Arc Welding Rods

AES stock the most extensive range of welding rods currently available online.

We have over 20 years experience of feedback from welders in this market sector and concentrate on supplying the most popular brands available, such as Esab, Oerlikon, Murex, Filarc, Bohler, UTP, Hyundai, Lincoln and much more.

Why are manual metal arc welding rods still popular in today's world of metal fabrication?

Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMA) is the oldest form of arc welding and goes back to 1888 in Russia. The main reason why MMA Welding rods are still popular is the simplicity of set-up, especially with on-site welding applications, and the fact that no shielding gas is needed which is ideal for open spaces where wind would normally blow the shielding gas away.

Types of welding rods

Arc stability, depth of penetration, metal deposition rate and positional capability are greatly influenced by the chemical composition of the flux coating on the welding electrode. Welding rods can be divided into three main groups based on their flux coating.

Rods with a rutile coating

Welding rods with a rutile flux coating (most popular grade is 6013) contain a high proportion of titanium oxide (rutile) in the coating. Titanium oxide promotes easy arc ignition, smooth arc operation and low spatter making this type of electrode the most popular for weld ability and ease of use.

6013 welding rods are for general purpose welding applications such as welding of mild steels with good welding properties. They can be used with AC and DC welding machines and in all welding positions. They are especially suitable for welding fillet joints in the horizontal/vertical (H/V) position.

7024 welding rods also have a rutile coating but with the addition of iron powder to the flux coating to increase the maximum permissible welding current level. Thus, for a given electrode size, the metal deposition rate and efficiency (percentage of the metal deposited) are increased compared with an electrode containing no iron powder in the coating. The slag is normally easy to remove.

7024 iron powder electrodes are mainly used in the flat and H/V positions to take advantage of the higher deposition rates. Efficiencies as high as 180% recovery of extra welding metal can be achieved with this type of welding rod without marked deterioration of the arc characteristics however the welding arc can tend to be less forceful which can lead to reduction in weld bead penetration.

General features of rutile welding rods

  • Moderate mechanical properties in the welding deposit
  • Good bead appearance produced through the viscous slag
  • Positional welding possible with a fluid slag (containing fluoride)
  • Easily removable slag

Cellulosic welding rods

Often referred to as '6010 or 6011 welding rods' contain a high proportion of cellulose in the coating and are characterised by a deeply penetrating arc and a rapid burn-off rate resulting in higher welding speeds.

The weld deposit can be coarse and with a fluid slag, consequently removing the slag can be difficult. These electrodes are easy to use in any position and are noted for their use in the 'stovepipe' welding technique.


  • Deep penetration in all positions
  • Suitability for welding vertically downwards
  • Reasonably good mechanical properties
  • High level of hydrogen generated - risk of cracking in the heat affected zone (HAZ)

Welding rods with a basic flux coating

Basic welding electrodes - often referred to as '7018 welding rods' or 'low hydrogen welding rods' contain a high proportion of calcium carbonate (limestone) and calcium fluoride (fluorspar) in the coating.

This makes their slag coating more fluid than rutile coatings - this is also fast freezing which assists welding in the vertical and overhead position.

These electrodes are used for welding medium and heavy section fabrications where higher weld quality, good mechanical properties and resistance to cracking (due to high restraint) are required.


  • Low hydrogen weld metal
  • Requires high welding currents/speeds
  • Poor bead profile (convex and coarse surface profile)
  • Slag removal is difficult

Why buy arc welding rods from AES?

  • We stock the best trusted brands of welding electrodes at the best prices
  • Live stock levels for next day delivery and order tracking - check these online
  • EN 10204 3.1 Inspection Certificates are available on all welding rods
  • All products have CE approval

Types of welding rods that we stock

  • 6013 Welding Rods for Mild Steels
  • Low Hydrogen for Mild and Low Alloy Steels
  • Low alloy electrodes for Carbon Manganese Steels
  • Stainless Steels
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Special welding rods for maintenance applications
  • Aluminium
  • Dissimilar welding applications
  • Welding rods for Cast Iron
  • Hardfacing applications
  • Tool & Die Steels
  • Gouging Electrodes

Brands we stock are Esab, Filarc, Murex, Oerlikon, Lincoln, Hyundai, MasterWeld, Bohler, UTP, T-Put (formally known as Thyssen)

Need technical support? Call us free on 0800 975 9710

© 2024 AES Industrial Supplies Limited

Company Registration: 07988136 Registered Office: Olympic House, Collett, Southmead Park, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, OX11 7WB


We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.