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What is meant by the term 'backing' when

determining ranges of qualification/approval of

welding procedures and welder qualifications?
Frequently Asked Questions
Backing is defined as material placed at the root of a weld joint for the purpose of supporting
molten weld metal. Its function is to facilitate complete joint penetration.
Permanent backing is usually made from a base metal similar to that being welded and, as the
name implies, becomes a permanent part of the joint because it is fused to the root of the weld
and is not easy to remove.
Temporary backing may be made from copper or a ceramic substance that do not become fused to
the root and are easily removed when welding is finished. This type of backing is also referred to
as removable backing.
US terminology for a non-consumable material, either metallic or non-metallic, that is used to
contain or shape the molten root run is a 'retainer'.
Welding the second side of a double-sided butt joint is regarded as welding a joint with backing
because the first weld run put in from the second side is supported by weld metal from the first
For a single-sided, multi-process weld made without backing (open root) such as one with TIG root
and MMA fill, the TIG root run is classed as a weld made without backing but the MMA fill is classed
as a weld made with backing.
For welding procedure qualification, some welding codes classify the use of backing as an essential
variable (EN 15614-1) but others classify it as non-essential (ASME Section IX).
For welder qualification, backing is invariably classed as an essential variable. This is because
being able to produce a sound weld root using backing does not demonstrate he has skill required
to make a sound weld without backing.

On occasion, you'll also come across numbers like E-8018-C1. The

suffix at the end usually indicates alloys added to the weld metal. The
most common are molybdenum, chromium (combined to form
"chomoly"), and nickel. Here are a few examples:
A1 - Carbon Moly
B1 - 1/2 CR, 1/2 MO
B2 - 1-1/4 CR, 1/2 MO
B3 - 1-1/4 CR, 1 MO
C1 - 2-1/2 Nickel
C2 - 3-1/2 Nickel
C3 - 1 Nickel
D1 - 1-1/2 MN, 1/4 MO
D2 - 1 MN, 1/4MO
M - conforms to military specs.
DCEP or DC+ "Electrode Positive" - This is also known as "reverse
polarity"and is the choice for most stick welding. Although electrons
inevitably flow through a circuit from its negative to positive sides,
you can effectively reverse the current by switching the connections
of your electrode holder and the work clamp. (On most industrial
sticking welding machines nowadays, DCEP is either the default
setting or accomplished by manipulating the controls to choose AC,
The objective for using DCEP is to put 70% of the heat (that's
generated by the electric arc) at the tip of the electrode, which can

melt it with a vengeance into the joint. The other 30% ends up
dispersed around the work piece.
DCEN or DC- "Electrode Negative" - This is "straight polarity". Now
70% of the heat gets focussed on the work plates, and only 30%
reaches the tip of the electrode. This situation is desirable when
working with thin metal stock or a joint that doesn't require deep
penetration. DCEN is also the choice of polarity for most TIG welding
on metals other than aluminum, which prefers AC as its current

"-1" designate that the electrode meets the requirement of improved toughness or
"HZ" is using to designate the hydrogen diffusion. ie 'Z' ml of Hydrogen per 100g of
deposited metal, where Z=4,8 or 16 (refer ASME Sec II part C SFA 5.1 or AWS A5.1)
E7018-1 have same usability and weld metal composition as E7018, except the
manganese content set high range and these electrodes are intended for welds
requiring a lower transition temperature than is normally available from E7018
E7018 avg min impact 27J @ -30DegC
E7018-1 avg min impact 27J @ -45DegC

What is meaning of " -1 " in electrode E7018-1

The (-1) = low temp impact

Refer ASME Sec II Part C Specifications for Welding Rods, Electrodes,and Filler SFA 5.1:
A 1 designator following classification identifies an electrode which meets optional
supplemental impact requirements at a lower temperature than required for the


I, PART B1.8.7Rectifying AC to DC - Although much welding is

accomplished with AC weldingpower sources, the majority of industrial welding is done with machines that produce
adirect current arc. The commercially produced ACpower that operates the welding machinemust then be changed
(rectified) to directcurrent for the DC arc. This is accom-plished with a device called a rectifier.Two types of rectifiers
have been usedextensively in welding machines, theold selenium rectifiers and the moremodern silicon rectifiers, often
referredto as diodes. See Figure function of a rectifier in thecircuit can best be shown by the use of
theAC sine wave. With one diode in the circuit,half-wave rectification takes place as shownin Figure
negative half-wave is simply cut off and a pulsating DC is produced. Duringthe positive half-cycle, current is allowed to
flow through the rectifier. During the negativehalf-cycle, the current is blocked. This produces a DC composed of 60
positive pulses persecond. using four rectifiers connected in acertain manner, a bridge rectifier is created,
producingfull wave rectification. The bridge rectifier results in120 positive half-cycles per second, producing
aconsiderably smoother direct current than half-waverectification. See Figure AC can be
rectified toproduce an even smoother DC than single-phaseAC. Since three-phase AC power produces threetimes as
many half-cycles per second as single-phase power, a relatively smooth DC voltageresults as shown in Figure