2% ceriated tungsten electrodes (AWS classification EWCe-2) contain a minimum of 97.30% tungsten and 1.80 to 2.20% cerium. These electrodes perform best in DC welding at low current settings but can be used proficiently in AC or DC processes. With its excellent arc starts at low amperages, ceriated tungsten has become popular in such applications as orbital tube and pipe manufacturing, thin sheet metal work or jobs where small and delicate parts are welded. Like thorium, it is best used to weld carbon and stainless steels, nickel alloys and titanium, making it an obvious replacement for 2% thoriated electrodes.
Ceriated tungsten features slightly different electrical characteristics than thorium but most operators won’t be able to tell the difference. Using ceriated electrodes at higher amperages is not recommended. In these situations, the oxides will migrate quickly to the heat at the tip, removing the oxide content and nullifying its process benefits.