6018 welding rod

When you want to weld mild steel or low alloy steel one of the best welding rods you can opt for is the 6018 welding rod. This is a rod known for its smooth arc and minimal spatter, which as you might have guessed makes it ideal to be used in all positions. 

What is the 6018 Rod

what is 6018 Welding Rod

The 6018 rod is a stick welding rod characterized by a low-hydrogen potassium and iron powder coating. It produces welds with a minimum tensile strength of 60 kpsi. And as already mentioned it is an all-positions rod. 

The rod can be used with both AC and DC. Furthermore, it is available in several sizes including 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, and 3/16 inches in diameter. 

Mechanical properties of E6018

Tensile Strength62 Ksi
Yield Strength50 Ksi
Elongation22 %
Welding Current AC, DCEP
Charpy V-notch at – 20 degrees20 ft·lbf
Coating Typeiron powder and potassium
Welding PositionAll positions
Welding ProcessSMAW Welding

deposit composition of 6018welding Rod

Weld metalCarbon (C)Chromium (Cr)Manganese (Mn)Molybdenum (Mo)Nickel (Ni)Phosphorous (P)Silicon (Si)Sulfur (S)Vanadium (V)
Weld Metal
Analysis (%)

welding parameters of 6018 welding rod

Diameter (inch) Diameter (mm) PolarityAmps
3/32 2.4 mmDCEP, AC 65-90
1/83.2 mm DCEP, AC 110-140
5/32 4.0 mmDCEP, AC 140-180

6018 welding rod Characteristics/features

  • It produces a basic slag with low spatter and the slag is easy to remove
  • The weld metal/joint created with this rod is usually resistant to cracking
  • It has a low hydrogen potassium and iron powder coating
  • The rod can be used in both AC and DC
  • It works well on mild steel and low alloy steels and can also be used to weld high-carbon steel
  • The rod can be used in all positions flat, horizontal, vertical, overhead

6018 welding Rod Uses

  • This rod is used in shipbuilding and vessel construction
  • It is also used in mechanical engineering
  • The rod is also used to weld pipes in both the 5G and 6G positions
  • It is also used in welding buffer layers for hard facing as well as joining cast irons
  • Used in the making and repair of pressure vessels and boilers as well as tanks and bridges
  • Also used in the welding of dynamically loaded heavy structures at impacts below -30 celsius
  • It is also used for welding unalloyed structural steel.

 Advantages and Disadvantages of the 6018 rod

So what are some of the advantages and disadvantages you can expect from the 6018 welding rod? 

The advantages of 6018 electrode

  • It produces minimal spatter and the slag is easy to clean
  • Produces weld joints that are extremely crack resistance
  • The rod can be used with both AC and DCEP
  • Due to its minimal spatter, it can be used in all positions
  • Has medium penetration and a high deposition rate making it ideal for welding mild steel
  • Produces welds of good radiographic quality.

The disadvantages

  • The rod requires special storage and needs to be dried before use
  • Due to its medium penetration, it is not ideal for welding thicker sheets of metal

6018 welding rod amperage and polarity

As already stated this welding rod runs with both AC and Direct Current Electrode Positive or DCEP. As for the amperage settings, the rod uses an amperage rating of between 60 and 150 amps depending on the size of the electrode. 

Charpy V-Notch Impact (toughness) Requirements for E6018 type electrode

The impact toughness values of the 6018 rods stand at 20 ft lb at -20 degrees Fahrenheit. This equates to 27 joules at -30 degrees celsius. 

6018-rod Chemical and Mechanical Properties

As a low-hydrogen electrode, the 6018 rod contains various chemical elements. Notably, the electrode contains carbon, silicon, manganese, phosphorus, and sulfur. In terms of composition, the electrode contains 0.03% carbon. 0.06% manganese, 0.40% silicon, 0.025% phosphorus, 0.0015% sulfur, 0.30% nickel, 0.20 chromium, 0.30 molybdenum, and 0.08% vanadium. 

The minimum tensile strength of the rod’s weld is 60,000 psi. As for the yield strength it stands at 48, 000 psi. It has a minimum elongation of 22%. It is made from mild steel with a low hydrogen coating. 

Difference between 6018 and 7018

The 6018 and 7018 welding rods have some similarities and differences. The most obvious difference is the tensile strength of the weld joint produced by the two rods. The 7018 produces a weld joint with a minimum tensile strength of 70,000 psi higher than that of the 6018. 

In terms of similarities both offer medium penetration and are used to weld low alloy steels. Additionally, both are low-hydrogen rods and can be used in all positions. They are also similar in polarity as both can use both DC and AC.

However, the 7018 produces a thicker slag that is harder to remove than that of the 6018. Both electrodes have minimal spatter though. And as both are low hydrogen electrodes they also need protection from moisture.

As such drying will be necessary before use and they both come packaged in a hermetically sealed package from the manufacturer. This ensures they are protected against moisture contamination.

How To Dry 6018 rod

Since they are low-hydrogen rods, 6018 rods require protection from moisture. And one way of doing this is by drying the rods. Drying is to be done before using the rods. Ideally, you want to use a drying oven with temperatures of between 260 and 425 degrees Celsius.

In terms of storage, it is recommended to store the rods in an oven with temperatures between 30 and 140 degrees Celsius. 

How to use 6018 rods

The best size to use for practice with the 6018 rods is a 3/32-inch rod. And this is what we will be using for this section. The first thing to know is how to set up your machine. If you are a beginner you may not know what amperage to set your machine to.

As a starter set the machine to 90 amps to see how the rod reacts. To check if the amperage is right, bend the rod before welding. Check the bent part to see if it’s turning cherry red when welding, if it is, it means the amperage is right. 

If it is not you need to turn the amperage up by increments of 5 amps. To strike an arc with the 6018 you want to make a little quick scratch over the weld metal. Once you strike an arc and get the puddle going you can use a drag motion with the rod. So the rod needs to be angled towards the direction you are welding. 


The 6018 is not the most common rod compared to something like the 7018, but it is still a useful rod to have. It works well on mild steel and low alloy steel. 

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