Flux Cored Arc Welding or FCAW is considered a similar welding method to Metal Inert Gas. The reason why, is because in both methods welders use about the same equipment with some minimal variations regarding the time and details in each procedure.
We researched some of the best auto darkening welding helmets in the market, and the result was our recommendation for FCAW: the Miller Electric 5A. A welding helmet with all the essential specifications such as 4 sensors, a large viewing area and extremelly fast response, to help you weld accurately and with maximum convenience.
Flux Cored Arc Welding can take place both using a shielding a gas or not, and a power supply is needed. It is considered one of the most flexible welding methods compared to other well-known methods such as TIG, MIG or stick welding, as it enhances the productivity of the welder and brings faster results.
The main difference of the FCAW without shielding gas and the FCAW with gas, is that the first process can be used for works that take place outdoors, where the weather conditions could destroy or take away the shielding gas.
This type of FCAW is also known as the self-shielded FCAW. The fact that it is self-shielded, makes it possible to protect the metal and the weld pool from the elements of the atmosphere, such as the air, and also deoxidizes the weld pool.
Welders need high quality welding helmets in order to proceed with the Flux Cored Arc Welding. In this article we have made a list of 5 of the best ones suitable for the particular process, and we analyze them in depth later.
The process of Flux Cored Arc Welding – How it works
The MIG welding process can be considered the father of Flux Cored Arc Welding. The reason why, is that it lead to the evolvement of FCAW in order to boost the productivity of the welding by improving the metal transfer, the weld metal appearance and uses and generally the entire welding process.
During FCAW, we use an arc to provide the heat with the combination of tubular electrode wire which constantly feeds the arc, and the pieces of metal required for our project.
There are two ways that we can shield the weld. The first one is by acquiring shield gas that from an external supply, and the second way is by acquiring the shielding gas from a flux which can be found in the tubular electrode wire.
So, what is the flux cored welding wire? The particular welding wire, or an electrode according to your preference, is a tube which must be filled with a mix various elements such as metal powders, fluxing agents and deoxidizers in order to be functional.
There is only one obvious difference between Flux cored wires and sold cod-drawn wires. This specific difference is the closure seam. In order to understand the closure seem, you need to keep in mind that it has the shape of a line.
There are two ways that welders use to proceed with the Flux Cored Arc Welding method. The first way is by using carbon dioxide gas and the flux to provide the essential shielding to the weld, or using the second way in which the flux core has the ability to offer the necessary amounts of shielding gas.
The vast majority of welders tend to go with the first way and there is a good reason way. The shield produced by the carbon dioxide gas, has the ability to go deeper and penetrate more effectively the weld, which means that makes the process a lot faster and convenient too, as there is no external shielding gas needed.
The Flux Cored Arc Welding method can be done in various ways. For instance, it can be done semi-automatically or completely automatically, or it can be done with the use of machinery. The most common way nevertheless is semi-automatically.
Semi-automatically means that manual operation are need by the welder. Using this way, the electrode wire is fed by the wire feeder, and the arc length is maintained at the same levels constantly with the help of the power source.
The welder takes part when it comes to operating the welding gun. He have the knowledge to operate the machines in order to set the required adjustments for the welding, so that the desired results can be produced.
The difference of the semi-automatic and the machine FCAW, is the fact with the machine FCAW the process is almost except the joint travel. The joint travel is produced and placed by the machine, and there is no need for manual operation by the welder.
This type of automatic welding process is used mainly for large commercial applications and products. The main job of the welding operator (the welder) in this process, is to inspect the welding process and correct it by making minor adjustments regarding the parameters.
Advantages & disadvantages of the Flux Cored Arc Welding
All welding methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Below, we have gathered some of the main pros and cons of the FCAW:
To begin with, one of the first advantages of the FCAW method is that it produces a weld deposit of significant appearance, which is considered high quality. In addition to this, it is a very flexible method as it can be used to join different types of metals, with various thicknesses.
In comparison to the rest of the welding methods, FCAW can utilize the electrode in better ways and makes the joining a lot more easy, as it penetrates the weld deeper. As a result, the final design and appearance of the weld is of higher quality than most other methods.
Regarding the arc, the work of the welder becomes a lot more convenient as it is visible at all times and makes it easier for him to handle. What is more, less time is needed for cleaning because Flux Cored Arc Welding is more difficult to contaminate.
Finally, it is considered one of the best welding methods for outdoor projects, as it can tolerate weather conditions and the elements of the atmosphere. This is due to the fact that there is no need for external gas supply, because of the self-shielded electrodes.
The main disadvantage of the FCAW is that it is limited to welding ferrous metals and nickel based alloys, which makes it an a non suitable welding method for many industries. Along with this limitation, a special cleaning process of the slag produced during the welding is essential.
Also, it is not the most affordable welding method available. The FCAW electrode wires are far more expensive than common solid electrode wires. This does not make it a beginner-friendly method, and not suitable for welders on a tight budget either.
Adding to this, the equipment required for FCAW are expensive too, and they are harder to operate as they require special knowledge by the welder. Lastly, more smoke and fumes are produced during this welding process in comparison to most of the rest.
Best Welding Helmets for Flux Cored Arc Welding
In order to proceed with the FCAW method, welders need to make sure that they are protected properly. This is why we have made a list of 5 of the best welding helmets ideal for Flux Cored Arc Welding, and we recommend them below:
1 – Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Lithium 5A
- Price For: Each Headgear: Ratchet Material: Nylon...
- Electromagnetic Sensor: Yes Standards: ANSI...
- Country of Origin (subject to change): South Korea
Regarding welding helmets that are suitable for Flux Cored Arc Welding, the Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Lithium 5A by Miller Electric would be my top choice. It is a very comfortable welding helmet, especially designed for welders that take over long hours projects.
The optical clarity of the helmet is exceptional. It has a large viewing area, which allows the user to have constant contact with the environment around him, and the quality of the lens is more than amazing to convince even the most demanding welder.
The Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Lithium 5A which you can find on Amazon, is not the most lightweight welding helmet in the market, although it does wear comfortably on the head and it is convenient when it comes to overhead welding and the rest of the positions, as it protects the neck and stays in position.
It has grind mode, 4 high quality sensors for better light detection and an electromagnetic sensor too. In my opinion, one of the best solutions when it comes to Flux Cored Arc Welding.
2 – 3M Speedglas Helmet 9100 06-0300-51SW
- Helmet Shell with SideWindows
- Headband Included
- Welding Helmets & Systems
This is my second option for FCAW and another high quality welding helmet by 3M. The particular hood wear great on the head, and it is pretty light considering the technology and controls included in the interior part.
It has significantly nice coverage, even compared to some of the most expensive helmet models of the same company. The 3M Speedglas Helmet 9100 06-0300-51SW has the ability to stay in place, no matter the positioning of the welder and the welding method he uses.
One of the things you have to keep in mind is that you have to turn the filter on manually, although it does become very easy once you get the hang of it. For more information about its features and the price, you can check the 3M Speedglas Helmet 9100 06-0300-51SW on Amazon.
An ideal welding helmet for FCAW
3 – Jackson Safety Welding Helmet 46129
- Features: This Jackson Safety Ultra-Lightweight...
- Design: This ADF helmet has a viewing area of...
- Clean View: With variable shades from 9 to 13,...
- Certified: Protecting the user's eyes from the...
This is a great piece of headgear for Flux Cored Arc Welding. It turns automatically on when it detects the arc, without any manual operation. The controls are very easy to adjust, although you might need some practice to get used to them.
Getting to the most important part, the view of the Jackson Safety Welding Helmet 46129 is as clear as it gets. It has one of the best lenses in the market, and could easily stand up against other competitors of the same or higher price ranges.
When the arc is inactive, the Jackson Safety Welding Helmet 46129 which you can find here, goes down to shade 2 or 3 according to the adjustments the welder makes. This allows the user to have a view close to natural light, so that he can inspect in great detail the process of the welding.
I believe the particular welding helmet model by Jackson Safety is an excellent choice for Flux Cored Arc Welding. It comes in a fairly affordable price, and you get a high quality welding helmet form a trustful manufacturer.
A solar-powered welding helmet
4 – Antra AH7-860-001X
- 【Safety & Protection】Passive Filter with...
- 【Comfort & Convenience】Luxury large viewing...
- 【Performance】4 Premium redundant arc sensors,...
- 【Reliability】Interference Suppression...
- 【Versatility】A great personal protection...
Most welder that use the FCAW method for welding, they tend to work outside. That makes this particular auto darkening welding helmet an ideal choice, as it is solar-powered and will allow the battery to work constantly, especially during sunny days.
The Antra AH7-860-001X has a grinding feature and a very convenient viewing area, approximately at a size of 3.78” x 3.50”. That is enough to offer enough space to the welder for better perception and movement, when working in difficult positions or tight spaces.
It has cheater lens, and controls to adjust the light sensitivity for better time response regarding the ADF. An excellent welding helmet for outdoor Flux Cored Arc Welding projects. You can find the Antra AH7-860-001X here.
The affordable choice
5 – Lesoleil Electrical Welding Helmet
- Auto-darkening function: the viewing zone darkens...
- UV/Infrared-resistant: blocks 99% ultraviolet and...
- No battery needed: the solar charging system will...
- Anti-interference design: capable of using under...
- Safe structure, full protection, easy operation.
Last but not least, welders on a tight budget are our concern as always, this is why we recommend the Lesoleil Electrical Welding Helmet. It is a nice affordable auto darkening welding helmet for Flux Cored Arc Welding, which you can purchase for less than $50.
The lens detects the arc automatically and changes shades accordingly. The Auto Darkening Filter of the lens blocks effectively the UV (ultraviolet) and IR (infrared) rays, in order to protect the vision of the welder.
The welding helmet uses solar power so there is no need for a battery. It has a very sturdy structure, and it has been tested successfully under very rough circumstances. For more information about the Lesoleil Electrical Welding Helmet, you can visit Amazon.
Flux Cored Arc Welding is a method that produces high quality structures and designs, especially useful for large commercial projects. It is considered one of the cleanest and most convenient welding methods for welders, although it does require a certain level of knowledge.
In this article, we have researched and found 5 of the best welding helmets suitable for FCAW, and we have analyzed their advantages and disadvantages along with some of their features. Hopefully, this guide will help you decide which welding helmet is right for you and your projects.
Until next time, have fun welding!