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  • E7018 electrode question

    I dropped in on a well known professional welding store today. The person behind the counter said that you don't need to keep E7018 in a rod oven unless you are "welding to code". His view was that all you need to do was to keep it from getting wet and your OK with this rod. All in all he was rather casual about the whole issue of storage.

    This goes against everything I have read about this rod. Should I ignore this person's opinion? (By the way, he says that years ago he used this rod professionally when welding to code on a nuclear plant.)

    Thanks.

    P.S. I am pretty much a neophyte myself.

  • #2
    when I use rods left out for a while. I always have porosity at the beginning few inches of the weld. I have bought a rod oven since then, and have had no problems with porosity.

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    • #3
      Forget about the " Expert " at the welding store, he just wants to sell you more 7018. 7018's start to degrade as soon as the can is opened if not stored in a rod oven. I'm not suggesting they have the shelf life of unrefrigerated milk, but they absorb moisture from the air pretty quick.
      You will find problems in your welds even before the flux coating begins to visually degrade. Other problems will arise as well, such as hard starts and erratic performance during welding. I can't afford the space to store a rod oven, or the electricity to feed it. I am considering building and small rod container that has a fitting on it so you can pull a vaccum and extract the air and moisture until next usage. Otherwise I would buy in limited quantities to keep them as fresh as possible.
      Sometimes there's no second chances.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by alanrockwood View Post
        I dropped in on a well known professional welding store today. The person behind the counter said that you don't need to keep E7018 in a rod oven unless you are "welding to code". His view was that all you need to do was to keep it from getting wet and your OK with this rod. All in all he was rather casual about the whole issue of storage.

        This goes against everything I have read about this rod. Should I ignore this person's opinion? (By the way, he says that years ago he used this rod professionally when welding to code on a nuclear plant.)

        Thanks.

        P.S. I am pretty much a neophyte myself.


        This is straight from a Lincoln Welding rep: " If you do not keep your 7018 electrodes properly stored, you may as well be welding with 6010."

        Now who would I listen to: The Lincoln welding rep or a store clerk?

        Griff

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        • #5
          I just keep mine in my truck and they have never gave me any trouble

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          • #6
            While it is not proper, there are lots of open cans of 7018 out there, and the guys that have them are welding just fine.
            Jeff

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            • #7
              If you are welding in a situation where you need to reduce the possibility of hydrogen induced cracking (such as to code) then you better use a rod oven if the box is open for more than a day.

              I've dipped a 7018 rod into water and then welded and it turned out fine, but I wouldn't want to do that on anything important.

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              • #8
                7018 Storage

                Small rod ovens can be purchased for around $200, and hold 10# of "sticks."

                They maintain the proper 220-350F temperature for 7018 storage.

                They take up little room, run off of ordinary 120 V houshold current, and will insure your rods are moisture free.

                Rods sold in vacuum sealed cans can be stored virtually forever, unopened.

                Some manufacturers (Hobart for instance) sells them in plastic containers with moisture absorbing dessicant packets, but should be put in an oven once you get home.

                If you're doing a small project or job, buy them in 5# packages if you have no way to store them properly.

                7018's are changed out every 4 hours on jobs, 8018's every 2 hours, 9018's every hour and 10018's every 1/2 hour.

                Phoenix, Keen, Mathey Dearman, and Lenco are popular brands.

                Dave
                "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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                • #9
                  For single pass work on light mild steel they work ok without special storage, have used thousands of them that way.

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                  • #10
                    This is the answer I received from Hobart about 7018 rods in the 10 lb. plastic container.

                    "The 7018 will be satisfactory until the seal is removed. Once the seal is removed the electrode will begin to absorb moisture. There is a general mis-understaiding of the low hydrogen electrodes. If they are being used on what is referred to as a code job the electrodes must be stored in an electrode oven at a temperature of 300 deg. F and no more than 2 hours worth of electrodes removed by the welder at a time. Most of the 7018 electrodes used in the industry today are inproperly stored by the end users and would not meet the hydrogen absorption limits for those (code applications)."

                    "The electrodes that we package and sell will not exceed the moisture limits for up to 8 hours, beyond that they will still weld and perform the same as any other 70 series electrode but would not meet the low hydrogen weld deposit specifications."
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                    • #11
                      My wife has on more than one occassion found me 'cooking' funny things in the oven. I'm used to the sarcasm by now.

                      1) Will an oven eventually bake out rods, or once they are contaminated with moisture they are done?

                      2) What about storing the rods in a frost free freezer? The humidity in there would be nearly zero.

                      3) With all the gasses some welders have, is there something that can be used to purge a rod holding container? Is CO2 or Argon really dry gas? At work we use nitrogen to purge humidity but I suspect its a cost/safety thing. Adding Nitrogen to air, which is already mostly nitrogen, is probably relatively safe.
                      Con Fuse!
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                      • #12
                        a self cleaning ELECTRIC oven should work, a gas oven will not. In self cleaning mode it should get into the 800F range inside it, which I believe is what you need to reclaim XX18's. any electric oven will do the holding temps...
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                        • #13
                          7018 Storage Myths

                          Originally posted by con_fuse9 View Post
                          My wife has on more than one occassion found me 'cooking' funny things in the oven. I'm used to the sarcasm by now.

                          1) Will an oven eventually bake out rods, or once they are contaminated with moisture they are done?

                          2) What about storing the rods in a frost free freezer? The humidity in there would be nearly zero.

                          3) With all the gasses some welders have, is there something that can be used to purge a rod holding container? Is CO2 or Argon really dry gas? At work we use nitrogen to purge humidity but I suspect its a cost/safety thing. Adding Nitrogen to air, which is already mostly nitrogen, is probably relatively safe.
                          7018 rods allow very little hydrogen into the weld pool, unless they have moisture in them from not being stored correctly. Moisture allows hydrogen into the flux, which is then introduced into the weld pool adversely.

                          If you store them in a frost free freezer, this introduces moisture into the flux as soon as the package is brought out into the atmosphere. If you wear glasses on a cold day, they will fog over when you enter a warm room.

                          Keeping them in an old refrigerator with a light bulb will not warm the compartment to a constant 250-400 degrees. Like using a garden hose to put out a forest fire.

                          To "re-condition" wet 7018's you need to bake them 500-600F degrees for an hour. It is not recommended to be done in a kitchen oven (though I'm sure many have). 7018's should only be "re-conditioned" once.

                          As I mentioned, a small, portable welding rod oven goes for about $200. We think nothing of spending $1,000's on machines, but try gimmicks and "old tales" when it comes to proper rod storage.

                          There are even insulated "Rod Keepers" on the market.

                          You'll see and feel the difference when you use a 7018, warm, right out of the oven, as to one's that have layed around, open for months

                          Cellulose rods (E-XX10,11,12,13) should be stored in a dry area at room temp, not in an oven, nor should they be reconditioned.

                          Dave
                          Last edited by davedarragh; 02-26-2010, 11:08 AM.
                          "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                            It is not recommended to be done in a kitchen oven (though I'm sure many have).
                            I think that has more to do with contaminating food than rods...
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bretsk2500 View Post
                              I think that has more to do with contaminating food than rods...
                              Yeah, but sure wouldn't want to try it in a gas oven, might start a fire

                              You guys can do what you want (and I'm sure you probably will), I'm just passing on information as recommended by the AWS and rod manufacturers.

                              As a footnote, oven storage also includes wires with measurable diffusible hydrogen due to atmospheric exposure (E71T-1 for example) and their susceptibility to moisture absorption as required by AWS A4.3-05, 95. Those ovens are a bit more than $200

                              Dave
                              Last edited by davedarragh; 02-26-2010, 12:03 PM.
                              "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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