What is Flux Core Welding and How to Choose the Best FCAW Welder?

How to Choose the Best FCAW Welder

Before we talk about flux welding, I believe you have come across other types of welding practices. Like the shielded arc metal welding (SMAW) or the Plasma Arc Welding or even the Atomic Hydrogen Welding (AHW).

FCAW Welder

Flux Core Welding is a semi automatic welding process. That needs a continuously supplied consumable tubular electrode having a flux and a constant voltage, or in other words, a constant current welding power supply.

The flux contained within the tubular electrode core usually melt during the process of welding shielding the weld pool from the environment. The FCAW normally employs the direct current electrode positive (DCEP).

Types Of Flux Cored Arc Welding

Self Shielded FCAW

Self Shielded FCAWHere fluxing agents are made to deoxidize the weld pool and allow shielding of weld pool and metal droplets falling from above.

Mostly used in the outdoor spaces where wind blows away the shielding gas. Generally attractive because of its portability and good penetration into the base metal.

May be disadvantageous because of the excessive noxious smoke produced ,which limits visibility of the weld pool. All the welding processes would require skilled labour and proper electrodes must be selected to achieve desired results.

Gas Shielded FCAW

This can be achieved by using carbon (iv) oxide gas with the flux (which provides better weld) to offer additional shielding.The gas here provides deoxidation of weld pool and additional shielding from the atmosphere.

Gas Shielded FCAW

The design of the flux here is in such a way that it supports the weld pool from going out of position, helping to achieve deeper penetration and minimise out of position welds.

Preferably used for thicker and out of position metals.The flux created slug in this method is easy to remove.In an enclosed environment it produces better welds.

The Process of FCAW

It usually entails welding heat being provided by an arc between a continuously fed tubular electrode wire and the welding material worked on.

Shielding achieved in self shielding by the flux within the tubular electrode wire or in the gas shielding by an externally provided gas.

Normally an electric arc is used to join a continuous filler metal and the base material.The electrode which is flux filled automatically feeds through the gun center using the similar equipment applied in Metal Inert Gas Welding.

A slag is formed from the flux that is inside the electrode, covers and protects the weld from the atmosphere.

The welder usually manipulates the welding gun, adjusting welding parameters.

Choosing the best FCAW welder

Generally, most people vet welders and any other technician by the experience they have since they believe it assures of more competence. Let us now look at some of the things one would consider in choosing the best FCAW welder. You can find budget flux core welders online for your welding services.

Adherence to safety standards

A good FCAW welder is supposed to be alert and up to date with regulations and safety standards related to handling welding tools and also having protective gear for example the welding glasses to protect the eyes, gloves to protect the hands and probably a mask to protect from the fumes that come out during the welding process.

Work quality or standards of previous welding works

A good welder should be able to provide good and quality finishes that are better than others and that show prowess in standard. Most recent works have proven to require perfect welds that also have good aesthetic outlook so that joints do not just appear shoddy.

The FCAW method to be employed

Before choosing a welder, we need to understand that there is self shielded FCAW which requires too much welding and keenness and would need someone who is sharp and skilled with minimal mistakes.

The gas shielded FCAW since is semi automated, and the machinery does most of the work, a medium skilled welder can be trusted with the operations without great fear of mistakes.

Experience and flexibility

The welder to be chosen for a specific FCAW task should have great experience, to have encountered different problems, and can be able to give additional advice, or have several approaches to achieve difficult joints welding.

The expert should also be able to tell and advice on which method should be suitable according to the environment where the welding task is to be performed i.e. an enclosed environment or an indoor working space, since not every client is knowledgeable enough in welding.

The Materials to be welded.

For thicker and out of position metals like steel structures during construction of bridges and massive structures.

The welder should have knowledge in operating the machinery in the gas shielded FCAW as compared to the self shielded FCAW which would be used mostly for less thicker metals in domestic purposes of welding like normal door and window frames etc.


As we have discussed above, we have seen that FCAW are of two kinds that are slightly different based on the property of availability and unavailability of gas shield and also the semi automated processes involved.

We have also looked at the different factors to consider when selecting a good FCAW welder which is important in vetting technicians to do your tasks.

I am Caio Resende, Welcome to Power Tool Lab! It is a blog dedicated to all polular power tool and accessories including new, best for sale, expert reviews and guides. Whether you are a DIYer, Hobbyist, or professional contractors such as electricians and plumbers, I will provide you all the latest news and professional reviews for all your favorite tools and Brands. Our mission provides great perspective from many different end users.

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