Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

FCAW Electrodes with Improved Toughness

An enhanced electrode will improve survivability of Navy combatant ships at reduced cost.


The Navy Metalworking Center and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division are evaluating and optimizing candidate electrodes from leading electrode producers to support the qualification of these electrodes for CVN 79 structural welds and other critical applications.


MIL-101TM flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) electrodes have exhibited inconsistent lot-to-lot notch toughness test values in production test welds, which have resulted in several instances of failure to pass the explosion test. Also, recent evaluations have found that the fracture toughness of MIL-101TM welds was lower than in welds made by other welding processes. Thus, there is a need for an improved MIL-101TM FCAW electrode with improved and more consistent notch toughness that does not reduce quality or operability.


The major benefit of this project will be improved survivability of Navy combatant ships. An additional benefit is a cost avoidance of up to $1.9M if the improved FCAW electrode is approved for welding designated critical applications on CVN 79. The project team is also targeting a 50 percent reduction in electrode procurement costs due to the introduction of at least one additional qualified electrode source. This would reduce electrode procurement costs by $735K per CVN 78 Class aircraft carrier.


Once the improved FCAW electrode is approved by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to be added to the Qualified Producers List (QPL) and the electrode is available commercially, implementation will occur when Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding begins to use the electrode in the construction of CVN 79 in the first quarter of 2014.




Nicholas McGregor
PMS 378


Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
Newport News Shipbuilding
PMS 378 Future Aircraft Carriers