Tartan AAA and Marine Salvage

Tartan AAA

Salvage Savings

By Jenna B.

Like so many other industries, marine salvage comes with a very interesting set of problems for maintenance welders. Along with the usual challenges maintenance welders face when doing repairs in the field such as rusty, painted, or just plain dirty base metals, those working in any marine setting face one of the hardest challenges to overcome, WATER. Welding on wet metals can cause all sorts of issues. Poor arc strength, porous welds, and tedious, time-consuming reworks are just a few of those issues. Working under these conditions means longer jobs, more labor is required, and most of all, higher total costs to complete these repairs. That’s where Tartan AAA and Rockmount come in.

The most expensive welding rod is the one you throw away

How Is Tartan AAA any different from a standard stick electrode?

Tartan AAA has plenty of great features, but one of its most valuable characteristics is that it is almost fully waterproof. Unlike more commonly used rods like 7018, you do not have to keep Tartan AAA in a rod oven. Or even fully dry. With a micro-dense, moisture resistant coating and strong arc, Tartan AAA is able to run beautiful beads and leave strong welds on wet materials or even under flowing water. That’s the kind of arc stability that you need!

When large storms or adverse weather hits, large boats and barges can easily become run aground. The cost of retrieving and dry-docking these vessels can be spendy. Replacing them? Astronomical! The most cost-effective answer is being able to make repairs on site.

When boats or barges run aground or fail in the middle of a river, tributary, or other main waterway, the repair needs to be quick and effective to get things out of the way. This also comes with its own set of challenges. Two of the major challenges: working in harsh conditions and on contaminated materials. Using standard fabrication grade welding material in harsh conditions is not only time consuming and labor intensive but can cost significantly more than being able to do it right the first time. Let’s take a step back and hear about how Tartan AAA helped this salvage company save an incredible amount of time, money, and headache.

Tartan AAA in action

When a barge ran aground on a sandbar In Louisiana, a local salvage company contacted one of our reps not for Rockmount product, but for access to the river bordering his property. The barge and sandbar in question were nearby and his property offered the best access point. Instead of taking payment, he instead simply asked for a demo in their shop in exchange for granting access to his portion the riverbank. The deal was struck.

Demos were shown, the barge was recovered, and the savings began racking up. From talking to this customer, we learned that they were often using 6010 for their repairs, but it just wasn’t cutting it in the wet conditions. Instead, it would sputter and had no arc stability making the job both time consuming and tedious. They were even having to regularly discard rods that had gone bad or just didn’t work. Tartan AAA resolved that problem.

Tartan AAA is able to run beautiful beads and leave strong welds on wet materials or even under flowing water.

We also learned that while you can use fabrication grade materials, they just don’t hold up to the conditions that this customer was regularly working In. The reliability of Tartan AAA not only overcame the issue of working in the cold or heat of the sun, rain, wind, but even the issue of occasional flowing water over the weld material. The triple deoxidizing capabilities overcame the issue of highly contaminated metals that were covered in rust and possibly multiple layers of paints and coatings. Finally, knowing they could get the job done quickly, effectively, and having a longer lasting repair overcame the issue of a lack of time and high job costs. Remember, the most expensive welding rod is the one you throw away, and it’s fair to say this customer saved well into the six-figure range.

The facts tell it all

We’ve shown that Tartan AAA is ideal under the worst conditions, but there are so many other great features of Tartan AAA. Not only can it run a bead under flowing water, but Tartan AAA is also great for welding out of position. It’s superior puddle visibility and ability to work pass on pass over slag while maintaining a strong weld makes this rod the “Welder’s Choice” when strength and ease of control are needed.

When water levels get low, large barges that travel by river can easily take high amounts of damage to the bottom of the hull and run aground. Repairing and moving these vessels becomes the upmost priority.

You don’t have to just take our word for It. Take a look at the chart below to see some key differences between Tartan AAA and what the before mentioned salvage company had been using before Rockmount.


Product Tensile Strength Elongation (% in 2in)
Tartan AAA 86,000 PSI 28%
7018 70,000 PSI 22%
6010 78,000 PSI 22%


Rockmount products are designed to Weld Stronger and Last Longer, and when it comes to maintenance welding, they are the right tool for the job.

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