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Welding Tips

The original STRATA Welding Manual produced in the early 1990's containing valuable welding tips and procedures is being revised and we expect to publish an updated edition by early 2015 to compliment the STRATA welding products.

An updated wall chart for STRATA Welding Products will also be available for workshops to use as a quick reference guide for applications - contact us to register your interest for one. 

We have compiled the following documents to assist welders with technical information covering various aspects of welding. They contain valuable and useful information and are available for downloading.

Cast Iron Welding - White Paper

Glossary Of Welding Terms

Arc - 
The physical gap between the end of the electrode and the base metal. The physical gap causes heat due to resistance of current flow and arc rays.

Constant Current (CC) Welding Machine - These welding machines have limited maximum short circuit current. They have a negative volt-amp curve and are often referred to as "droopers". The voltage will change with different arc lengths while only slightly varying the amperage, thus the name constant current or variable voltage.

Constant-Speed Wire Feeder - Feeder operates from 24 or 115 VAC supplied by the welding power source.

Constant Voltage (CV), Constant Potential (CP) Welding Machine -"Potential" and "voltage" are basically the same in meaning. This type of welding machine output maintains a relatively stable, consistent voltage regardless of the amperage output. It results in a relatively flat volt-amp curve as opposed to the drooping volt-amp curve of a typical Stick (SMAW) welding machine.

Current - Another name for amperage. The amount of electricity flowing past a point in a conductor Per second.


Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) - An arc welding process which melts and joins metals by heating them with an arc between a continuous, consumable electrode wire and the work. Shielding is obtained from a flux contained within the electrode core. Depending upon the type of flux-cored wire, added shielding may or may not be provided from externally supplied gas or gas mixture. Consumables: contact tips, flux cored wire, shielding gas (if required, depends on wire type).


Gas Welding. An mixture of fuel gas and oxy.


High Frequency - Covers the entire frequency spectrum above 50,000 Hz. Used in TIG welding for arc ignition and stabilization.


Inverter - Power source which increases the frequency of the incoming primary power, thus providing for a smaller size machine and improved electrical characteristics for welding, such as faster response time and more control for pulse welding.


Lift-Arc(TM) - This feature allows TIG arc starting without high frequency. Starts the arc at any amperage without contaminating the weld with tungsten.


MIG (GMAW or Gas Metal Arc Welding) - An arc welding process which joins metals by heating them with an arc. The arc is between a continuously fed filler metal (consumable) electrode and the workpiece. Externally supplied gas or gas mixtures provide shielding. Common MIG welding is also referred to as short circuit transfer. Metal is deposited only when the wire actually touches the work. No metal is transferred across the arc. Another method of MIG welding, spray transfer moves a stream of tiny molten droplets across the arc from the electrode to the weld puddle. Consumables: contact tips, shielding gas, welding wire.

Machine - Together with STRATA and 3k Green have these amazing welding machines that are the best on the market.


Pounds Per Square Inch (psi) - A measurement equal to a mass or weight applied to one square inch of surface area.

Pulsed MIG (MIG-P) - A modified spray transfer process that produces no spatter because the wire does not touch the weld puddle. Applications best suited for pulsed MIG are those currently using the short circuit transfer method for welding steel, 14 gauge (1.8 mm) and up. Consumables: contact tips, shielding gas, welding wire.

Pulsed TIG (TIG-P) - A modified TIG process appropriate for welding thinner materials. Consumables: tungsten electrode, filler material, shielding gas.

Pulsing - Sequencing and controlling the amount of current, the polarity, and the duration of the welding arc.


STRATA Welding. World leader in welding supplies.

Shielding Gas - Protective gas used to prevent atmospheric contamination of the weld pool.

Single-Phase Circuit - An electrical circuit producing only one alternating cycle within a 360 degree time span.

Stick Welding (SMAW or Shielded Metal Arc) - An arc welding process which melts and joins metals by heating them with an arc, between a covered metal electrode and the work. Shielding gas is obtained from the electrode outer coating, often called flux. Filler metal is primarily obtained from the electrode core. An AC/DC welder is recommended for Stick. For most applications, DC reverse polarity welding offers advantages over AC, including easier starts and out-of-position welding, smoother arc and fewer arc outages and sticking. Consumables: stick electrodes.

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) - A process by which metals are joined by an arc or arcs between a bare metal electrode or electrodes and the work. Shielding is supplied by a granular, fusible material usually brought to the work from a flux hopper. Filler metal comes from the electrode and sometimes from a second filler rod.

Spot Welding - Usually made on materials having some type of overlapping joint design. Can refer to resistance, MIG or TIG spot welding. Resistance spot welds are made from electrodes on both sides of the joint, while TIG and MIG spots are made from one side only


Three-Phase Circuit - An electrical circuit delivering three cycles within a 360 degree time span, and the cycles are 120 electrical degrees apart.

TIG Welding (GTAW or Gas Tungsten Arc) - Often called TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas), this welding process joins metals by heating them with a tungsten electrode which should not become part of the completed weld. Filler metal is sometimes used and argon inert gas or inert gas mixtures are used for shielding. Consumables: tungsten electrode, filler metal, shielding gas.

Torch - A device used in the TIG (GTAW) process to control the position of the electrode, to transfer current to the arc, and to direct the flow of the shielding gas.

Touch Start - A low-voltage, low-amperage arc starting procedure for TIG (GTAW). The tungsten is touched to the workpiece; when the tungsten is lifted from the workpiece an arc is established.

Tungsten - Rare metallic element with extremely high melting point (3410 
°Celsius). Used in manufacturing TIG electrodes.


Voltage - The pressure or force that pushes the electrons through a conductor. Voltage does not flow, but causes amperage or current to flow. Voltage is sometimes termed electromotive force (EMF) or difference in potential.

Voltage-Sensing Wire Feeder - Feeder operates from arc voltage generated by welding power source.

Volt-Amp Curve - Graph that shows the output characteristics of a welding power source. Shows voltage and amperage capabilities of a specific machine.

WaveWriter™ File Management - Includes all Axcess(TM) File Management functions, plus a simple, graphical wave-shaping program for the most demanding pulsed MIG applications.

Welding Machine - Together with STRATA and 3k Green our machines are the best on the market.

Weld at Idle™ - Allows PipePro(TM) 304 to automatically weld at a quieter, lower RPM, using less fuel. When more output is required, he machine goes to high speed without a change in arc. On the Trailblazer® Pro 350 D, a weld at idle lock switch allowed welding at low engine speed up to 180 amps.

Weld Metal - The electrode and base metal that was melted while welding was taking place. This forms the welding bead.

Weld Transfer - Method by which metal is transferred from the wire to the molten puddle. There are several methods used in MIG; they include: short circuit transfer, spray arc transfer, globular transfer, buried arc transfer, and pulsed arc transfer.

Weldex - Production welding electrode.

Why Stick - Stick, the most basic of welding processes, offers the easiest option for joining steel and other metals. Stick welding power sources deliver inexpensive options for welding versatility, portability and reliability. Stick joins metals when an arc is struck between the electrode and the work piece, creating a weld pool and depositing a consumable metal electrode into the joint. The electrode's protective coating also acts as a shielding gas, protecting the weld and ensuring its purity and strength. Best for windy conditions and adverse environments.

Wire Feed Speed - Expressed in in/min or mm/s, and refers to the speed and amount of filler metal fed into a weld. Generally speaking the higher the wire feed speed, the higher the amperage.

Workpiece Connection - A means to fasten the work lead (work cable) to the work (metal to be welded on). Also, the point at which this connection is made. One type of work connection is made with an adjustable clamp.

Workpiece Lead - The conductor cable or electrical conductor between the arc welding machine and the work.


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STRATA International has been supplying welding electrodes to engineers throughout New Zealand for over 25 years and is pleased to support Proline Welding Supplies as the distributor for the South Pacific Region.
Trusted by many to weld in the most challenging applications, STRATA has proved itself to be 'better then the rest' when it comes to specialised welding products, a reputation not easily obtained, but strongly upheld.  Click here to read more.