Is The SMAW Process Over?



The shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is a versatile metal joining process, which has been used since the world war II era and still continues to be a widely used process around the globe. In layman’s terms, it is also known as the stick welding process which can weld ferrous & nonferrous metal together.

In recent years many researchers have claimed that the SMAW process is coming to an end, but on the grounds that it is still a widely welding process. It won’t be wrong to say that in India more than 50% of fabrication work is (where welding is required) the SMAW process is used.

There is a wide range of welding consumables available for the SMAW process which are generally known as welding electrodes or welding rods.  These electrodes consist of filler metal which is covered with flux, which helps in protecting the welded area or weldment from getting contaminated by the external environment.

The process of SMAW welding uses an electric circuit that supports the welding arc to convert the electric power line into heat. In order to join metal pieces together, the arc is produced which is very intense & extremely concentrated.

While welding from the SMAW electrode the filler metal melts together with the flux during the process which forms a weld pool. Flux helps in cleaning the metal surface, supplies alloying elements to the weld and protects the molten metal from oxidation, and stabilizes the arc. Once the welded area gets solidified the slag is removed.

A Shift in Trend

India is enhancing its manufacturing capabilities at a very high speed, many new manufacturing clusters are developing in the country in order to boost exports & deliver quality products to the end-users. These clusters comprise different factories from micro to large scale, where the necessity of welding is based upon production requirements.

It won’t be wrong to say that many industries are preferring semi-automatic to automatic welding processes instead of manual welding processes in order to increase productivity. There are some prime benefits which these processes offers:

  • Maintains high-quality welding output: In the automatic process, machines control the welding conditions (once the setup is done manually), which helps in getting the same quality of weld over equipment and applications.
  • Increases overall product output: The output tends to increase as the manual interference becomes less in the automatic welding process.
  • Decreased scrap: In the semi-automatic & automatic welding processes the consumables are used completely, in comparison to the SMAW process.

A rise in using automation in the welding field is noticed, due to the increase in demand for goods, let’s take an example of an oil refinery:

Human civilization is heavily dependent on petroleum products from the transportation of goods to lighting the houses and in order to refine the crude oil mass scale refineries are required where semi-automatic or automatic processes are being used in order to finish the big projects.

With the shrinking schedules of pipeline projects in refineries, it becomes important for the line pipe manufacturers to adopt high-productivity shop floor procedures and welding/quality assurance practices. Most of the line pipe manufacturing units use Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) processes for the root welding and filler passes, respectively, for achieving high productivity in order to match the agreed and shrinking supply schedules.

Now a major question arises why SMAW is still popular among the industries? To identify the reason let’s dive deep into some details:

  • Economical: SMAW process is highly versatile as it works on different kinds of applications. Another reason for calling the shielded metal arc welding process simple is because all welders get the education about it, in the first stage only hence it makes stick welding a cost-effective & simple process.
  • Adaptability on most welding positions: Shielded metal arc welding provides flexibility to weld on different positions such as flat positions, horizontal positions, vertical positions, and overhead positions which makes stick welding highly adaptable.
  • Portability: The technology is getting upgraded day by day, the new inverter technology is small as compared to the previous machine or any other welding machine. These machines do not require a lot of electricity and they can be connected at home itself which makes them affordable for small fabricators.

How D&H Sécheron is Dealing with the Shift in Trend?

 D&H Sécheron Electrodes Pvt. Ltd. is a leading welding consumable manufacturer in India, where we offer several conventional & reclamation welding consumables to our customers. We believe that producing quality welding rods, filler wires, CO2 wires, SAW wires, etc that can help in achieving appropriate results and ensure superior quality weld over different metal applications. At D&H Sécheron all conventional welding consumables are built with American Welding Society (AWS & ASME) standards and we produce several welding consumables for the hardfacing/reclamation for various equipment & applications.

As the trend is shifting towards the semi-automatic welding & automatic welding process we stand strong, as mentioned above we offer consumables for Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) & Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) processes too. D&H Sécheron has supplied both manual welding processes consumables & Semi-Automatic Welding consumables to the various mega projects of India, let’s learn more about it:

 Sardar Sarovar Dam

Sardar Sarovar Dam is a major mega project of India because the western region of the nation was facing a severe lack of clean drinking water, electricity, water for irrigation, etc. The dam is built upon the holy river Narmada in Kevadia Gujarat which supplies clean drinking water to four states. Sardar Sarovar Dam’s electrically operated heavy gates were fabricated using D&H Sécheron’s consumables:

Supratherme: An indigenous-made E7018 electrode with unmatched quality to date. The electrode is manufactured as per AWS code E7018 and designed for medium and high tensile steel.

Norma V: An E6013 medium coated general purpose all-position electrode for welding low carbon and mild structural steels.

UltraTensal-MH:  A basic coated, extra-low hydrogen electrode which is ideally suited for welding high-strength Q&T steels like Welten 80, SA517 grades, and their equivalents.

Bogibeel Bridge

Bogibeel bridge is India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge which is built over the river Brahmaputra. With the construction of a 4940.5 meters long bridge many obstacles have come up but the construction of the bridge was done on time. Bogibeel connects Dibrugarh to the Dhemaji districts of Assam which makes the connection with the northeast more feasible. D&H Sécheron has supplied various SAW consumables:

Autotherme Grade A: A copper-coated Low-Manganese general purpose solid wire capable of making a single pass or multiple pass welding for structural steel Overlaying and hard facing with suitable flux.

MaxFlux SAF – 2: An alumina-rutile type acidic flux to weld medium tensile structural steels. The slag is easily removable and the bead finish is smooth & shiny.

Autotherme Grade F: Copper-coated low alloy steel solid wires to be used with basic flux for welding of high tensile fine grain steel as well as steel which required high ductility.

MaxFlux SAF – 223: An agglomerated basic type flux for high-speed longitudinal welding giving smooth & shiny weld beads along with easy slag removal characteristics.

D&H Sécheron has served many automatic, semi-automatic & manual welding consumables to various mega projects like the Mumbai Metro project, Narendra Modi Stadium, Pune Metro Project, etc. We are aware of the fact that change is constant & at the same time, it is necessary.

As the trend is shifting towards semi-automatic welding & automatic welding processes productivity is also rising, but it will be inaccurate to say that the SMAW process is going to get over, it is still being practiced by welders & industries. The SMAW process will last for decades because it is an ideal process to perform repair & maintenance where you do not need heavy machinery to get the repairs done.


We at D&H Sécheron Electrodes Pvt. Ltd. are ready for any technological change, we align ourselves with the dynamic world to serve the best to our customers and provide quality products whether manual welding consumables or semi-automatic welding consumables.

Various qualities that make D&H Sécheron Electrodes Pvt. Ltd. different from other welding consumable manufacturers is that we explore every possible way that proves beneficial to our end consumers. We pay attention from purchasing quality raw materials to the delivery. We consider our consumers as our partners who are helping India in becoming a $5 Trillion economy.  If you are looking for the latest & best quality welding consumables feel free to drop us an email at  or call/Whatsapp us at +91-98335 50505 or visit our  we will provide complete support for your welding needs.