If you have access to a MIG welder and you may not have access to the gas you typically use to shield the weld puddle, fear not! There are ways to MIG weld without the use of the additional gas that will still get your job done the way you want and you can trust its outcome.
Flux cored wire filler metal, or FCAW-S (flux core arc welding-self-shielded), has been a staple for those who MIG weld without an additional gas source. This process is not limited to beginners and can produce excellent quality welds under a number of conditions. Welding with flux core wire is especially good for use in windy conditions.
In this process, the self-shielding wire has a core made up of a specific flux. While welding, the flux gives off a gas which helps shield the weld puddle from atmospheric gases, much like the way a gas that is applied while MIG welding with a gas. Keep in mind there is no such thing as “gasless welding”. Flux produces its own gas at the point of the actual weld puddle.
There are some handy advantages when using FCAW-S welding.
Eliminates the Use of a Gas Tank
If you are in an area that has a tight confined space, or you would like to be carrying less to the work site, this is an excellent choice.
Great for Outdoor Welding
If you have work to be done outdoors, especially in windy conditions, you can count on flux core wire to create the shielding gas around your weld puddle once it burns. When the arc is created and the wire melts, the flux then creates the gas shield, which is more likely to stay in place while the wind is blowing.
Less Restrictive on Types of Surfaces
A beauty of FCAW-S welding is that due to the wire structure and composition, it is far less picky about the surfaces you can weld on. Though it’s recommended that you clean your surfaces to be welded from rust and dirt, this process is far more forgiving when rust and/or dirt are present.
Though you can MIG weld with an added gas or utilize flux cored wire for your job, this style of welding provides excellent results in a wide variety of situations.
Lean on the KnowHow™ of a nexAir professional at a location near you to help you make the right choices for your next jobs.
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