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Choosing consumables for MMA (SMAW) welding of cast iron


Several factors must be considered when choosing consumable filler materials for welding cast iron. The following factors need to be looked at although it may not be possible to take the full requirements of each one into account.

  1. Cost
  2. Matching strength
  3. Tolerance of dilution (absorption of base material into weld metal).
  4. Machinability
  5. Tolerance of high cooling rates
  6. Weldability at low heat inputs
  7. Colour matching
  8. Sufficient ductility to absorb welding strains
Common MMA (SMAW) filler materials include:- nodular iron, low carbon steel, nickel based alloys and copper-based alloys.

Selection of consumables requires care. If in doubt, contact an experienced practitioner.

Further information on welding of cast iron is available in:

Welding of cast irons - a guide to best practice

FAQ: How do I select a consumable for welding cast iron?

C.L.M.Cottrell, 'Welding cast irons', published by TWI, Abington, Cambridge, UK, 1986 and available from Woodhead Publishing, Abington, Cambridge, UK. e-mail:
ISBN 0 85300 176 6

Guide for Welding Iron Castings - ANSI/AWS D11.2-89, American Welding Society, Miami, Florida, USA. e-mail:
ISBN 0 87171 295 4

For more information please email: