Solid welding wires are still in use in the NZ welding industry and there'll probably always be a place for them in a number of applications, especially by small end-users.

When MIG welding, a shielding gas is required, usually an Argon mix such as 75-80% Argon and 20-25% CO2.

The shielding gas protects the molten weld pool from atmospheric contaminants, however it is more difficult to weld with in site work when exposed to wind. 

Care needs to be taken to protect the integrity of the weld.

Generally speaking, solid wire provides deep penetration in the root and usually has less spatter in comparison to most flux-cored wires which have a higher deposition rate, better sidewall fusion and rounder penetration profile.   

Although solid wires are most popular with small trades, DIY or sheet metal workers, the productivity gains and reduced bottomline which can be found using flux cored and/or metal cored wires have seen most large scale welding work, particularly structural, switch to cored wires.

Why Change from Solid Wire to Metal Cored Wire?

Metal cored gas-shielded wire combines the high deposition rates of a flux cored wire with the high efficiencies of a solid wire.

Productivity improves with the increased deposition rates and higher travel speeds, combine this with the minimal spatter and lack of clean up required due to the slag free welds and, with a good quality metal cored wire, your labour costs will reduce significantly.

Concentrating the welding current through the outside tube of metal cored wire results in a broader, bowl-shaped arc with finer droplets. This means metal cored wires fill imperfections and bridge gaps better, giving a quality weld with high structural integrity.

A premium metal core wire produces almost nil spatter and low fume. Some are designed to be even lower fuming, eg Kobe MX-A70C6LF, where LF stands for low fuming.

Metal cored wire vs Solid wire                                                

Yes, the up-front cost of metal cored wires is higher but filler metals only make up at most 10% of a weld's cost and gas around 3%.

In almost all applications, labour accounts for 85% of the total cost so any significant productivity increase from switching to metal-cored wire will well out-weigh the increase in the filler metal cost.

Welding costs piechart IR

Another benefit of a top quality metal cored wire is the ease of use, its more forgiving to run and, in fact, when demonstrating this wire in a workshop we will often ask for the most inexperienced welder to trial it. Even with low level welding skills, its easy to lay down a quality weld with excellent structural integrity consistently.

Give us a call on 09 634 1949 to trial metal cored wire in your workshop - once you've made the change, you won't look back!

AWS : 5.18 ER70S-6 
ISO : 14341-A G 42 A 3 C1[M21] Z or
ISO :14341-B G 49 A 3 C1[M21] S12

MC-50T is a solid wire whose arc stability is good at low current ranges (short-circuiting arc range) and spatter loss is low.
Suitable for all-position welding of steel sheets by CO2 or Ar+CO2 mix gas shielding, for higher speed welding. Very stable arc at wide range of currents.

Applications: Butt and fillet MAG structural welding of buildings, bridges, ships, vehicles, electric appliances, etc.

AWS : A5.18 ER70S-6

AS/NZS 14341:  B G 49A 3U C1/M21/M24 S6

WeldSkill precision layer-wound solid wires are copper-coated steel wires for all-positional Gas Metal Arc welding of mild and low alloy steels.

Suitable for use with Argon-mix or CO shield gases.

0.8mm and 0.9mm available.



Cost effective solid wire for smaller jobs. Ideal for home handyman or small trade use.

0.6 - 0.9mm, available in 1 and 5 kg spools. 


AWS : A5.10  ER5356
AS/NZS ISO : 18273  S Al 5356  

Developed for welding wrought and cast aluminium with addition of 5% Magnesium.

 Intermediate deposit strength and good ductility and corrosion resistance for the GMA welding of a range of 3XXX, and stronger, Aluminium alloys.

0.9mm and 1.0mm, 7kg spools.


AWS : 5.10 ER5356

Cost effective, small 450g/1lb spools.

Available in 0.8 - 1.2mm diameters, ideal for tradesmen or home use.

Technical Specifications


AWS : 5.10 ER4043

ER4043 aluminum filler materials are silicon-aluminum composite filler metals generally used for welding of 6000 series base metals.

Brazing of 1100 and 3003 types is also possible with the free flowing 4043 type.

Available in 0.9, 1.2mm.


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