6010 VS 7018 Welding Electrodes: Detailed Comparison

In Brief: 6010 Vs 7018 Welding Rods

The products are both mild welding electrodes often used in welding applications such as pipe welding, fabrication, etc. The primary difference between the two arises when the welding is performed on contaminated surfaces (rust, dirt, etc.). The 6010 produces less and easily removable slag. The 6010 is, however, a DC only electrode unlike the 7018 which can be used through DC as well as AC current.

A welding wire is a metallic rod which is utilized to produce a heated arc for the purpose of joining metals through the process of welding.

These wires are gas-shielded electrodes with an array of characteristic mechanical and chemical properties, arc behavior, quality, and cost.

Wires also come in various diameters and are usually chosen on the basis of the welder being used and the material of the job.

The following sections will provide essential information on both the products.

Overview of 6010 welding rods

Image Source: Miller

E6010 is an all-position, cellulosic electrode that has a quick-starting, steady, and deep penetrating arc. It produces x-ray quality welds in flat, horizontal, overhead, vertical-up, and vertical-down positions.

The electrode is used for fabrication, repair, maintenance welding, out-of-position x-ray welds, construction and shipbuilding, pipe welding. The electrode is also used for vertical and overhead plate welding.

The product is a DC only welding wire and is designed for maximum penetration, for instance putting the root bead on the inside of a piece of pipe. The 6010 is preferred when the job has rust, oil, paint or dirt on its surface.

It also works in all positions and is suitable for pipeline work, but could prove to be a little difficult for novice users.

The wire does not produce much slag and what slag is produced can be easily removed. The all-positional characteristic of the wire makes it compatible for welding in a lot of areas.

The material of the wire is mild steel and the wire coating is of high cellulose sodium. The welder has good elongation and good strength characteristics.

Another feature of the 6010 electrodes is the speed at which it burns. This makes it ideal for welding at a stiffening angle or downhill passes. The 6010 electrode has ample strength to do the job and is faster than other electrodes in its category.

ParameterDetails
MaterialMild Steel
Wire CoatingHigh cellulose sodium
Welding CurrentDC+
Tensile Strength78,000 psi
Yield Strength60,000 psi
Elongation22%
PositionAll positions

Pros

  • All position
  • Easily removable slag
  • X-ray quality welds
  • Deep penetration

Cons

  • DC only

Overview of 7018 welding rods

Image Source: Miller

The 7018 is a DC all-position electrode which is mostly used when the welder requires high levels of polish in their welds on difficult to melt metals. It is a high deposition electrode suitable for low and medium carbon steels.

The electrode is an iron powder, low hydrogen electrode with prominent mechanical properties that make the wire crack resistant and help provide x-ray quality welds.

The 7018 has the capability of delivering uniform welds on metal and has better impact properties at temperatures below zero.

This is precisely why the 7018 is used for ship hull construction, pressure vessels, boilers, piping, heavy-duty equipment, maintenance, production or fabrication.

The wire is used for jobs that require low penetration and facilitates a quiet and spatter-free arc.

The electrode is considered more of a “drag” rod, the 7018 is also commonly known as a low-hydrogen or “low-high” rod in the field.

A number of hardware shops, field welders, and home hobbyists often fail to stock the 7018 rods properly. The electrode is a low-hydrogen rod, requires a moisture-free environment so that the flux stays protected from it.

The flux contains a very scarce amount of hydrogen, and the electrode produces smooth welds that are ductile by nature.

This is the reason why the 7018 is also used extensively in structural welding, for instance, in a shopping complex, nuclear or other energy power plants, factories, powerhouses, dams, and bridges.

ParameterDetails
MaterialMild Steel
Wire CoatingLow hydrogen potassium
Iron powder
Welding CurrentAC, DC+ or DC-
Tensile Strength70,000 psi
Yield Strength58,000 psi
Elongation (in 2 inches)22 %

Pros

  • Quieter operation
  • Splatter free arc
  • Stable arc
  • High weld quality

Cons

  • Low penetration
  • Requires additional storage

Key Differences between 6010 and 7018

The 6010 has a deeper weld penetration capacity into the base metal of the job. The 6010 also leaves significantly less slag after the process is completed.

The 7018 requires an oven to bake the rods at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which the 6010 does not.

Although the elongation in both the welding wire is the same, 6010 possesses higher tensile and yield strength.

The 7018, however, is compatible with both AC and DC currents unlike the 6010.

The differences are summarised in the table –

 70186010
MaterialMild SteelMild Steel
Wire CoatingLow hydrogen potassium, iron powderHigh cellulose sodium
Welding CurrentAC, DC+ or DC-DC+
Tensile Strength70,000 psi78,000 psi
Yield Strength58,000 psi60,000 psi
Elongation (in 2 inches)22 %22%

Summary

The electrodes are quite different in their characteristics as well as their applications. The 6010 is used in all out of position jobs where other electrodes fail.

While using 6010, the job does not need to be clean, as the electrode usually burns through all the rust, dirt, etc. from the surface to deliver a good weld.

This is essential as many times the user might not have the time to clean the surface or remove rust, the 6010 helps get rid of the issue.

Where the 7018 delivers a better weld, the 6010 does not produce much slag after the process.

The 7018, on the other hand, is a suitable weld rod if the root of the weld is easily accessible and gets a few passes into the base metal of the job. This is largely due to the lesser penetration capabilities of the welding wire.

Linda Wilson
About Linda Wilson

Linda has been involved with various home improvement projects for more than a decade. She has experience working with multiple power tools and welding equipment. She loves traveling and cooking.

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