The excellent combination of strength and corrosion resistance in duplex stainless steels (DSS) is due to their strict composition control and microstructural balance. The ferrite-austenite ratio is often upset in DSS weld metals owing to the rapid cooling rates associated with welding. To achieve the desired ferrite-austenite balance and hence properties, either the weld metal composition and/or the heat input is controlled. In the current work, a low heat input process viz., EBW and another commonly employed process, gas tungsten-arc welding have been employed for welding of DSS with and without nickel enhancement. Results show that (i) chemical composition has got a greater influence on the ferrite-austenite ratio than the cooling rate, (ii) and even EBW which is considered an immature process in welding of DSS, can be employed provided means of filler addition could be devised. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.