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A short stick of welding filler metal consisting of a core of bare electrode covered by chemical or metallic materials that provide shielding of the welding arc against the surrounding air. It also completes the electrical circuit, thereby creating the arc. (Also known as SMAW, or Stick Metal Arc Welding.)
Cored wire is similar to MIG wire in that it is spooled filler metal for continuous welding. However, Cored wire is not solid, but contains flux internally (chemical & metallic materials) that provides shielding. Gas is often not required for shielding. (Process is also known as FCAW, or Flux-Cored Arc Welding.)
A bare metal wire is used in conjunction with a separate flux. Flux is a granular composition of chemical and metallic materials that shields the arc. The actual point of metal fusion, and the arc, is submerged within the flux. (Process is also known as SAW, or Submerged Arc Welding.)
Heating the coated stick electrode and the base metal with an arc creates fusion of metals. An AC and/or DC electrical current is produced by this machine to create the heat needed. An electrode holder handles stick electrodes and a ground clamp completes the circuit.
For MIG welding or Flux-Cored wire welding, wire feeder welders are usually complete and portable welding kits. A small built in wire feeder guides wire through the gun to the piece.
For MIG welding or Flux-Cored welding, semiautomatic wire feeders are connected to a welding power source and are used to feed a spool of wire through the welding gun. Wire is only fed when the trigger is depressed. These units are portable.
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