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Question:

Arc welding: DC needed for stainless steel?

I am looking to weld some stainless steel using stainless electrodes. I was told that the arc welder needs to be able to run in DC in order to be able to weld stainless steel. Is this true? Or can you weld stainless steel with stainless electrodes with AC also?

Answer:

Arc or stick welding is not ideal for stainless steel. It is advisable to use MIG or TIG welding instead, with argon shield gas. I would only advise manual arc welding as a last resort, or for field repairs. Expect corrosion issues, and issues with excessive oxidation and porosity in your stainless welds. Manual arc welding is a dirty process and simply does not protect the weld puddle well enough from oxidation and carbon pickup, which are especially damaging in sensitive stainless alloys. As to whether to use AC or DC for stick welding, you should consult the instructions found on the box of electrodes. If polarity and current recommendations cannot be found, then you should contact the manufacturer and get it in writing. You should probably not make welding decisions based on advice from a sales representative. Firstly is is not documented. Secondly, sales representatives are not legally liable for damages caused by weld failures, YOU are.
Sep 27, 2017
Stainless Steel Stick Welding
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Stick Welding Stainless Steel
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there are tradeoffs to the various methods you can use. Check out this link for the scoop on what they are and what the settings should be given the material you are using and the type of welder you decide to use.
Sep 27, 2017

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