Improving flux coatings for welding rod electrodes

LKAB Minerals manufacture products specifically for use in welding rods that fulfil the exact standards this very technical application requires.

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Paul Pasquino

Paul Pasquino

President / Managing Director Americas

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MicaCal, a specialised grade within our MicaFort brand range, has a long-established history of use in covered rutile electrodes for mild steel.

Benefits Calcined Mica

Muscovite Mica has long been used in covered rutile electrodes for mild steel; the advantages of incorporating MicaCal into the flux coatings include:

  • the platey Mica flakes influence the rheology of the flux mix during the extrusion coating process.
  • faster drying and curing rates with a reduced risk of cracking.
  • the elastic Mica flakes toughen the flux coating and reduce damage during handling and transportation both before and after drying. Cracking is also reduced when electrodes are bent during use.
  • the melting point of Mica is particularly beneficial in rutile-titania fluxes for all types of steel.
  • Mica offers a useful source of potassium without altering the silicate binder chemistry.

Controlled calcination process

LKAB Minerals has developed a carefully controlled calcination process which retains the resilience of Mica flakes whilst achieving almost complete dehydroxylation. This process combined with careful control of raw material results in MicaCal grades of calcined Mica designed specifically for low moisture – low hydrogen electrodes.

MicaCal can be used in various steel alloy electrodes where normal Muscovite Mica is precluded because of chemically combined moisture. Use of MicaCal at 5 to 25% of flux formulations as an alternative to feldspar can give major improvements in manufacture, handling and usage of such electrodes.

Typical applications

Our customers typically use our MicaCal products for:

  • Low alloy steels
  • Martensitic steels (Chromium type)
  • High alloy steels e.g. stainless steel, low carbon, etc.

For more information on the MicaFort product please contact one of the LKAB Minerals team members via the below contact form.