9018 welding rod overview

The 9018 welding rod is typically used to weld high-strength steels. It is particularly preferred where high tensile strength is required. As a result, it is mainly used in industrial applications. If you plan on using this rod, there is a lot you need to know. 

all About 9018 welding rod

the 9018 welding rod

Mechanical properties of E9018

Tensile Strength90 Ksi
Yield Strength78-90 Ksi
Elongation24 %
Welding CurrentAC, DC (+)
Coating TypeLow-hydrogen iron powder
Welding PositionAll positions except vertical down
Melting/Freezing Points>1300 °C
Redrying temperature400°C/1hr
ColourSteel rod with extruded flux coating with Varying color
Welding ProcessArc Welding

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deposit composition as per AWS A5.5 requirements

Weld metalCarbon (C)Chromium (Cr)Manganese (Mn)Molybdenum (Mo)Nickel (Ni)Phosphorous (P)Silicon (Si)Sulfur (S)Vanadium (V)Diffusible H2
Weld Metal
Analysis (%) (ml/100gm)
AWS Spec Max %0.10 0.150.60-1.250.351.40-1.800.030.800.030.054.00 (ml/100gm)

What do the numbers in 9018 mean?

Like any other electrode, the 9018’s numbers indicate its properties. The 90 indicates that the rod results in a weld bead with a minimum tensile strength of 90,000 PSI. The third number indicates the 9018 welding rod positions.

Given the third number is a “1,” this welding rod can be used in all positions. As such, you can use it in flat, horizontal, and vertical positions. The last number indicates the welding rod’s chemical composition. 

In terms of the 9018 welding rod chemical composition, it is low in hydrogen. It also contains chrome and comes in two versions, the b3 and b9. The b3 rod has a chrome content of 2.5%, while the b9 rod has a chrome content of 9%.

E-9018 Welding Rod Applications

So what is the 9018 welding rod used for? Since this rod is used where a high tensile strength weld is required, it is mainly used in industrial settings. It is used in the construction of bridges, mobile equipment, ship, barge, and rail cars.

This rod is also used in general and industrial fabrication works and on civil construction sites. It is also used to weld chrome-moly pipes and in boiler works. 

The 9018 welding rod amperage

As for the 9018 welding rod amperage, it can be anywhere from 65 to 210 amps depending on the diameter of the rod. A 3/32 9018 welding rod will have an amperage of 60 to 80 amps. 

Thicker rods of 3/16 inches thick will have an amperage of 160 to 201 amps. This amperage is mostly for stick welding applications. 

welding parameters of 9018 welding rod

Diameter (inch)PolarityCurrent
Deposition RateOptimal Amps
3/32 DCEP, AC70-100
2.62 lb/h

1/8 DCEP, AC 90-1603.49 lb/h135
5/32  DCEP, AC 130-2204.06 lb/h170
3/16 DCEP, AC 200-3005.86 lb/h250
1/4DCEP, AC 300-4007.51 lb/h350

Tips on using and storing the 9018 electrode

Here are some useful 9018 welding rod using and storage tips.

  • The 9018 is considered a wet rod, and before using it, you need to dry it at about 325-375 degrees celsius.
  • Preheating the joint you want to weld is also recommended when using this electrode.
  • When welding, keep the arc as short as possible
  • Also, it is recommended to use a back step method when welding. To prevent blowholes, you can also strike the arc on a small steep plate before striking it on the weld material.

Recommended Techniques for different Welding Positions

GeneralPositive Electrode, work negative (DCEP) or AC
Arc LengthVery short arc
Flat PositionAngle electrode 10°-15° from 90°
Vertical Up PositionUse weaving techniques
Vertical Down PositionNot recommended
Overhead PositionUse slight weaving motion within the puddle

9018-b9 vs. 9018 b3

As mentioned, there are two versions of the 9018 welding rod. There are the 9018-b9 and the 9018-b3. The two differ in terms of their chrome content. The 9018-b9 welding rod has a higher chrome content and is mainly used to weld modified 9% chrome and 1% molybdenum steels.

This rod is designed to make corrosion resistance welds and work well in applications that require strong welds at high temperatures. The 9018-b9 costs are a bit more than the 9018-b3.

The 9018-b3 welding rod has a lower chrome content than the b9 variant. The b3 version has a coating designed to resist moisture re-absorption at high temperatures. This helps prevent hydrogen cracking, and more importantly, it helps prevent starting porosity. 

Both versions of the rod are used to make high tensile strength welds and are mainly used in industrial applications.

7018 vs. 9018 welding rod

E-7018 and 9018 welding rods have some similarities, and there is always the question of which rod to use. While the 7018 vs. 9018 welding rod debate has many sides, it is important to know how these two rods differ.

While both are low hydrogen rods, the 9018 has a higher minimum tensile strength than the 7018. Also, the 9018 is considered a wet rod, and drying it before use is highly recommended. 

On the other hand, the 7018 rod tends to absorb water when not kept inside a rod oven. This causes cracks in high-strength steel welding. The 7018 rods can be used on high-strength steel and low-strength steel.

And while the 9018 can be used on low strength steel as well, it is mainly recommended for high strength steel. 

Tips on using the E7018 welding rod instead of The E9018

  • If you pick the 7018 rods to weld with, here are tips on how to weld the e7018 welding rod.
  • Due to its water absorption properties, keep the rod in a rod oven when you are not using it. 
  • When welding with this rod, drag it along the surface 
  • This welding rod has a high deposition rate, and you should keep the arc as close to the welding joint as possible to get a strong joint.
  • Conduct practice rounds with the rod before welding, especially if you are a beginner, as the rod shortens as you weld, and practice will be important in maintaining the proper arc distance.


The 9018 welding rod is mainly used in industrial applications. However, you can still use it for general welding tasks. The 7018 rods can be a good alternative for general welding purposes. 

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