View Full Version : simple flux core question?
05-13-2004, 04:04 PM
Ok this could be a dumb question, but when your just doing flux core welding without gas, is the wire different then if your using gas? So for instance with my HH-135 that comes with a spool of flux core .030, can that be used for both gas and non-gas?
Also i've been reading a lot about what gas to use when i start to do mig welding and I think i'm going to go with CO2 to start out with. Is that a good choice?
05-13-2004, 04:24 PM
The wire is different. If you use shielding gas with your self-shielded flux-cored wire, you aren't going to hurt anything, but you're not going to get the benefits of using a shielding gas either.
Solid wire, to be used with a gas, is much less expensive than flux-cored wires, but you have to factor in the cost of the cylinder, gas, and regulator.
CO2 is an excellent choice IF you have a regulator that can take the colder temperatures of CO2 being released from pressure. The Smith regulators that come with the MMs (and I would assume the HHs) WILL freeze if used for CO2, even under low duty cycles. Ask me how I know, twice.
A CO2 cylinder will last longer because the gas is stored as a liquid under a lower pressure, instead of just a high pressure gas. And I had excellent quality in my beads while I was using CO2. I only recently switched to 84/16 Ar/CO2 for other reasons.
CO2 gives slightly greater penetration, too. But the flux-cored wires give the greatest penetration, if this is your need. Remember that the 135-class machines are at their peak with 1/8" steel using gas, and 3/16" using flux-cored.
Also, remember that solid wire runs on electrode positive and flux-cored wire runs on electrode negative polarity.
05-13-2004, 05:02 PM
all that is good information. So what i don't understand is that if flux core gives better penitration then using the gas, then why not always use it? I know the shielding gas makes for a cleaner weld, but I guess my question is how much cleaner is it? Would you recomend (having never used a 135 machine before, but with some Oxy/Acetylene stick experiance) I learn using the flux core? Or should i start out with the gas?
as a side note, i'm not asking because i'm too cheap to go buy the gas, but more just wanting to know the best way to practice.
Most of the work i'm going to be starting out with doesn't need to look pretty.
*also do you know of any good web sites to purchase a CO2 regulator?
05-13-2004, 05:15 PM
i think that it would be a good way to learn with the fluxcore. get the flux undercontrol and when you switch you will be that much better
i use fluxcore all the time and it took me about 10 minutes to get it good then in the shop we use c02
plus if you are weling outside you will be wasting the money on the gas !
05-13-2004, 05:56 PM
While its true that by nature fluxcore penetrates better it isnt always needed. Sometimes its a problem on light metals. Penetration is an overused word, there is a difference between penetration and fusion. For many joints fusion is the issue and penetration is largely determined by joint design. C02 is fine, I happen to like C25 as penetration is milder and it works well on thinner materials, costs a little more but at my rate of use it is negligable. I use all solid wire, so much easier for poor fit up, filling gaps and needs no clean up or cleaning between passes. As Dawg said, outside in the wind its not going to be so good and with small machines on heavier stock it wont melt the material as well.
05-13-2004, 06:00 PM
Dawg and Sberry covered what I missed.
One thing I would add is that welding with solid wire and gas may make it easier for you to see and therefore control the puddle. And controlling the puddle is what separates a weldor from someone with a hot glue gun for steel.
If you know what your typical projects will be and where you will be welding them, we can better steer you toward the better option.
05-13-2004, 08:08 PM
Throw that arcdawg a bone, Ive got to go with him on the flux core for out door use. That is why im a big fan of flux core.
How much cleaner is gas shielding over flux core? On gas shielding there is no flux, at all, none. The shielding of the atmosphere around the arc is done with nothing but gas. Now flux core is just what it sounds like, the flux is in the center of the wire and as it burns it creates gases that shield the arc form atmosphere.
To start out I would keep it simple go with flux core, you wont have to mess with gas ( co2), regulators ect.
05-14-2004, 01:00 PM
Ok Great, I'll start out learing with the flux core and then go from there. The first project I will be working on is repairing my broken go-kart. The metal cracked where the backrest meets the side rails from stress. I'm not sure what thickness the tubes are, but I can find out. I read in some of the other threads that it's a good idea to grind the paint down, so i'm going to do that first.
Is this something i can flex core with my HH-135?
Also (way) down the road I would like to experiment welding aluminum, my questions are: 1. how steap is the learning curve? and 2. How thin of aluminum can the HH-135 weld?
(I'm pretty sure you need argon gas to do that right)
05-14-2004, 01:03 PM
The Kart is also for sale if anyone's interested. It's a blast to ride (40mph) :D
05-14-2004, 01:52 PM
It would be wise to practice on some scrap before welding your cart. If you can find similar material, make up joints like the one that needs repair. This will help with choosing the right settings and technique. Position your head, to see the puddle from a low angle, so you can see under the flux smoke. Pay attention to the wire "stick out" keep it consistent. Remember not to weld over any flux core welds without cleaning well first.
05-14-2004, 02:53 PM
aluminum is going to de diffuclt to weld with such a little machine, it take more heat to weld al. but you can try and you were right about the argon gas !!
the thing that you must remember is the prep work, good grounding and plenty of practice !!!!
and get in the habbit of tacking the work together before you weld solid
good luck,,,,,, post pics
06-13-2004, 10:21 AM
good advice here. i just started learning to weld. i found that flux-core is much easier than mig.
"practice" is THE key word.
06-15-2004, 12:07 AM
Since this is my first posting on this site,I'll start by asking a question! Is flux-cored, aluminum wire available?
06-15-2004, 01:23 AM
I'll Ask this question of poonker!, would it be worth your while learning TIG welding for your application? Most 'Racing' frames are welded using this method as it gives the most 'controllability' over the weld metal, and, after you learn the basics, is quite easy to master.
06-15-2004, 01:32 AM
I can tell you this. If a flux-cored Al wire IS available, it will be a dual-shielded wire, meaning you'll still need a shielding gas like Argon.
06-15-2004, 04:10 AM
^^ same with most stainless wires, except argon is not used in MIG stainless
06-21-2004, 01:26 AM
Hang on a minute, are we talking about stainless or aluminium here?
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.