Due to their higher welding speed, automation and weld pool protection against to the atmosphere gases, gas metal arc welding (GMAW) process is widely used in industry. Due to the less stable arc associated with the use of consumable electrodes, GMAW process is not clean as good as gas tungsten arc welding process. Furthermore, the greater arc length in GMAW process also reduces the protective effect of the shielding gas. Due to electrochemical and thermochernical reactions between weld pool and arc atmosphere, it is quite important, especially weld metal toughness and joining of reactive materials to entirely create inert atmosphere for GMAW process. Therefore, a controlled atmosphere cabinet was developed for GMAW process. Low carbon steel combinations were welded with classical GMAW process in argon atmosphere as well as controlled atmosphere cabinet by using similar welding parameters. The mechanical and metallurgical properties of both weldments were evaluated. Result shows that toughness of the weld metal that was obtained in the controlled atmosphere cabinet Much higher than that of classical GMAW process. The metallographic examination also clarified that there was not any gas porosity and inclusion in the weld metal compared with classical process. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.