Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?
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  1. #1
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    Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Is there any first hand knowledge of "Flux Core" SS mig wire out there? I don't need any at the moment,but I've got a lot of SS laying around in one form or another and some could be used for other things than it's intended forms.

    People seem to be aware of the product,but think it's only used in production work and those that have seen or used this wire don't seem inclined to share their impressions of it's use.

    I'm not the only one that has asked on this or other forums about welding SS,but the standard answer seems to center around solid SS wire & Tri-mix or C25 or Argon or Tig it.

    While these methods may have some success depending on who does the welding....It doesn't address the original question in most cases.

    They "DO" make a SS flux core wire.....which I assume was intended to mig weld SS. Most information I've found usually requires some sort of shielding gas,but not Tri-mix(one less gas bottle).

    The only small roll (1#) I found was $54,which is high unless you factor in another seldom used gas bottle(and SS wire isn't cheap anyway).

    Does anyone have any first hand knowledge/use of this form of SS flux core wire that would care to share it's performance and perhaps where it might be purchased in smaller than a 10# roll for occasional usage.

    I've looked around the www and the information I've found has been mostly from manufacturers of the wire,not from an end user and only one faint picture of a weld. It looked like it was done with a solid SS wire and gas.

    I've seen lots of questions about how to fix/repair/weld SS but everyone sidesteps the flux core SS ,even if asked specifically about flux core,and the thread continues along like nothing was said or asked about the FC SS wire.

    So if anyone has any definative information on "Flux Core" SS wire....Please.... Step-up to the plate and let the rest pick your brain about it's qualities or lack of usefulness.

    Thanks,Hope this answers some of the questions floating around on this subject.

  2. #2
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Weldingdepot.com

    David
    Real world weldin.

    When I grow up I want to be a tig weldor.

  3. #3
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    They list SS solid wire,but nothing at all under "flux core" wires ...no wire at all....which seems strange.

    Thanks though.

  4. #4
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    The only stainless wire I have used was dual sheild. My boss kept arguing with me that it was flux core, so it didn't need gas. So every time he walked away I would hook the argon back up(that was all we had at the time). The end result was that the parts that didn't get sheilding had lots of pinholes and the parts that did were fine.

  5. #5
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    That was the impression I got about the wire still requiring a shielding gas of some sort..Argon or CO2,but at least if you use gas anyway one of these is probably already handy so no requirement for another bottle(Tri-Mix).Although I've heard someone makes a wire that does not require the shielding gas....I've not located it yet.

    http://www.readywelder.com/accessories.php was the only source I've found for a 1# roll.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Never used any, but ESAB lists gas-shielded metal cored and gas shielded flux cored (dual-shield) and self-shielding fluxcore SS wires.

    www.esabna.com (if you're in North America).

  7. #7
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Esab does sell flux core SS and I assume the self-shielded type means no shielding gas required. Wonder what "metal core" is?

    It seems most of that SS wire is 33# to 250# rolls with just a few 10# rolls here-n-there.... mostly for production work I guess.

    If a 1# roll is $54....imagine the cost of a 250# roll.

    I'm thinking most of the readership was out enjoying the long weekend and perhaps we can get some hands on information as the work week progresses.

    Thanks for the responses.... Dave....Yea,I know another one (sometimes I think 1/2 the people on the internet are named Dave)
    *****************************************
    BTW... I'm in North America....North Louisiana in the "Piney Woods" about 50 miles east of Shreveport to be exact. I didn't realize my location wasn't listed in the upper right like others....don't know why it isn't or even how to add that feature.

  8. #8
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    re: your location

    Near the top of the screen, click on "User CP" (User Control Panel), and then from there click on "Edit Profile". Fill in your location or other information as you wish. Even a broad location is useful for other folks to know so that they may recommend 'better' area or locale information.

    Metal-core wire is similar to flux-core wire in that it is a hollow tube wire. But instead of the filling being just flux powder(s), in metal-core wires the filling mostly contains various metal powders. The deposit efficiency (how much of the weld filler actually ends up as weld bead and not slag or spatter or smoke) of metal-core wires is often higher than solid wire! The listed weld deposit efficiency of some of the ESAB metal-cored stainless steel GMAW wires is 90-99%! You have to use shielding gas with metal-core wires, they are not self-shielding.

    Self-shielding flux-core wires are just that, they have flux (powder) inside the hollow wire electrode that burns and turns to smoke and slag in the heat of the welding arc. It's pretty much a stick electrode turned inside-out (flux powder on the inside of the electrode for the wire and flux powder coating on the outside of the electrode for stick).

    Gas-shielded flux-core wires have flux powder on the inside but also need shielding gas as well. Hence the name 'dual-shield'. From the flux and the gas both shielding at the same time.

  9. #9
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    It is quite possible nobody has used the stuff. It is awfully expensive to just play with.
    The difference between art and craft is the quality of the workmanship. I am an artist.

  10. #10
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    It's obvious almost nobody has used it. There is almost no mention of it anywhere on the www I found one picture of one weld.

    http://www.thermadyne.com/IM_Uploads...%2062-2704.pdf

    I was trying to find someone that might have more information,but like you say it is expensive to play with.I'm in the middle of other things at the moment and don't have time,but if I can I'll try to get one of those 1# rolls just to see what the results might be using it. I'm sure it would perform better than using plain steel wire on SS without the loss of corrosion properties of the SS.If the weld doesn't make any difference on SS then plain steel wire is OK I guess,but if it can be welded correctly...why not.

    I happen to have a lot of SS sheet as well as a lot of SS restaurant equipment left over from a past fiasco and years ago I watched as some of it was cut-welded-repaired after someone had cut-butchered-ruined(O/A) a 75' buffet line I'd bought.I knew right then a plasma cutter & a mig were in my future. The finished results were nothing short of remarkable and I swear I don't remember the guy using gas with his mig to re-weld that counter. I have solid SS wire & can get a bottle of tri-mix,but if the flux core works...I'd like to at least try it and see the results...

    I think the cost factor is because nobody is aware of it & most people wouldn't need 33 plus # spools in the first place,except for production work. With everything going up(like bottle gas) if this was avaliable in 2# or even the 1# spools and the sales volume went up...the price might go down a bit.

    The whole thing seems like a no-brainer ...It must work well or it wouldn't be produced in the first place. The biggest stumbling block seems to be the large rolls and price. Small rolls and a drop in cost with good end results should make this wire a great option for SS repairs or occasional use.
    Last edited by mudbugone; 07-08-2008 at 08:13 AM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    I have used several different stainless gas shielded flux cored wires. They tend to run differently, but well. Since you have stainless sheet, you would probably want to use the same stuff used on mufflers and exhaust systems. I would reccommend Hobart Fabloy 439 or 409. They are metal core wires that run best with 98/2 Ar/O2. For the thicker stainless there is Hobart 410NiMo. It is an all-position wire that can be used with CO2 or 75/25 Ar/CO2.

  12. #12
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Can these wires be purchased in anything smaller than the 33#-50# spools? I can't imagine what even a 10# spool might cost.

    I'm assuming you used these wires in some sort of production setting...not a home shop.

    If you can...could you post any pictures of beads with either of the mentioned wires? Not so much for myself,but for the forum readership in general as examples of the SS flux core wire on SS.


    Thank You for your input.

  13. #13
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Unfortunately, I cannot post any pics of the beads done with these wires.

    For the 410NiMo, 33lb spools are the norm...either that or 60lb coils.

    For the Fabloy 439 and 409, 600lb drums are the norm, but I believe that you can find 33lb spools.

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  15. #15
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Thank You... That seems to be the biggest obstacle for anyone other than production facilities. This has to be the reason this wire isn't widely used in everyday shops or repairs.

  16. #16
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Just because it is produced doesn't mean it actually works very well. Lincoln is one of, if not the largest producer of welding wires in the world and they don't have a self-shielded flux cored wire for stainless. They do have a bunch of stainless wires though. I use a flux cored wire for cast iron repair and joining of dissimilar metals. It works real well, but runs over 400 bucks for 10lbs and requires a very healthy machine to run it. It will barely burn at 180 amps. This could be the reason the wire you are looking at has limited spool sizes available. After visiting ESAB's website I see that the same company manufactures the self-shielded flux cored SS wire as makes the CorCast I use (it isn't available in quantites under 10lbs). The last time I went to order the wire even ESAB was out of stock and couldn't give me a projected availability date. If you already use GMAW for steel just find a wire that uses the same gas you are already using and go with it. I've done some repair of stainless restaurant equipment and was told by the company (a large national chain) that the FDA required that it be Tig welded due to sanitation requirements.
    The difference between art and craft is the quality of the workmanship. I am an artist.

  17. #17
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Stoody and McKay are two of the largest suppliers of stainless consumables.

    Stoody made many weldments with stainless for the apppllo space program but most of the weldments were stick welded. That was about the time that Stoody came out with "SOS" Outer shield or FCAW for stainless wires. They look like GMAW welds but there is a propietery element in the wire that protects the weld.

    Mc Kay makes three types of wires (in flux) xxx-o,open arc self shielded.Gas not required.
    Also in flux,xxx-G/S for use with shielding gas or submerged flux.
    And xxx-T1 1/16 diameter wire and can be used with gas.Vertical up use.

    These self shielded wires used with gas are known as duel shield.
    These types of wires are used on heavy sections. they have twice the deposition rate as stick electrodes. They are good for production work.
    there is a lot to know about stain less consumables.

  18. #18
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    mudbugone, the link you posted above (http://www.readywelder.com/accessories.php) shows pictures that look awfully similar to harbor freight wire.

    http://www.readywelder.com/catalog/p...products_id=43
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42913

    I didn't see any stainless flux core at HF though.

  19. #19
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    At work we use Kobelco DW 308L, 309L, and 316L wire. Dualshield wires designed for use with CO2 gas mixes. Not the smoothest running wire, but it does a good job. No idea on cost or small package availability.

    Is stick an option?

  20. #20
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by clearchris View Post
    mudbugone, the link you posted above (http://www.readywelder.com/accessories.php) shows pictures that look awfully similar to harbor freight wire.

    http://www.readywelder.com/catalog/p...products_id=43
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42913

    I didn't see any stainless flux core at HF though.
    While the standard wires could be the same wire as HF... I don't think you will find a SS flux core wire at HF. I hadn't noticed the similarity of the labels,but I'll ask the owner at Ready Welder about the SS flux core he carries. I have a lot of different wire around the shop from Fabshield to even a roll or two of HF wire and SS rolls. I was not suggesting buying wire there,just that was the only place I'd seen a 1# spool of the SS flux core wire for sale.

    I'm not trying to direct anyone on how or what to do in regards to SS repairs...there are many ways to reach the same point and stick is one of those methods.I have whatever it takes to weld SS be it mig with gas or stick with SS rods or even Tig.

    As I stated at the beginning someone is always asking how to weld SS with a mig unit and most want to avoid buying an extra bottle of Tri-mix gas for occasional repairs or hobby use. The flux core SS just seems to be ready made for such a situation even though most actually needs a shielding gas anyway,but it is usually Argon or C25 or CO2 which anyone that already mig welds has.

    In addition to all that.... the information about this particular product is,as you can tell, very sparse. I was just trying to form a data base on the SS flux core wire and maybe answer some questions about how it welds. I searched the www and a few welding sites for weeks after I kept seeing the questions about mig welding SS pop-up and found out very little on this wire or it's availability (in small rolls).

    If anyone searches for "Flux Core SS wire" now, this thread will at least give them some information on it and it's properties.
    Last edited by mudbugone; 07-09-2008 at 08:45 AM.

  21. #21
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    HF????? Do you mean Harbor Freight????
    AWS certified welding inspector
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    44 years experience.
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  22. #22
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Branscom View Post
    HF????? Do you mean Harbor Freight????
    Yes-- HF--Harbor Freight (In response to the above comment about the rolls on the Ready Welder site "LOOKING" like the rolls on the HF website.

    I do not mean HF has SS flux core wire---Only that the Ready Welders labels color does resemble the HF rolls of wire. I don't know where Ready Welder gets their wire,but I do know they have the 1# spools of SS flux core wire--- That is the only place that I have found that has this SS wire in such small rolls.

    I contacted the owner of Ready Welder with questions about his SS wire this morning and will give an update on any information about his product when I receive an answer.

  23. #23
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Static-XJ View Post
    At work we use Kobelco DW 308L, 309L, and 316L wire. Dualshield wires designed for use with CO2 gas mixes. Not the smoothest running wire, but it does a good job. No idea on cost or small package availability.

    Is stick an option?
    We run Kobelco stainless flux core wire at work and it welds awesome. We use regular 75/25 gas and the welds come out flat and smooth, the slag just peels off. The one thing I have noticed is Kobelco stainless wire must be run at 27-29 volts, no matter the wire speed (even says this in operating characteristics on their web site). Any other voltage will run like crap. I also noticed a "whip and pause" technique creates a flatter and more uniform weld than a straight push. The stuff is expensive at $400 for 33lb spool ,yes $400, but if you are welding thick stainless there is no other way to go.

  24. #24
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Basically all the info Allstate gave on theirs was - self-shielded flux cored mig wire for welding stainless steel. Not a lot to work off of, lol.
    The difference between art and craft is the quality of the workmanship. I am an artist.

  25. #25
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    Re: Flux Core Stainless Steel mig wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    We run Kobelco stainless flux core wire at work and it welds awesome. We use regular 75/25 gas and the welds come out flat and smooth, the slag just peels off. The one thing I have noticed is Kobelco stainless wire must be run at 27-29 volts, no matter the wire speed (even says this in operating characteristics on their web site). Any other voltage will run like crap. I also noticed a "whip and pause" technique creates a flatter and more uniform weld than a straight push. The stuff is expensive at $400 for 33lb spool ,yes $400, but if you are welding thick stainless there is no other way to go.
    Might have to try that next time I get a SS job that isn't required to be tig'd.

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