Stick welders often use 7018 electrodes for structural welds, and the codes for these electrodes can be quite strict. 7018 electrodes need to be kept in a hermetically sealed bag or in a rod oven at 250 degrees when not in use. However, plenty of welders have stories about a guy who found a box of ten-year old 7018 electrodes laying around the shop and then laid down perfect beads with them.
Is heating 7018 electrodes a waste of time?
Applications for 7018 Electrodes
The nature of the job for your electrodes will determine how you store them. If you’re just making simple welds that won’t bear any weight, a 7018 will hold two pieces of metal together. The real difference comes with load-bearing welds. Any moisture that seeps into the electrode from air contact over a prolonged period of time will compromise the strength of your weld. For structural or load-bearing welds, it’s imperative that you keep your electrodes warm and dry.
Storage of 7018 Electrodes
The best way to store 7018 electrodes for professional welders will be in a specially designed oven. However, if you’re just welding as a hobbyist, you can either buy small quantities of 7018 electrodes in properly sealed bags or stick to 6011 electrodes that only need to be kept dry.
Learn more about Stick Welding Electrodes at Baker’s Gas and Welding.