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20. CHEMICALS Shielding gas The primary role of the shielding gas is to protect the hot weld and molten metal from the effects of ambient air. The shielding gas is non-flammable, colourless, odourless and tasteless, slightly heavier than air. Shielding gas leaks reduces the oxygen content and may cause risk of suffocation, especially in confined and enclosed spaces where there is limited ventilation. Common gases and hazards associated with them are presented on page 75. 97


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