6011 vs 6013 Welding Rod : What Is the Difference?

Welding is a common work activity done in various industries and factories across the globe. The areas of its application include farming, sea activities such as ship repair and construction, mining, and construction. 

To ensure success in arc welding a welding rod also called an electrode is necessary. 

6011 vs 6013 welding rod
source: greensandmachines.com

What is an electrode? Scientifically, this is a heavy wire or rod when melted it supplies metal fusion welding. Electricity from either an Alternating Current(AC) or Direct Current(DC) power source passes through the electrode to the metal surface under welding. This leads to the formation of an electric arch which is at a temperature of 5,000 ® Celcius. 

The electric arc produced is responsible for the fusion of the electrode and the base metal through melting. In arc welding, precision and accuracy are essential to reach great welding results.

Globally, there exist thousands of electrodes. In most instances, the most used are the mild steel electrodes having been approved by the American Welding Society (AWS) as efficient and effective in the welding process. These include, 6010,6011,6012,6013,7014,7024 and 7018 electrodes/ welding rods.

The table below gives an illustration of the sizes, positions, tensile strength, and penetration level of each of the above-mentioned electrodes.


How does the American Welding Society (AWS) classify these electrodes?

A standardized coding system is applied in the classification of these electrodes. These may be in the form of letters or numbers on the electrodes showing the possible properties the electrodes possess. Let’s take an example of E6011:

In this case E6011, E stands for Electrode.

The next first two digits 60 indicates the weld’s minimum tensile strength. Tensile strength is measured in pounds per square inch (psi).

Moving on to the third digit which is 1 in our case. It shows the welding position or positions on which the electrode can be applied. In E6011, its 1 thus the electrode can be utilized in all positions. However, if it was 2 in the case of 7024, it would be different. Meaning the electrode can be used on horizontal or flat fitted surfaces only.

Finally, the fourth digit indicates the coating style as well as the type of welding current used by the electrode. It can an Alternating current (AC) Direct Current (DC) or both applied in the welding process. In our example, it's 1, meaning it was Alternating Current (AC) (DC) or even both. Hence, suitable for all positions in the welding process.

In this article, we are interested in E6011 and E6013 welding rods and their areas of application in arc welding. Extensively, we will look into the differences and the similarities between the two.

What is the E6011 electrode?

6011 is an all-purpose welding rod suitable in carrying out various welding-related activities. In its properties, there’s a slight similarity to those of 6010 electrodes such as both are good at deep penetration, for all positions especially in pipelines and boilermakers. 

6011 electrodes use two types of power sources depending on their availability. These include : Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) power sources. 

6011 electrodes are used mainly on unclean or corroded metals due to its property of deep penetrating electric arc production. It is most preferable by welders in maintenance and repair welding work mainly in instances when a DC power source is unavailable

Different available sizes of 6011 electrodes

6011 electrodes are available in different sizes. Previously, we saw that E6011  electrodes are great all-purpose welding rods mainly used in fabrication and repairs by welders. Thus, they exist in different sizes and diameters depending on the places of work and surface. These include 3/32 6011 rods, 1/16 among others.

Here’s a table showing the different sizes of 6011 electrodes.

6011 3/32” 60,000 40-85 DEEP ALL
6011 3/16” 60,000 140-210 DEEP ALL
6011 1/4 “ 60,000 210-315 DEEP ALL
6011 1/8” 60,000 75-125 DEEP ALL
6011 5/32” 60,000 110-165 DEEP ALL
6011 7/32” 60,000 160-250 DEEP ALL

What is the 6013 Welding rod?

E6013 is most suitable for beginners in the field of welding because it offers stability in making an electric arc and fussing weak joints.6013 is known to be a multipurpose welding rod great for welding galvanized steel, mild steel, and some low alloy steels. Just like 6011, it also has a minimum tensile strength of 60,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

It is responsible for moderate or small penetration due to the production of a soft electric arc. In the process, a small amount of spatter is also produced.

6013 Welding Rod
source: hardwareandtools.com

6013 electrodes are mainly used by welders on new or clean metal sheets in welding. Its areas of application include ship construction and repair, welding sheet metals, and in vehicles. 

These electrodes are also suitable for light fabrication due to the property of shallow penetration. Moreover, 6013 electrodes can be used on carbon steel. They can be applied in welding with any polarity depending on the choice of the welder.

Let’s take a look at the different sizes of 6013 electrodes used by welders.

6013 1/8” 60,000 80-130 SHALLOW ALL
6013 1/4" 60,000 250-350 SHALLOW ALL
6013 1/16” 60,000 20-45 SHALLOW ALL
6013 3/32” 60,000 40-90 SHALLOW ALL
6013 3/16” 60,000 150-230 SHALLOW ALL
6013 5/32” 60,000 105-180 MILD/SHALLOW ALL
6013 7/32” 60,000 210-300 SHALLOW ALL
How To Use A 6013 Electrode

In using E6013, there are crucial steps to ensure are in place to attain successful results.

First, the welder has to adjust the amperage settings concerning the electrode size that would be utilized in welding the base metal.

Besides, ensure that you clean the metal by the use of a wire brush to achieve the intended smooth penetration.

To start, make an electric arc keeping in mind that it should barely scratch the rod on the surface under welding for accuracy as well as a stable position of the welder for better arc production.

Eventually, employ the technique of moving the electrode in slow, circular motions to get a great and accurate outcome.

Similarities Between E6011 and E6013

There exist similarities between the 6011 and 6013 electrodes. They include,

#1. Amount of Polarity

We are all aware that both electrodes use Alternating  Current and Direct Current in the welding process depending on the availability of the power source and preference of the welder. Scientifically, Alternating current is the electric current responsible for change of direction electricity flow. Direct Current ensures a stable and steady flow of electricity in one direction. 

This explains the reason behind the frequent use of Direct Current by welders. It ensures the flow of more heat required for better and accurate welding results. Moreover, Alternating current is employed in situations where less heat is required on the metal surface during welding.

#2. Tensile Strength

Scientifically, it’s known as the maximum existence of a material to break under tension. Previously we looked at how to determine the tensile strength of an electrode.

One has to look at the first two numbers printed on the electrode. In both of the electrodes (6011 and 6013), 60 is the number we use. Hence, both electrodes have a maximum tensile strength of 60,000 psi.

Differences Between 6011 and 6013 Electrodes

Despite the similarity of some properties on their application, there exist differences between the two;

#1. Penetration

This involves the distance an electrode moves from the surface metal to that base metal to attain fusion with the help of the heat produced. 

6011 electrodes are great deep penetration compared to 6013 electrodes hence a thicker metal sheet can be used. 6013 electrodes are mostly suitable in medium or light penetration on a slight sheet of thin metal in the welding process.

#2. Application and usage

Earlier, we stated that 6011 electrodes are great on corroded, greasy, or painted surfaces. This is due to its property of deep penetration on such surfaces. However, 6013 electrodes can only perform in medium or short welds because of the light penetration abilities. 

They are good at producing a smooth and accurate electric arc in the welding process. For 6011 electrodes their main areas of application are in pipeliners, boilermakers, and pipefitters among others while 6013 electrodes are used vehicle construction, ship repair, and construction, welding sheet metals among others.

Generally, all electrodes have a coated wire surrounding known as  Flux.  It aids in the indication of where and how an electrode will be applied by either a beginner or an experienced welder. Hence, electrodes are crucial tools in the welding process

David Ferguson

A professional and passionate welder, a writer who loves to write about the welding and plasma cutting tools. In this site, you will get all the information about welding tools in depth. Just share your feedback and suggestion that will help the website to grow more. Find me: Facebook

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