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  • DCEP vs. DCEN

    When would I use DCEP vs. DCEN? I understand the technical explanation but from a practical standpoint I don't know when to use one or the other. I've been welding 1 in. mild steel square tubing on DCEN, 60 amps of heat approximately, 3/32" 6013 rod, and have not had any problems. Process being used is stick welding. Does it depend on the type of material being worked on?

    Any good knowledge would be great.

  • #2
    Here is an explanation for the numbers on a stick electrode which include the correct polarity
    West coast of Florida


    • #3
      Thanks for that link Ltbadd.


      • #4
        "Electrode negative (straight polarity) often is used when shallower penetration is required. Electrode positive (reverse polarity) generally is used when deep penetration is needed."

        From Lincoln: "Note that for stick welding in general, DC+ polarity is most commonly used. It produces a good bead profile with a higher level of penetration. DC- polarity results in less penetration and a higher electrode melt-off rate. It is sometimes used, for example, on thin sheet metal in an attempt to prevent burn-through."
        Miller stuff:
        Dialarc 250 (1974)
        Syncrowave 250 (1992)
        Spot welder (Dayton badged)


        • #5
          I pretty much run everything DCEP when stick welding. Look at the label on the packaging of the electrodes you are using. The label should tell you the preferred polarity and the amp range.


          • #6
            Thanks USMCPOP and Louie1961, this sure helps a lot!


            • #7
              Stick-Welder, it's a little confusing because there are three ways that welders and welding sources might describe the same thing. You might read "DC+" or "DC-" and not realize whether the plus or minus refer to the electrode or "the work," which is where your ground clamp attaches. You might read "DCEP" or DCEN," which are more straightforward when you figure out "Electrode Positive" and "Electrode Negatve." But then you'll run into "Straight" or "Reverse" polarity, and consequently "DCSP" and "DCRP." You just have to learn it all, LOL

              Of course, you could get a "buzz-box" (an AC-only transformer welder) so you don't have to choose polarity. Ah, but then you have to learn that not all electrodes with run very well on AC (E6010 doesn't but the similar E6011 does), and that some rods have special versions to make them work on AC (E7018-AC being a common example)

              More such confusion awaits. At some point you have to start puzzling out what somebody has in mind when he talks of "flux-core," "innershield," dual-shield," and so on. Well, it could be worse; take flying lessons and you have to learn a hundred abbreviations and acronyms.
              Last edited by old jupiter; 04-08-2016, 11:41 AM.


              • #8
                Go to work for the federal government and prepare to have your mind numbed by acronyms for acronyms amongst acronyms.