Storage of electrodes
Every commercial welder knows that the storage of electrodes is very important when working with welding materials and performing a certain welding process. In the stick welding the commercial welders and the industrial welders are using rods.
These are welding electrode rods which are covered with flux. During the Second World War it was discovered that the coatings on the filler rod make the weld better and stronger. It is a fact that in the past on the production sites and on the ships, the bare metal rods were used in flat position.
The rods were stored outside and were not taken care of that much. As they were stored in the open air, the rods were often covered with rust and a welding made with this rod turned out to be stronger and better. The people who were learning how to weld and experimenting with new methods made a discovery.
The commercial welders made experiments with different coatings of cellulose and sodium, silica and other elements, which resulted in the fact that by putting a flux coating on the filer rod results in a very sound weld.
During the welding process, the flux reacts as it burns and turns into a shielding gas, which protects the weld pool from the oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen as well as other atmospheric contaminants. These atmospheric contaminants get into the weld pool and they cause different defects like worm holes or porosity and cracking.
These defects form the so called weak point in welding where the weld can fail in cases of load and under stress. That is why, in order to keep that from happening, the filler rods should be stored in a proper manner. The low hydrogen filler rods get moisture into the flux and this should not happen, they should be kept dry or otherwise the porosity will result in a weld bead.
This will probably happen at the beginning of the bead of each new filler rod that is used and will diminish when the rod heats up and burns the moisture out.
It is a fact that on many welding job sites and welding shops the electrode storage is not organized well and the moisture gets into the flux. If that happens, the moisture turns into steam and thus leaves small bubbles in the weld pool which later result into small holes. So, how should the filler rods be stored?
They should be kept in boxes that are hermetically sealed in a vacuum. When the box is open, the air humidity will come into the rod flux and thus something should be done in order to keep that from happening.