Flux-Cored Arc Welding

Basic Equipment for Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

In this article, you are going to learn the equipment you will need when you are ready to start Flux-Cored Arc Welding.

FCAW Welder

The FCAW welder is usually of constant voltage CV type in which the welding voltage changes by very little amount with a large change in the welding current, so this machine maintains approximately constant arc length, and this is called auto-regulation or self-adjusting technique where the machine controls the arc length by using varying wire feed speed.


constant voltage characteristic
The FCAW welder or welding machine is the same as MIG/MAG welding machines and all of them are CV.
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Shielding Gas

In welding, shielding gases are transferred to the working area in tanks or containers called cylinders. The cylinders are usually available in different sizes: 40, 80 and 125 cubic feet capacity cylinders. Gas cylinders are designed and maintained in accordance with the U.S. department of transportation (DOT) and/or ISO. The gas cylinders are filled with the permission of the owner and only filled by recognized gas suppliers. Gas cylinders are not allowed to become part of an electrical circuit as this may cause arcing and consequently cracking on the cylinder surface. The content of gas cylinders shall be marked by using color labels. Safe handling and storage procedures of Compressed gas cylinders are discussed in the handbook of compressed gases published by the Compressed Gas Association.
welding gas cylinder

Photo by @insuweld.s.l

Correct welding Wire

FCAW is a continuous welding process. That is why the welding wires are supplied in the form of welding spools or coils. With these wires, you can have a higher current density than those that can be tolerated by traditional welding electrodes like coated electrodes used in SMAW welding process. In coated electrodes, the excessive increase in current density can cause deterioration and damage of the electrode coating (and consequently results in mis-shielding of the weld pool). The high current density allows more welding penetration and consequently stronger welded joints.


welding coated electrodes

Welding Coated Electrodes


The common diameter sizes of FCAW wire are in the range of 0.8 mm to 2.0 mm but also 0.6 mm may be there for certain applications and uses.
Wires with a diameter of 0.6 mm are uncommon and are particularly suitable for smaller welding machines and thin sheets. The selection of wire diameter depends on material thickness: The thicker the materials, the thicker the wires.

Types of cored wires

There are three common types of cored wires: seamless cored wire, Butt joint cored wire and overlapping cored wire:


different cored wire welding
Learn the Classification of FCAW Wires by checking out this linked article.

Welding helmets with darkening screens

Welding sparks and flashes are very harmful to human eyes as the produced UV light can damage your retina and conjunctiva, which can result in temporary blindness. That is why in welding, the welder shall wear an auto-darkening helmet which protects the welderā€™s eyes by filtering the produced UV light before reaching his eyes. Selecting the shade number of glasses used in the helmet depends on the welding current as per ANSI Z49.1 ā€œSafety in welding, Cutting, And Allied Processesā€ as shown in the table below:
guide for shade wire welding

Source: AWS Z49-2021



Auto Darkening Welding Helmet TL-21800F | Weld Plasma Cut Grindingļ½œTooliom

Metal brush

Cleaning the area to be welded before commencing the welding is a must and this step can be done by using a metal wire brush. It can remove slags, rusts, and dirt which may cause defects in the produced welds like porosity. Make sure the brush has stainless steel bristles.


This is a piece of copper or aluminum which fixes the ground cable of the machine rigidly with the piece to be welded and as much the connections are strong, the more the current is concentrated on welding without any losses and also the lower arcing is produced between the clamp and the workpiece.

Angle grinder

Angle grinder is used mainly in cutting and joint preparation works but also it can be used in cleaning the area of welding by grinding any present rusts or paints which may cause defects in the produced welds like porosity. It's also used for removing weld spatters when you're done welding.


angle grinder fcaw welding

Source: https://www.homedit.com/best-angle-grinder/

Safety equipment:

For safety practice, Safety should be your priority when welding with any welding process. The welding process involves a lot of risks including fire, electrical shock, eye injury, etc, so your safety considerations should involve the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). These include the following:
  • Safety goggles and safety glasses.
  • coveralls.
  • Fire extinguishers that are usually of Co2 type.
  • Safety shoes.
  • Gloves.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Hard hats.
  • Earplugs.
  • Face shields.


TOOLIOM Mig/Stick Welding Gloves


TOOLIOM Mig/Stick Welding Gloves


Once you have all the required equipment ready, you can start welding. Please check out this linked article to learn How to get into Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW).


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