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Drive Off Moisture and Get

Better Welds
Beware of electrode coatings with more than .20% moisture. Welding relea
hydrogen promotes cracking...

Welding electrode coatings, especially low hydrogen electrodes, readily attract moisture in the c
major cause of weld cracking and porosity. While plain water itself wouldn't damage the weld, th
water into it's basic elements, hydrogen and oxygen. These elements in or near the molten weld
a significant threat to the quality of the weld. In addition to water, there are other hydrogen conta
and grease, dirt, and coatings.

Atomic hydrogen produced from the moisture at the arc diffuses in the weld, goes into solution a
structural voids. If the metal cools rapidly enough, not all the hydrogen is absorbed. Some migra
of the parent metal, some forms gas pockets or evaporates, and some helps form other undesira

Steel's ability to absorb hydrogen increases with temperature. Molten steel absorbs more than .0
2,600oF, when the steel is austenitic, the hydrogen solubility is about .0001%. When the metallur
1,600oF, the solubility of hydrogen falls to about .00025%, and at a normal 70oF, .0002%. Becaus
content from standard electrodes runs from .0001 to .002%, there is a significant risk of generati
hydrogen to supersaturate the molten weld from the core wire alone. The operator must reduce
coating for quality welds.

When steel is heated above it's critical temperature (the point of temperature where there is a tra
metallurgical phase to another phase) and fully austenitic is cooled slowly it converts to a hard b
Cooled rapidly enough the austenite will not transform into martensite. The retained austenite no
martensite at temperatures from 400oF to room temperature. During the delayed transformation,
fissures. If other stresses are present, cracking becomes aggravated and is easily detected. The
weld, at the weld interface, or in the parent metal, depending on how the hydrogen moves or wh

Besides eliminating stress raisers, other precautions include reducing the retained austenite thro
working, and holding the heat treating temperatures to close limits. Other defects, such as poros
should be eliminated. They exacerbate hydrogen effects. It is not known for sure whether hydrog
does influence the amount of porosity in the weld.

Preventing hydrogen embrittlement is critical. Detecting a defect is difficult and frequently found
service. Like cancer it grows and worsens with time. High strength steels, depending on high ca
martensitic transformation properties, demand close watch for the possibilities of hydrogen abso
cannot engineer or design the hydrogen from the weld. Heat drives out moisture, so turn on the

Preventive Procedures

The easiest of all precautions to ensure a good weld is to avoid hydrogen forming compounds. M
and easiest to eliminate, is driven from a rod's coating by using high heat. New electrodes are no
the factory and under ordinary conditions, are suitable for use straight from the can. However, to
getting a defective can with moisture, put the electrodes in the oven.

Electrode drying ovens come in sizes holding from 15 to 1,100 lbs. and with temperature control
ovens are portable, making it easy and convenient for the shop or field.

Rules for Drying Electrodes

If you suspect that your electrodes are wet. remove t container. wet elect Dry Flux. the rods may test up to 26 times the 0. heat to 800oF in a drying oven (see back cover). with the flux ingredients in the hollow of the wire. When this happens it is too late to correct in an oven. For meeting X-ray quality and high strength steel building code requirements. Too Flux used for submerged arc welding is another source of hydrogen. Treat flux the same as electrode coatings. Never reuse dirty or fused flux. and quality fabricators and welding ope leaving their ovens cold.. Flux-cored wire. * Including. especially if high strength steel is to be welded. .S. bake at 800oF dep needed. to a lesser extent. If you know th heat to 800oF for one hour. Treat flux the same as elec high strength steel is to be submerged arc welded. Within 24 hours.Research has established enough information for the electrode manufacturer to recognize the im moisture in coatings. Phoenix DryRod Ovens hold electrodes well within specified limits. Dry Flux. Most producers of electrodes and fluxes recommend procedures for heatin them and you'll be safe. and don't have a makers recommendation. ho the lower temperature and longer time. The electrode drying equipment is relatively inexpensive. When you heat the electrodes to 1000oF you risk breakd may prove more harmful than the presence of hydrogen. must also be watched for hydr possible for rust to form inside the wire. What Happens to Electrodes* Under Normal Shop Exposure Conditions? Within two hours at 80% relative humidity. Government & Nuclear Specifications. "moisture resistant" electrodes. rods may contain up to 13 times the allowable moisture content for U.Flux used for submerged arc welding is another source for hydrogen.. If your electrodes are wet or were exposed to high moisture for a long period. Baking time depends on the electrod There is some indication that baking at 1000oF for 10 minutes is better than 800oF for 4 hours.2% allowed. then store in a holding oven at 250o to 300oF. It is a good idea to put storage. Too. It is a good idea to put flux in a holding oven for storage.

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