The 7018 welding rod is primarily used for carbon steel (low, medium, and high) and low alloy steel of higher strength. It has many benefits, including good arc control, easy ignition, and more. Below we’ll get into more detail about what composes a 7018 welding rod, more uses, benefits, and frequently asked questions.
What Is a 7018 Welding Rod?
First, it’s essential to understand the numerical notation behind welding rod classifications. Let’s dive in.
The first two numbers represent the amount of tensile strength for every kilopound/square inch of metal; 70, in the case of 7018, represents 70,000 pounds (7 kilopounds). Interestingly enough, by these metrics, the weld may often be stronger than the materials you’re welding!
The last two numbers correspond to the rod’s flux coating. What this means is that higher numbers correspond to higher levels of coating. Put simply, the 7018 rod has more coating than a 6013 rod.
It’s also important to pay attention to the third number. This is because the third number indicates the welding position and, thus, the position of the welding electrode. For example, the number “1” signifies an all-electrode position, which is the most universally applicable. 2 indicates flat/horizontal, and 4 indicates flat, vertical down, horizontal, and overhead positions.
What are some advantages and disadvantages of using a 7018 welding rod? Well, the 7018 welding rod:
- Is highly stable
- Does not produce splatter
- Operates at a reduced noise level
- Is crack-resistant
- Can be used in all positions
- Performs well at cold/freezing temperatures
The only potential pitfall to using a 7018 welding rod is that its penetration capacity is pretty minimal, so it's not a good option if you need medium penetration or deep penetration.
7018 Welding Rod Uses
It’s now time to go into the uses and applications of the 7018 welding rod. Here are the most common 7018 welding rod uses:
- Military vessels
- Structural steel
- Below-freezing work environments
- Power plants
The 7018 welding rod is an industry standard. On top of the benefits we’ve listed above, it also uses a minimal amount of hydrogen, which ensures stability and prevents cracking on infrastructure projects that require enormous amounts of tensile strength and structural rigor and integrity. In this way, this particular welding rod is the best choice for heavy-duty projects and structural welding projects alike.
The 7018 welding rod is also superb for maintenance and repair welding. Its post-weld cleanup is generally superior to many other stick welding rods, which means it can clean up slag more easily.
Tips for Using the 7018 Welding Rod
How to Properly Store the 7018 Welding Rod
The proper storage environment for the 7018 welding rod is of critical importance. Before we go into those requirements, let’s look at a few myths about proper storage so you know what not to do:
- Wrapping them in plastic, then freezing them. While it might seem that because the 7018 welding rods work well in sub-zero temperatures, they can go in the freezer, that’s not the case. Putting them in the freezer will add moisture to the flux, and adding moisture adds hydrogen, which makes the weld weaker because that extra hydrogen is added to the weld pool.
- Putting them in the refrigerator with an always-on lightbulb. Unfortunately, no lightbulb will maintain a constant temperature for more than a few hours. The rods require a consistent temperature of 250° to 450°F.
- Conversely, the final myth is that you can heat them or “bake” the moisture out of them. There is some logic to this, but it’s not the proper storage process.
Actually, the way you need to store 7018 electrodes is by heating them to 500 to 600°F. The two heating options are portable welding rod ovens and a high-grade industrial bench electrode oven. Consider these investments, depending on the nature of your project. Experienced welders can get a welding flux oven for $1,500 to $4,000 if they need a top-of-the-line oven.
Pre-welding preparation simply involves preheating the welding rod. Preheating means applying localized heat to the welding zone. The precise specifications of the preheating process for 7018 electrodes vary depending on the material.
You don’t need to preheat certain steels because of their low hydrogen content – unless the temperature is below 50° Fahrenheit. The localized heating also depends on the thickness of the material.
In terms of the actual welding process, at this point, we know that you can weld with the 7018 welding rod in any position. This video does a fantastic job of succinctly explaining the proper techniques for using this welding rod.
What is the amperage range for the 7018 welding rod?
While there isn’t a precise, one-size-fits-all rule or metric for the 7018 welding rod, there are some specifications. These specifications are based on the diameter of the rod. For each type of welding rod, there are different ones with different diameters. For the 7018, this diameter depends on the thickness of the metal workpiece you’re welding. In general, however, the 7018 welding rod is best suited to an amperage of 225.
What are the proper storage conditions for the 7018 welding rod?
In this article, we covered how not to store the welding rod and how to store it. For reference, don’t refrigerate, bake, or freeze them; instead, keep them heated with an electrode oven, which ranges in price from $154 to $4,000, depending on your needs.
What positions can you use the 7018 to weld in?
The 7018 welding rod is the most versatile welding rod on the market. You can weld with it in any position.
The 7018 welding rod is versatile, durable, and requires minimal clean-up. You can weld with it in any position, it has a low hydrogen content for minimal slag, but you need to maintain it properly in a high-heat welding electrode oven.
It’s a very stable welding rod with various uses and applications, from bridges to different steels and power plants. You can also use it in sub-freezing temperatures. Ecenrode Welds has 7018s for sale here. Buy them today for your project of choice!