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Fluxes are added to the welding environment to improve arc stability, to provide a slag, to add alloying elements, and to refine the weld pool. This article describes the effect of oxygen that directly reacts with alloying elements to alter their effective role by reducing hardenability, promoting porosity, and producing inclusions. It proposes basicity index for welding as a measure of expected weld metal cleanliness and mechanical properties. The article discusses alloy modification in terms of slipping and binding agents, slag formation, and slag detachability. It reviews the types of fluxes for different arc welding processes, such as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), and submerged arc welding (SAW).

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D.L. Olson, S. Liu, R.H. Frost, G.R. Edwards, D.A. Fleming, Nature and Behavior of Fluxes Used for Welding, Welding, Brazing and Soldering, Vol 6, ASM Handbook, Edited By David LeRoy Olson, Thomas A. Siewert, Stephen Liu, Glen R. Edwards, ASM International, 1993, p 55–63,

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