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The shielding gas used in a welding process has a significant influence on the overall performance of the welding system. This article discusses the basic properties of a shielding gas in terms of ionization potential, thermal conductivity, dissociation and recombination, reactivity/oxidation potential, surface tension, gas purity, and gas density. It describes the characteristics of the components of a shielding gas blend. The article discusses the selection of shielding gas for gas-metal arc welding (GMAW), gas-tungsten arc welding (GTAW), and plasma arc welding (PAW), as well as the influence of shielding gas on weld mechanical properties. It concludes with a discussion on flux-cored arc welding.

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Kevin A. Lyttle, Shielding Gases 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 64–69,

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