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The shielding gas used in an arc welding process has a significant influence on the overall performance of the welding system. These gases are argon, helium, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. This article discusses the shielding gas selection criteria for plasma arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and flux cored arc welding. It describes the basic properties of shielding gases, namely, dissociation, recombination, reactivity potential, oxidation potential, and gas purity. The article also provides information on the influence of the shielding gas on weld mechanical properties and self-shielded flux cored arc welding.

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