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308 Welding Rod vs 308L Welding Rod – Comparative Study

308 Welding Rod vs 308L Welding Rod – Comparative Study

Welding is a complex process that involves using high temperatures to bond metals together. The type of welding rod you use can have a significant impact on the outcome of your weld. In this blog post, we will be comparing two of the most popular types of welding rods used in the industry, 308 welding rod, and 308L welding rod. We’ll look at the differences between these two rods and which one would be better for your welding needs.

What are 308 welding rod and 308L Welding Rod?

308 and 308L welding rods are low-carbon, austenitic stainless steels of 18% chromium and 8-10.5% nickel. They are widely used in welding applications due to their excellent corrosion resistance and good formability properties. The difference between the two is the carbon content; 308 has a higher carbon content at 0.08%, while 308L has a lower carbon content at 0.03%. Regarding weld ability, 308 is more prone to cracking than its counterpart, making it better suited for applications with heavy loads or high temperatures where cracking may occur if not joined properly. The lower carbon content also allows for improved weld discoloration when joining thinner materials such as sheet metal, which can have issues with post-weld blemishes when using too high an arc temperature or current density during welds. Additionally, both types share great corrosion resistance in areas where chlorides are present and high levels of cryogenic toughness are needed in storage tanks or piping systems subject to extremely low temperatures.

Applications of 308 welding rod and 308L Welding Rod

Chemical Composition

The primary difference between the 308 and 308L welding rod lies in their chemical composition. The 308 welding rod contains 20% chromium and 10% nickel, while the 308L welding rod has 19% chromium and 9% nickel. Additionally, the 308L welding rod contains extra-low carbon content, around 0.03%, which the 308 welding rod doesn’t have. So, 308L welding rods are more corrosion resistant than 308 welding rods.

Welding Characteristics

308 welding rods are primarily used for welding austenitic stainless steel types, such as 301, 302, 304, 308, 316, and 347. 308L welding rods contain low carbon, making them ideal for welding 304L and 304 stainless steels. Moreover, 308L welding rods have higher silicon content, which provides a smoother flow of molten metal and results in less spatter.

Welding Position

When it comes to welding positions, both the 308 and 308L welding rods can be used in all welding positions- horizontal, vertical, flat, and overhead. However, the 308L welding rod is considered a better option when welding in a vertical position due to its lower carbon levels.


308 welding rod is commonly used in the food and beverage industry and the chemical industry. 308L welding rod is best for welding parts that are exposed to corrosive environments like pipelines, tanks, and chemical containers. Therefore, we can say that 308L is a better option for welding stainless steel in corrosive environments.


Lastly, the cost difference between these two welding rods is negligible. 308 and 308L welding rods are both widely available in the market at the same price range.


Choosing the right welding rod is essential for achieving the perfect weld, and both 308 and 308L welding rods are great options. In this blog post, we have discussed the differences between these two types of welding rods, including their chemical composition, welding characteristics, welding position, applications, and cost. Keep in mind that when selecting a welding rod, you should choose the one that is best suited to your specific welding needs.

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Shanti Metal Corporation is a trusted manufacturer, supplier, and exporter of Filler Wires, Welding Wires, Coated Electrodes, etc. in various materials all over the world.