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Thoughts on Gas Shielded vs Inner Shield / Flux Core Wires (MIG Process)

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  • Thoughts on Gas Shielded vs Inner Shield / Flux Core Wires (MIG Process)

    Did some (1/8" - 1/4") testing yesterday with my (very forgiving) MM 211 (luv that machine BTW) and noticed that the Inner Shield / Flux Core wires/welds produced considerably more splatter, tons more smoke, weren't as "pretty" (I use combination of cursive Vs, Es, Us -- push and pull), and seemed considerably more deformed than my gas (C25) shielded wires/welds. Was using .030 solid and cored wire (Hobart) throughout, obviously changed polarity on the machine based on type, used the 211's presets.

    Are you folks experiencing the same results (lower quality) with the inner shield / flux core process?

  • #2
    Yes
    Bob Wright

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    • #3
      I despise flux core. It's for quick-n-dirty repairs on fences and such, and not much else, in my opinion at least.

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      • #4
        It's not "lower quality" except that it's a more difficult process to master. As a flux-bearing process FCAW has many of the advantages of stick welding (SMAW).

        But yes, for indoors welding on clean material when there is no issue having a gas cylinder attached, the GMAW process is going to be easier, faster, and usually more economical in the long run.

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        • #5
          Yep.

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          • #6
            I wouldn't say it's necessarily "lower quality" but it is the nature of the beast. It does offer better penetration, so that can be a plus in some situations. Generally speaking, you want to pull with flux core, not push.
            Last edited by G-ManBart; 01-19-2021, 07:57 PM.

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            • #7
              It's good when you're outside in the wind or using a suitcase welder in the field.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by G-ManBart View Post
                ...Generally speaking, you want to push with flux core, not pull.
                I'm going to disagree. You usually want to pull away from the puddle to help prevent slag inclusions.

                "If there's slag, you drag."

                A common mistake is to go too quickly, getting less penetration and a puddle that freezes too quickly.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                  I'm going to disagree. You usually want to pull away from the puddle to help prevent slag inclusions.

                  "If there's slag, you drag."

                  A common mistake is to go too quickly, getting less penetration and a puddle that freezes too quickly.
                  You're 100% right...I typed that backwards! Ack....

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                  • #10
                    Fluxed core wire welding is a very robust process used every day in the menial tasks of building bridges, ships and high rise buildings. Those jobs are obviously using much heavier wire than what you’re using. For some reason, I don’t really enjoy using flux core in that small wire. It starts to get more enjoyable to use when you get up to .045 and larger. I keep a roll of the small stuff for jobs the guys have already described. Last time I used it was to weld some galvanized EMT conduit under a trailer for a guy that wanted his trailer wires protected and that’s what he brought me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                      Fluxed core wire welding is a very robust process used every day in the menial tasks of building bridges, ships and high rise buildings. Those jobs are obviously using much heavier wire than what you’re using. For some reason, I don’t really enjoy using flux core in that small wire. It starts to get more enjoyable to use when you get up to .045 and larger. I keep a roll of the small stuff for jobs the guys have already described. Last time I used it was to weld some galvanized EMT conduit under a trailer for a guy that wanted his trailer wires protected and that’s what he brought me.
                      I am with Ryan. When you get into the bigger wires and bigger machines it becomes way more pleasant and forgiving. The smaller wires are troublesome because there's really not enough filler to work with given the amperage it takes to run it correctly. The filler tends to overheat, causing burn backs, starving the puddle, then slamming wire into what seems like a slag pool and blowing it all over the place.
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