Allied Encyclopedia: The Scoop on Welding Wire

Allied EncyclopediaWelding Wire can be put to various uses, and it may be the perfect fit for your application. But what exactly is welding wire?  Weld wire is a single conductor portable cord typically used in welding and power supply applications. Welding wire offers many features that could benefit you, but you should know its ratings and proper uses so you can avoid irreparable cable damage and downtime.


Welding wire, also known as grounding cable, is offered in sizes ranging from 6 AWG to 500 MCM. It features a single bare annealed copper conductor that is stranded to provide the flexibility weld wire is known for. In fact, standard welding cable is generally more flexible than electrical wire or power cables.

Welding cable is typically designed with a Neoprene or EPDM rubber jacket, and has a standard temperature rating of 90°C – 105°C, depending on the manufacturer. When put to the test, many of these cables will withstand exposure to flame, grease, abrasion, tar and oil.

Daily industrial use necessitates a more rugged design, and welding wire is carried in varying degrees of durability and strength. While these cables are usually offered in black or red (but can be found in additional colors), a more durable construction of weld wire is identifiable by its orange jacket.

Standard welding cable is Class K with 30 AWG strands, and Class M, the more durable version, has 34 AWG strands. The additional copper and tougher jacket used in Class M constructions makes them more expensive than Class K, but Class M cable offers greater flexibility.


Welding wire is often used in demanding applications as a secondary cable for welding tools or as a power cable attached to generators and industrial machinery. Most electric arc-welding tools rely on two separate cables for operation. One cable acts as the primary power source for the device while the other supplies a secondary power source. Welding wire may not power the generator, but it is required for the electrode.

Weld wire is approved for use in power supply applications up to 600 volts. If you require a cable with a higher voltage rating, DLO Cable or Type W power cable are acceptable replacements.

Known for its versatility, welding wire is also suited to battery cable applications. Because battery cable lacks the flexibility and toughness of welding wire, weld wire is often used instead. It can also be used in marine applications, but the insulation needs to be oil and water-resistant or it may become saturated.

Protecting Your Cable

When using welding cable, safety measures should be taken to prevent future damage. You should regularly check your cables for imperfections, and make sure to clean off any grease and oil. If cable damage reaches to within three feet of the electrode, the weld wire should be replaced.

Now that you’ve learned more about welding wire and its characteristics, you’ll be better prepared for future use. Check out Allied Wire’s Welding Wire FAQ’s for more information or browse our selection of Welding Wire now.

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Phoenix, AZ; Bedford, NH; Pewaukee, WI; Rochester, NY, Tampa, FL; and Mt. Juliet, TN. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

One Response to Allied Encyclopedia: The Scoop on Welding Wire

  1. mahi says:

    great thank u for this

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