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How to Select a Shielding Gas



There are a variety of gas blends that can be chosen for MIG, TIG, or Flux Cored Welding applications.

To make a well-informed selection, a number of approaches can be used, but all are based on a basic understanding of the requirements for the finished weldment.

Questions that need to be answered first may include:

  • How important is weld appearance?
  • Is spatter near the weld area a concern?
  • Is deep penetration required or should penetration be limited to minimize burn- through of the joint?
  • Is there a concern about the amount of welding fume generated and should it be reduced?

Depending on the requirements for the finished weld, a number of other questions might be asked as well.

To select a gas blend, the following four-step process can be followed:

1. Consider the material type – carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, nickel alloys, copper alloys or other non-ferrous materials.
2. Know the base material thickness and understand its condition – clean, oily, scaled, etc.
3. Determine the welding position as this will impact the type of process/metal transfer you plan to utilize. Process selection may be further impacted by the availability of equipment, operator skills and desired productivity.
4. Review the requirements of the job. Consult the selection chart to determine the gas blend that provides the best performance for the application at hand.

Simple, isn’t it? This selection process should help you make a good first attempt at matching the best shielding gas to your application. Refinement may be needed depending on the specific equipment and skills available. Other needs may have to be identified as work progresses. For further information on Praxair’s Star™ family of shielding gases, please consult your local Praxair representative.


MIG Gas ChartMIG Chart


Flux Cored Welding Gas ChartFlux Chart

Tig Gas Chart