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Inerting atmospheres in metals and materials processing manufacture refers to non-reactive gases or gas mixtures, that minimize undesirable reactions with oxygen during the process and allow non-oxidative reactions to occur.
Typical inert gases are nitrogen, argon and helium, although for processes involving reactive metals like titanium, aluminum or magnesium, only argon or helium can be used. Inert gases also provide an important safety benefit for flammable atmospheres by purging oxygen from the furnace at the beginning of the process and eliminating opportunities for explosion.
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