Welding electrodes – Understanding the SMAW electrode symbols

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) electrodes are designated by “E” followed by four (or five) digits for example: E7018, E6013 or E10018. I will explain the meaning of these symbols:

IF THE ELECTRODE HAS “E” FOLLOWED BY FOUR DIGITS (FOR EX. E7018)

E – Stands for electrode

XX – First two digits designates the minimum tensile strength in Ksi (XX * 1000 Psi)

X – Second last digit designates position for which the electrode can be used

  •  1 – Flat, Vertical, Overhead and horizontal (All Position)
  • 2 – Horizontal-Fillet & Flat
  • 3 – Flat, Horizontal, Overhead and Vertical-downwards

XX – Last two digits together shows two things

  1. Polarity in which electrode can be used
  2. Flux composition

IF THE ELECTRODE HAS “E” FOLLOWED BY FIVE DIGITS (FOR EX. E10018)

E – Stands for electrode

XXX – First three digits designates the minimum tensile strength in Ksi (XX* 1000 Psi)

X – Second last digit is for position, in which the electrode can be used

  •  1 – Flat, Vertical, Overhead and horizontal (All Position)
  • 2 – Horizontal-Fillet & Flat
  • 3 – Flat, Horizontal, Overhead and Vertical-downwards

XX – Last two digits together shows two things

  1. Polarity in which electrode can be used
  2. Flux composition

Flux Composition details (Last two digits of the electrodes)

  • 10 – High Cellulose Sodium
  • 11 – High Cellulose Potassium
  • 12 – High Titania Sodium
  • 13 – High Titania Potassium
  • 14 – Iron powder, Titania
  • 15 – Low-Hydrogen Sodium
  • 16 – Low-Hydrogen Potassium
  • 18 – Low-hydrogen potassium, iron powder
  • 19 – Iron oxide Titania Potassium
  • 20 – High Iron Oxide
  • 22 – High Iron Oxide
  • 24 – Iron power, Titania
  • 27 – High Iron Oxide, Iron powder
  • 28 – Low-Hydrogen Potassium, Iron powder
  • 48 – Low-Hydrogen Potassium, Iron powder

FOR EXAMPLE, E7018 MEANS

The following figure shows shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) electrodes;

SOME OPTIONAL INFORMATION MAY ALSO GIVEN SUCH AS:

EXXXX-1

1 designates that it will meet improved toughness OR ductility

EXXXX-H4R

“H4” designates that it will meet 4ml average diffusible hydrogen content with 100 grams of weld deposit

“R” identifies electrodes passing the absorbed moisture test

SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR ELECTRODES AND THEIR MEANING ARE GIVEN BELOW:

  1. E6010 = High cellulose sodium flux. DCEP for flat, vertical, overhead and horizontal positions
  2. E6011 = High cellulose potassium flux. AC or DCEP for flat, vertical, overhead and horizontal positions
  3. E6012 = High titania sodium flux. AC or DCEN for flat, vertical, overhead and horizontal positions.
  4. E6013 = High titania potassium flux. AC, DCEP or DCEN for flat, vertical, overhead and horizontal positions.
  5. E7018 = low-hydrogen potassium, iron powder flux. AC or DCEP for flat, vertical, overhead and horizontal positions. 

Abbreviations: AC – Alternating Current

                        DCEP – Direct current electrode positive (Reverse Polarity)

                        DCEN – Direct current electrode Negative (Straight Polarity)

Please watch the video for a better understanding, and feel free to share your views.

Thank you

3 thoughts on “Welding electrodes – Understanding the SMAW electrode symbols

  1. Dear Sandeep
    Thanks for an excellent tutorial. Why don’t you upload important welding Q&A (quiz)?. It may help to pass the interviews for freshers and newly joined welding inspectors. Basically I am a QMS auditor and I am very keen to know the inspection technology of welding.

    Best Regards

    S.Ram

    1. Dear Mr. S.Ram
      Thank you for your valuable suggestion. This is to inform you that I am planning to upload preparatory questions for various welding inspector courses such as AWS and CSWIP, It would be helpful for both freshers as well as those who are willing to appear in the tests. It may take 2 to 3 months, please keep in touch for the updates.
      Regards
      Sandeep anand

  2. Dear Sir,

    Requesting you to kindly explain in details about radiography test procedures, for example selection of IQI, calculations of sensitivity, thickness limits as per standard, SWSI, DWSI etc.. which includes RT procedures.

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