6010 Welding Rod, Settings, Amperage & Polarity

E6010 welding rod.

The most popularly used welding electrode is the E6010. The E6010 is used for construction, general purpose fabrications, shipbuilding, and pipe welding.

Electrodes or welding rods are usually named like E6010 or E6011. Of course, the “E” stands for “electrode” while the first two numbers, like the “60” in 6010, means 60,000 pounds tensile strength per square inch. The tensile strength refers to the ability of the weld to resist being pulled apart. The third number “1” signifies it can be run in all four positions (horizontal, vertical, flat, and overhead). The last number usually indicates the slag type, flux composition, and power supply. 

Experts in welding generally agree that both the 6010 and the 6011 are really good electrodes. Moreover, a real welder should never be without these two rods. These two rods easily strike and leave very few slags. They are ideal for use if you intend to achieve full penetration, and they should be your primary choice if you want full penetration through the gauge metal. 

The E6010 and E6011 are kindred rods, and they are like cousins. The E6010 offers similar characteristics of the weld with that of 6011. Like the 6011, it provides deep penetrating arc and has the ability to weld even over paint and rust without a hitch. Compared to 6010, however, it offers less penetration but provides greater arc stability. If you are not an expert in 6010, you would often fail to differentiate between the 6010 and 6011. 

Features of E6010 Rod

The E6010 has very strong points, and these strong points include its strengths, excellent penetration, the inherent capability to handle poor fit-up and rust, and its fast-freezing puddle. If you are just tyro in welding, you may find the 6010 very overpowering for it will be surely likely to throw plenty of spatters and sparks that could take you by surprise. It also gives off odiferous fumes, and if you fail to manage it correctly, it will burn through very thin materials. Moreover, you need to be an expert in the whip and pause motions to ensure that you can properly handle it. Whipping is important for effectively running root passes, and it is in some circumstances required based on the welding code.

Another advantage of using E6010 is that it can run using less expensive welding machines that are not designed for E6010. This is possible because the E6010 makes use of arc stabilizers in its cellulose flux. This prevents the arc from unexpectedly dying.

Characteristics of 6010 Rod

The coatings or coverings of the E6010 contain a high amount of cellulose that is usually more than 30% of its weight. It may also contain materials like titanium dioxide, various types of aluminum or magnesium, metallic deoxidizers like ferromanganese, and liquid sodium silicate. Due to this large amount of cellulose, this rod is often described as “cellulosic electrode.” With the abovementioned properties of its coatings, the E6010 definitely offers deep penetration, spray type arc, and strength. This deep penetrating characteristic also makes the E6010 an ideal choice for any field repair work, for you can rely on it if you want to weld even through rusty, dirty, and painted metals. 

Another distinctive characteristic of this rod is that it wets out very well, while at the same time, it cools very quickly. Hence, this electrode is ideal for overhead welding. Most operators prefer this electrode when doing overhead welding. Furthermore, after-welding cleaning becomes easy with the use of the E6010 because it only leaves a very thin layer of slag that you can remove easily. It also produces a flat weld surface with uneven and coarse spaced ripples. With the consideration of all the characteristics as mentioned above, it is easy to say why the E6010 is the most popular electrode among operators. Additionally, it is ideal for use in shipyards, field construction, pipe welding, water towers, pressure pipes, pressure vessels, steel storage tanks, and steel castings.

Joint Preparation

The E6010 creates hundred percent penetration and is ideal for use in critical welds. If you need a complete fusion, the E6010 is the most recommended electrode to beginner’s use. However, to ensure complete fusion, you should engage in good weld preparation, and even if you are using the E6010, you need to engage in the following weld preparations:

Bevel The Edges

You should bevel the pipes’ and plates’ edges. The standard bevel is at 37.5 degrees for pipe and 22.5 degrees for the plate. 

Nickel Width

You should also leave a small “nickel width” land of around 3/32 – 1/8 inch width. The land usually refers to the metal’s unbeveled portion located at the edge of the joint. At this point, the metal must be thicker for it to support the weld’s heat. If it is not the case, the power of the arc can easily blow through the specific joint. You should also create a gap of around 1/8 inch according to specification. You can bend into U shape a 1/8-inch TIG filler, and then insert it between the different sections when you are tacking. You should also make a tack weld of around 1 inch as a preparation. Afterward, you can use the grinder to feather or taper each of the tack’s ends. 

The purpose of this is to have enough tack for establishing the arc without necessarily burning through. The tack should also be thin enough to allow the arc’s heat to consume the tack. Once the arc is established, operators usually engage in long arcing the electrode so that they could heat up the tack’s middle. Afterward, they try to tighten the arc while transitioning the feather into the gap. 

How to Set the E6010?

It is a known fact that the E6010 necessitates greater voltage as compared to other electrodes. As you whip, for example, the electrode, you’ll notice that the arc changes. At this juncture, you need to maintain the power source to establish the arc fully. The power sources for operating the E6010 generally have two characteristics:

1) They are characterized by high open-circuit voltage (OCV). This OCV is the electrode’s voltage before the arc is established or struck. Always bear in mind that a power source that offers good electrical pressure can definitely provide a fantastic arc starts.

2) The use of E6010 also necessitates large inductors. The inductor is designed to resist alteration in the passing electric current. The inductor can hold power or functions as a power reserve. It keeps the arc fully established while the operator handles the electrode. If you are using a conventional power source, you need to make use of large magnetic like a ferrite core with copper wire wrapped around it. If you use inverter power sources, you should use smaller magnetics and electronics to lessen the overall weight.

Techniques On How To Weld with E6010 Rod

1) Whip And Pause

To create fuller penetration welding with the 6010 rod, the welder should whip the electrode with 3/32 – 1/2 inch distance and immediately pull in back around 1/8 inch and then “pause” for split of a second to allow the rod to establish the weld puddle on the spot and whip forward and pull backward with the same movement pattern.

The purpose of whipping the rod while welding is to allow the weld puddle to have sufficient time to cool down, and also to pull the molten metal forward by applying the “whip & pause” welding movement. 

2) Examining the keyhole While Welding

It is very useful when welding the opened root joint along with the ‘whip & pause” technique that we have mentioned above.

A “keyhole” shape gap opened up when you whip the 6010 rods forward with the “whip & pause” movement.  The condition of the keyhole is a good indicator of judging the heat input on the welding position. The arc is at risk of blowing through the metal if the keyhole is getting too large. At this point, you should whip forward and increase your travel speed. At the bottom line, you ought to reduce the welder amperage settings if the keyhole is too large despite you already increase your welding travel speed.

Top-rated E6010 Welding Rods

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