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AC vs DC Welding | Applications & Main Differences

Welding is a procedure for bonding two different metals and creating an artsy-craftsy weld. Ac and Dc are two currents that are used in welding. Every machine runs on a particular current sort; some run on alternating current, while others run on direct current.

As a professional, hobbyist, or beginner welder, you must be aware of the core differences between these currents. We have compiled a summary of Ac vs Dc welding. Which current is most suitable for welding jobs and where to use a specific current? All information is given below.

Ac Vs Dc Welding


Main Difference

The polarity of the electric current produced by a welding unit and delivered via the electrode is defined as AC or DC.

Direct Current Welding

The flow of electrons is known as current, and in direct current, electricity flows in one direction with a consistent polarity, whether it’s negative or positive. DC has two types: electrode positive and electrode negative.

DC - Electrode Positive DC - Electrode Negative

When welding on thin sheet metals, Dc negative is best due to its faster deposition rates. Dc electrode positive is the finest choice for deep penetration on steel metals.

Also Read the difference between: Ac Vs Dc TIG Welding


It is widely used because of outstanding benefits. We use dc welding for better results for stainless steel welding, nickel alloys, chrome, carbon, and stick welding. Best for vertical and overhead applications.

DC Welding of a pipe

What We Like
  • Less spatter
  • More reliable
  • Great penetration and faster deposition rates
  • Smooth output
  • Can perfectly weld steel
What We Don’t Like
  • Arc blow errors
  • Expensive equipments
  • High voltage drop

Alternating Current Welding

This current changes its magnitude many times per second, and it changes its polarity 120 times per second. The current released by the inverter operates with negative and positive elements in ac mode. In ac, one cycle is considered as the combination of one negative and positive elements.

AC Sine Wave

Ac is preferred for aluminum welders because with alternating current, and you can easily weld thin metals. Moreover, it allows welding at high temperatures. During welding, a lower voltage drop is a plus point.


TIG is popular in the repairing industry because it allows them to weld on magnetized materials. It is used in welding ships, aluminum tanks, down hand heavy plate welds, and many more. It is most used in TIG welding.

Ship welding

What We Like
  • Steady arc
  • Perfect for aluminum welding
  • Cheaper than dc machines
  • Low voltage drop
What We Don’t Like
  • More spatter
  • Less reliable
  • Little bit tough to control

Which is the best electrode to use?

During Ac welding, electrodes that have special components in their coating are a good one. These elements will assist in keeping the arc ignited. The most common four electrodes are listed below with features.

6013 rods – Coated with high titanic potassium and provides less penetration, and they secure the metal from burning. The main drawback is that they leave heavy slag formation.

6011 rods – These rods work well on dirty and rusty metals and in windy outdoor conditions due to the high cellulose potassium-type coating.

7024 rods – Good for using on machinery like ships, trucks, construction equipment, etc. You can use it in flat and horizontal positions. To achieve the finest possible outcome, it requires a minimum of 160 amperes.

7018 rods – A low-hydrogen electrode and an essential part of structural welding. It gives smooth and strong welds, and it can be used to weld mild and carbon steel.

For DC welding, a 6010 electrode is a good choice, and it’s coated with high cellulose and provides a flat bead with little slag formation. To get a maximum benefit from it, 75-125 amperes are perfect for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better for aluminum welding?
Alternating current is perfect for welding aluminum metals. It can accurately weld thin metals.
Which is more strong, 6013 or 7018?
The 7018 electrode is much stronger than 6013. 7018 has more yield and tensile strength than 6013.
Which is the strongest welding rod?
7018 is the strongest among all with a tensile strength of 70,000 psi.
Which one has a lower voltage drop?
AC welding units have a lower drop in voltage.
Which has more spatters during welding?
Ac has more splatter than Dc due to the constant change in directional flow.

Last words

That’s all about AC vs DC welding and both have advantages and disadvantages. Incorrect polarity and current will result in poor penetration. If you do welding, must remember these differences and get the best welding results.

Josh Rogers

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