What Do the Numbers on a Welding Rod Mean

What Do the Numbers on a Welding Rod Mean?

Whether you’re already in the welding sector or someone interested in having a welding career, it’s essential to know what the numbers on a welding rod mean.

While many may think that the numbers don’t have any significant meanings, that, however, isn’t the case. Each letter and/or number serves a distinctive purpose. And you don’t have to own a welding certificate to know it.

In order to make the whole process easier for you, we’ve detailed what do the numbers on a welding rod mean here. At the same time, we’ve included all the other information that you may be in need of!

What Are Welding Rod?

In case you didn’t know already, welding rod or electrodes are coated metal wires. There are two variations of them – consumable & non-consumable.

Consumable welding rods are the ones that are consumed when used as it melts along with the weld. On the other hand, non-consumable welding rods don’t dissolve to become a part of the weld.

What Are the Most Common Welding Rods?

Without a doubt, you’ll find thousands of different welding rods in the market. However, we wanted to introduce some of the most common ones that are under the American Welding Society. These are – E6010, E6011, E6012, E6013, E7014, E7018 and E7024 electrodes.

What Do the Numbers on a Welding Rod Mean?

A numbering system has been created by the American Welding Society to help give proper information about the kind of welding rod it is. These are not your regular welding symbols. Thanks to the numbering system, you can easily tell which rod should be purchased based on your need. Let’s look at what each number stands for:

DigitType of CoatingWelding Current
0High Cellulose SodiumDC+
1High Cellulose PotassiumAC, DC+ or DC-
2High Titania SodiumAC, DC-
3High Titania PotassiumAC, DC+
4Iron Powder, TitaniaAC, DC+ OR DC-
5Low Hydrogen SodiumDC+
6Low Hydrogen PotassiumAC, DC+
7High Iron Oxide, Potassium PowderAC, DC+ OR DC-
8Low Hydrogen Potassium, Iron PowderAC, DC+ OR DC-

When you look at a welding rod, you’ll notice that all the numbers are accompanied by the letter E. The ‘E’ entails the arc welding electrode. If the welding rod comes with 4-digits, then the first two numbers stand for tensile strength; if it has 5-digits, then the first three will be for the tensile strength.

An example of this will be – E7018 stands for 70,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) tensile strength. Whereas in the case of E11018, the tensile strength will be 100,000.

The second last number in the series stands for the position. In this case, ‘1’ refers to an all situation electrode; ‘2’ refers to a horizontal and flat electrode; ‘4’ stands for a flat, vertical down, horizontal and overhead electrode.

However, the last two digits combined refer to the form of the coating as well as the welding current.

ElectrodeTensile StrengthPositionType of Coating & Current

Here’s a breakdown to make it easier for you to understand. (In reference to the first example)

Extra Numbers and Letters

You will find some exceptional welding rods that contain extra letters and numbers. For such cases, the first alphabet-number code (such as A1, B1, etc.) refers to the chemistry of the welding rod.

Following this code will come a number alongside H; this indicates the amount of hydrogen that’ll be dispersed while using the rod. If the final letter-number combination is with R, it refers to the welding rod’s ability to resist moisture.

How Do Choose Welding Rod?

Before we part ways, we wanted to provide you with a guide on selecting the right kind of welding rod. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it!

  1. Firstly, you’ll have to look for a welding rod that will match the base metal’s composition and strength properties. Thus, for mild steel, you’ll need either E60 or E70.
  2. Secondly, you’ll have to take the available source of power in mind while matching the electrode with the welding point.
  3. Thirdly, evaluate the design of the joint and fit-up to choose an electrode that’ll best suit the penetration features such as digging. Electrodes like E6010 or E6011 will offer better arcs to guarantee proper penetration when working on a tight fit-up joint.

E6013 will be a better suit for working on thin materials. On the other hand, for working on heavy material or/and complex joint designs opting for a welding rod that’ll offer the most ductility, E7018 will be the best option.

  • Next, you’ll need to factor in production efficiency. For example, E7014 or E7024 offers higher installation rates, which is best for working on flat positions.
  • Finally, we’ll advise you to always keep an eye on the welding specifications and techniques for complex applications.

Wrap Up

We hope it’s safe to assume that you know what do the numbers on a welding rod means by now. Be sure to keep an eye out of the number to decipher what it’s made for and be best for. Good luck with your work!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.