Hobart Flux Core Wire Review

Flux core wires can be found it two versions the self-shielded and the gas shielded. Their usability and application can be tricky especially if you are not conversant with their properties and the type of weld that they each produce. The anatomy of a flux core wire is that they are filled with flux and feature an outer sheath.

Flux is normally a mixture of deoxidizers and alloys, the former helps in protecting the weld from contaminants. The self-shielded wires normally generate the shielding gas and that is why they are mainly adopted for use in the outdoor welding projects.

The gas shielded flux cored wires, on the other hand, have to use an external gas shielding supply and that is why they are convenient for use during general fabrication, and heavy equipment fabrication among others. Hobart flux core wires have been made to offer quality and reliability; they, therefore, offer users two types of wire applications.

One is that there is the flux core wire that can be adopted for use in the workshop, and the other one that can be used for the onsite applications.

What to expect from Hobart Flux Cored wires

Since Hobart has a variety of flux-cored wires for different applications we will take a look at a few and see how they stack up when it comes to usability. The Hobart 81N1M is designed for all positional welding, it will, therefore, suffice on single and multi-pass welding, bridge fabrication, heavy equipment fabrication and structural fabrication.

By utilizing the Hobart 81N1M you can expect enhanced weldability and an appealing bead at the end of the project. The flux core wire also has minimal spatter and a stable arc. No matter the position that you choose to use with the Titania flux-cored wire the results will always be excellent whether butt or fillet welds.

There is also the FabCo xl-525 flux-cored wire from Hobart, which is an all positional wire and works well when used on mild and carbon steel. You can thus adopt the wire for your shipbuilding project, or for the storage vessels, the earth moving equipment or for pipe welding. Now, this is one of the wires that you can use on rust materials, mill scale and primers.

The FabCo xl-525 is also efficient for the single and multi-pass welding requirements, and that is if you want to achieve a clear weld deposit complete with a bead contour that is not only flat but at times slightly convex. The flux-cored wire is also known for producing minimal fumes, the spatter is low and the remaining slag will not give you a hard time to remove.

We then have the FabCo Excel –Arc 71 that is characteristic of good impact toughness, produces fewer fumes and spatter, and features a fast freezing slag.

And the feature that makes this specific wire from Hobart to stand out is the fact that it can resist cracking even in sever applications. You can, therefore, adopt the wire for use on heavy equipment, the non-alloyed grain steels and for structural fabrication among others.

Another interesting feature that is also a relief for the users is that you can easily remove the remaining slag and use it to bridge poor fit up without necessarily burning through. The end result of using the FabCo Excel-Arc 71 is that you will come up with a professional and appealing weld.

What are the key features of the Hobart Flux Core Wire

Flux core wires from Hobart do feature various classifications that come with unique properties thus enabling users to offer unique products. The usability variances are therefore what determines if a specific wire will be selected?

Gas shielded flux cored arc welding using the tubular Hobart wire that is made of metallic and metallic oxide powders produces professional or high-quality welds. The mentioned powder usually acts as a flux during the welding process and ends up forming a protective slag over the already done weld.

So in case you decide to use the Hobart wire then you can expect to achieve a free weld even in the presence of light rust, surface contaminants or scale. Back to the classification of the Hobart wires and here you will find that the FCAW-G wires are classified either as a specification for carbon steel electrodes or as a specification for low-alloy steel electrodes.

The above are under the two AWS specifications and an example of some of the classified wires is the E81T1-Ni1MJ H8. Let us now look at some of the key properties of the Mild steel FCAW-G wires that have been classified under the AWS A5.20 that feature disability designators commonly used in the welding industry, which are the T-1, T-2, and T-12.

For starters, the above categories are characteristic of a titanium dioxide-based slag, which determines how the slag will form and appear. The above goes to show that if you use any of the three wires for welding then you can expect exceptional welding characteristics. However, there is a reason for the classification and one is that they don’t feature the same chemical or mechanical properties.

The Mild Steel T-9 wires from Hobart are what many welders use in the welding industry; the wire isn’t very different from T-1 only that it is very versatile in application. The wire will also offer a user the best balance when it comes to mechanical properties or the welding characteristics. The Mild steel T-1 wires, on the other hand, are not very tough when compared to the other two categories and can be adopted for operations that don’t require a higher degree of toughness.

Despite the above T-1 does offer a smooth transfer and a stable arc, the wire is also less cumbersome to use and will weld over scale or rust and give you a good slag. The Mild steel T-12 wires will give its users a restricted tensile strength, the latter when combined with manganese content work to obliterate the risk of cracking that is caused by poor ductility as you work on projects that involve thick metal plates.

The Mild Steel T-1 can thus be adopted for use in some of the heavy welding projects because their formulation is aimed at offering mechanical properties such as toughness. What’s more, is that some of the T-12 wires feature low impurity content that aims to enhance its mechanical performance with regard to the post-weld heat treatment.

There are other FCAW-G wires that are characteristic of basic slag, mostly those with a 5 designator. The T-5 wires therefore, provide a low weld deposit and offer a high arch force that is relevant during penetration to the base material. The above characteristics therefore, make the T-5 wires good for use in performing repairs or in welding thick materials.

So for your heavy welding surgeries, you can be sure that T-5 will do an excellent job. However, you will also have to contend with a few downsides, for example, you can forget about a smooth welding finish, and prepare yourself for a much harsher arc when compared to the other categories like T-12. Other noticeable features that are not very appealing are the resultant convex bead profile, increased spatter and the presence of solidification lines on the face of the weld.

And though most of the Hobart Flux-cored wires can achieve a perfect weld while being used in different positions, the T-5 can only work well in a flat or horizontal position. However, if you must use the wire then you can still achieve an out of position welding but utilize the wires that have been made to specifically operate in DCEN polarity.

Important facts about self-shielded and gas shielded flux cored wires

  • Flux-cored wires that feature a rutile slag offer good weldability
  • Both the wires come in varying industry-standard diameters
  • Small diameter wires do not need too much stick out, however, amperage and wire classification have much to contribute.
  • Composition of the wire largely determines if it will be used for either single or multi-pass welding

Pros

  • Feature a higher deposition rate
  • Offers users strong impact values and high strength welds
  • Have the ability to weld through contaminants
  • Using the flux core wires does not require training

Cons

  • Gas-shielded and self-shielded wires always leave slag that has o be cleaned using a wire brush
  • With regard to the categories discussed above some of the wires come at a steep price

 

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Final thought

Choosing the right type of welding wire is not easy, therefore, instead of ending up with an expensive welding wire that cannot cater to your needs best you consult the filler metal manufacturer or the distributors.

And before you use a welding wire remember that they come in different categories and with different mechanical properties. Some applications are not too demanding thus getting a befitting wire won’t be a problem but for those applications with demanding mechanical properties, it would be best to take your time and research for a suitable wire.

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