Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Definition - What does Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) mean?

Flux cored arc welding is a fusion welding process, which involves the use of a continuously fed consumable wire electrode to create an electrical arc that provides the heat necessary to melt the metals being welded. The consumable wire electrode used in flux cored arc welding is packed with flux.

Corrosionpedia explains Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Flux cored arc welding uses a tubular wire electrode, which consists of a metal sheath that contains a flux powder. The metal sheath and parts of the flux powder are deposited as weld metal. The remaining portion of the flux powder is used for neutralizing contaminants in the metal and shielding the weld from the atmosphere. When the weld solidifies, the portion of the flux that does not become part of the weld metal floats to the top of the weld pool and hardens into a slag. This slag is normally removed following the completion of the weld.

Flux cored arc welding is limited in the materials that it can weld effectively, such as low alloy, carbon steels and stainless steel.

There are two varieties of flux cored arc welding:

  1. Gas-shielded flux cored arc welding - The flux in gas-shielded arc welding, while it does help protect the weld from oxidation and contamination, is not sufficient to fully protect the weld. Shielding gas is used in conjunction with the flux powder because of this.
  2. Self-shielded flux cored arc welding has a flux powder that is sufficient to shield the weld pool from the atmosphere.

Gas-shielded flux cored arc welding typically has higher deposition rates and allows for faster travel speeds because not as much slag is produced.

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