Stick Welding

Stick welding is another name for arc welding, and it’s one of those welding methods that’s been in common use for many years.

 Also known as SMAW (shielded metal arc welding), stick welding uses a strong electric current to produce an arc between the welding material and a consumable electric rod (ie the stick).

The rod is made of steel, and is coated with a flux material that vaporizes into CO2 gas that forms a protective barrier around the weld pool.

Stick welding is very versatile, and relatively simple to learn, and is therefore one of the most popular welding process in industrial applications. It is the dominant welding technique in the repair and maintenance industries, construction (especially of steel structures like skyscrapers), and industrial fabrication, to name a few.

Some of the advantages of stick welding are its versatility, ease of use, and the fact that it can be performed with relatively inexpensive equipment, making it ideal for field work and shop jobs like automotive and custom motorcycle repair, wrought iron, appliances and more.

Stick welding heavy steel plateIn addition, new operators can be trained in a short period of time, and they can be executing competent welds quickly. Stick welding can be performed in areas of limited access, and there’s no need for shielding gas or granular flux as in other welding methods.

Another advantage is the fact that either direct current or alternating current can be used in stick welding, depending on the electrode. Direct current is the most common option, and it has the advantage of less splatter, easier arc starting, and better control of out-of-position welds.

On the downside, weld times are rather slow with stick welding, primarily because of the frequent need to replace the electrode. And the process is generally restricted to welding ferrous metals, although there are specialized electrodes that allow the welding of other materials like aluminum, copper, nickel and other metals.

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