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Fluxes are added to the welding environment to improve arc stability, provide a slag, add alloying elements, and refine the weld pool. This article discusses the effect of oxygen, which is an important chemical reagent to control the weld metal composition, microstructure, and properties. It provides information on the inclusions that form as a result of reactions between metallic alloy elements and nonmetallic tramp elements, or by mechanical entrapment of nonmetallic slag or refractory particles. The article reviews the considerations of flux formulation during shielded metal arc welding and flux cored arc welding (FCAW). It describes the types of fluxes used for submerged arc welding and FCAW as well as five essential groups of flux ingredients and their interactions.

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