A composite filler metal electrode. It consists of a bare electrode or a metal-cored electrode with a covering of metal and alloy powders, pulverized minerals, and organic materials such as cellulose and silicate binders. The gases produced as the covering decomposes from heat of the arc serve to shield the molten metal from the atmosphere and provide arc stability. The covering also produces slag to protect and shape the weld pool. Some covered electrodes include metallic additions.