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Manufacture of low fume welding electrode using synthetic rutile flux material


This paper presents the influence of synthetic rutile addition to the electrode flux on the shielded metal arc welding emissions. A systematic study was conducted by modifying the electrode flux composition with synthetic and conventional rutile combinations. The fume particulates emitted during welding were sampled using an AWS F1.2 standard fume test chamber, and its concentration was determined through gravimetric analysis. Online monitoring of arc stability, droplet transfer characteristics, and spatter formations was performed using digital storage oscilloscope, high-speed camera, and infrared camera devices, respectively. The UVC and ozone concentrations in the arc atmosphere were also measured using standard procedures. The results revealed that the addition of synthetic rutile up to 50% could reduce the fume emissions by as much as 31.4% compared to the conventional electrode. The present study also focused on the reduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)), a hazardous and carcinogenic chemical species in welding fumes. In order to achieve a combined reduction in the concentration of hexavalent chromium and fume, Zn, a reactive metal, was added to the electrode flux of the experimental electrodes. The primary mechanism of reduction in fumes and Cr(VI) concentration was recognized from the study as the decrease in the surface tension of the pendent liquid droplet ensued by the presence of fine-grained TiO2 in the synthetic rutile. Apart from lowering fume emissions, the experimental electrodes achieved a deposition efficiency of up to 61.9%, which was appreciably higher than that of the conventional electrode.

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The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Director of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirappalli, for her unwavering encouragement and support throughout this endeavor. The authors would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited, Kerala, for supplying the raw materials necessary for the successful completion of this work.

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Rahul Madhusoodhanan: conceptualization, methodology, investigation, and writing of the original draft. Sivapirakasam Suthangathan Paramashivan: formal analysis, supervision, resources, and writing which included review and editing. Sreejith Mohan: methodology, validation, formal analysis, and investigation. Vishnu B. Rajeshwari: formal analysis and investigation. Guruvayurappan Murali: review and editing.

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Correspondence to Sivapirakasam Suthangathan Paramashivan.

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Madhusoodhanan, R., Paramashivan, S.S., Mohan, S. et al. Manufacture of low fume welding electrode using synthetic rutile flux material. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 121, 8197–8208 (2022).

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  • Welding fume
  • Synthetic rutile
  • Hexavalent chromium concentration
  • Arc stability
  • Surface tension
  • Ozone concentration
  • Weld chemistry
  • Deposition efficiency
  • Delta quantity
  • Droplet diameter
  • Spatter formation