Recommendations for the Storage, Handling and Treatment of Hydrogen Controlled Basic Carbon Steel Electrodes


Basic low hydrogen electrodes should be stored in dry conditions, off the floor on pallets or racks in their unopened containers. The rate of moisture re-absorption which takes place is determined by the resistance of the electrode to the atmospheric conditions of relative humidity and temperature prevailing during storage.

Storage is not really the most important issue in determining subsequent weld metal hydrogen content of low hydrogen electrodes, but rather, the rate at which moisture is lost during re-baking of electrodes prior to use.

Storage under the correct conditions will provide indefinite product shelf-life.


It is essential that hydrogen-controlled electrodes be re-baked prior to use. The re-baking temperature recommendations depend on the maximum permissible hydrogen content tolerable in the deposited weld metal and the hardenability of the parent material.

Standard Re-baking Temperatures


5-10 ml H2/ 100 g

<5 ml H2/100 g


350 - 370°C



250 - 270°C

370 - 400°C

Ferron 1

350 - 370°C


Baking time one-two hours

Diffusible hydrogen content determined using Yanaco gas chromatograph

Optimum conditions for re-baking are achieved when electrodes are placed on the oven shelves not more than five deep. This is normally only required when diffusible hydrogen contents of less than 5 ml H2/100 g of weld metal are specified and hardenable materials in thick sections have to be welded.

For general shop conditions, the electrode pile in the oven can be increased provided consumables in the centre of the pile achieve the minimum re-baking temperature for a minimum period of one hour.

Note: When electrodes are placed in a baking oven, the temperature in the electrode pile rises far more slowly than it takes for the oven’s own temperature to rise to the set temperature. It is therefore incorrect to take the oven temperature as an accurate indication of the actual baking temperature reached by the electrodes and hence a guide to the time at temperature. 

Unless the temperature during baking is timed on the basis of the electrode temperature, the electrodes cannot be considered properly re-baked prior to use. 

If possible, it is recommended that fabricators carry out checks on their re-drying ovens to establish the correct conditions for actual electrode re-baking temperatures and times as compared to oven temperatures and times. 

It is important to note that if the electrodes are maintained at the re-bake temperature for long periods of time, the coating may become brittle. Coating brittleness may also result if the electrode is re-baked above the maximum recommended temperature.

Add comment