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This article addresses consumable selection and procedure development for the welding of stainless steels. The WRC-1992 diagram and the Schaeffier diagram, are used to illustrate the rationale behind many filler-metal choices. The article discusses the basic metallurgy and base metals of five major families of stainless steels: martensitic stainless steels, ferritic stainless steels, austenitic stainless steels, precipitation-hardening (PH) stainless steels, and duplex ferritic-austenitic stainless steels. Stainless steels of all types are weldable by virtually all welding processes. The article describes the common arc welding processes with regard to procedure and technique errors that can lead to loss of ferrite control with the common austenitic stainless steel weld metals that are designed to contain a small amount of ferrite for protection from hot cracking. The arc welding processes include shielded-metal arc welding, gas-tungsten arc welding, and gas-metal arc welding.

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