1. A shield for an air-cooled plasma arc torch, the shield comprising:a body having a proximal end configured to mate with a torch body of the plasma arc torch, a distal end, and a central longitudinal axis defined between the proximal end and the distal end;
an exit orifice formed in the distal end of the body;
an interior of the shield comprising an interior shield flow surface that forms a portion of a shield gas flow channel, the shield gas flow channel directing a flow of shield gas along the interior shield flow surface in a flow direction from the proximal end to the exit orifice at the distal end of the body;
a flow directing flange extending from the body and away from the exit orifice in the distal end of the body, the flange being formed annularly around the central longitudinal axis and defining a first outer annular surface and an opposing second inner annular surface that is between the first outer annular surface and the exit orifice; and
an annular flow impingement surface, disposed between the interior shield flow surface and the first outer annular surface of the flange, that disrupts the flow direction of shield gas flowing towards the distal end of the body and directs the flow of shield gas proximally along the first outer annular surface of the flange into a continuous annularly formed flow path defined by a circumferentially formed complementary recess of a corresponding nozzle thereby distributing the flow of shield gas substantially uniformly about the complementary recess,
the opposing second inner annular surface of the flange being configured to receive the substantially uniform flow of shield gas being re-directed and flowing distally from the circumferentially formed recess of the corresponding nozzle and out of the exit orifice.