Gasless Welding Wire
Gasless MIG Wire: If you're welding without gas, the Weldclass gasless (self shielded) wire range has you covered!
Includes the legendary Platinum GL-11, Australia's favourite gasless wire.
For tips and troubleshooting info on gasless welding - click here.
What is Gasless MIG wire?
It’s a flux-cored, self-shielded welding wire for use in MIG welding machines. While often referred to as gasless MIG wire, strictly speaking this term is not correct since 'MIG' stands for metal inert gas. More correctly, gasless wire is a self-shielded FCAW wire; flux cored arc wire. The flux contained within the hollow wire reacts with the welding arc to form a slag and also create a gas shield to protect the weld pool from the atmosphere until it has solidified.
Where is it used?
It is widely used in field and construction work, due to its simplicity and portability – no gas means no more lugging around gas cylinders. Self-shielded wire is also used to reduce costs in non-production work where the cost of gas (and / or the cost of rental) is a significant portion of the overall cost. It is also ideal for outdoor environments where windy conditions would typically cause porosity when using standard MIG wire and gas.
Gasless welding offers relatively high welding speeds and generally has good penetration into the base metal. The flux contained in the wire also acts as a cleaning agent and allows it to be more forgiving of rusty, dirty or contaminated base metals.
The secret to the performance and user appeal of any gasless welding wire is the formula of the flux. This formula is not easy to perfect, and that’s why many welders prefer the tried and tested Weldclass Platinum GL-11 gasless welding wire over other brands.
Are there any disadvantages?
Gasless welding wire has a couple of disadvantages over gas-shielded wire;
- It typically creates more spatter and fumes
- A flux is formed over the weld which must be chipped off
Having said that, it's important to keep in mind that;
- Weld appearance is often not so critical in the applications where gasless wire is commonly used and...
- There is often a big difference between a top quality gasless wire (like Platinum GL-11) and other more basic alternatives when it comes to spatter levels and how easy the flux is to remove.
How do I set up my MIG welder for gasless welding?
Here's a quick check list;
- Drive Roller: Mostly knurled drive rollers are used with cored wire, as the wire is softer and ideally requires more fricition as assist feeding. If you don't have immediate access to a knurled roller you can try your standard V-groove rollers; often these will work OK providing the torch is not too long and you can keep the torch cable relatively straight. (Avoid putting too much tension on the drive rollers, this will distort the wire & cause feed problems).
- Polarity: Connect your torch to negative and earth lead to positive. More about how to do this here; Gasless ('MIG') Welding – What is the correct polarity?
What size Gasless wire should I use?
Because self-shielded wire has a flux core, it can't always be directly compared (in terms of material thickness suitability) to solid wire.
This article has some great info on this topic: Gasless ('MIG') Welding of thin section steel - should I use 0.8mm or 0.9mm wire?
If there is no gas, there will never be porosity - right?
Not quite! You can exprience porosity with gasless wire under certain conditions - read here to find out what causes it and how to prevent it; Gasless ('MIG') Welding – what causes Porosity and how to fix it
Check out all our tips & trick on gasless welding here.