust, or other contaminants. Flux-cored arc welding is commonly used in the following jobs:
- Ship building
- Shop fabrication
Flux-cored arc welding has been an efficient and reliable welding method for decades. As a professional welder, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each welding method. This knowledge can help determine which techniques to choose for what application.
1 – http://www.gowelding.org/welding/fcaw-flux-cored-arc-welding/
2 – https://www.praxairdirect.com/Industrial-Gas-and-Welding-Information-Center/Welding-Tips-Tricks-and-Information/Flux-Cored-Welding.html