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Partial discharge (PD) is usually aroused before the failure of gas insulated switchgear (GIS) caused by defects, which results in the decomposition of the SF6 used as insulating gas. Analyzing SF6 decomposition products can aid in PD detection. Before recognizing PD types by analyzing SF6 decomposition products, the decomposition characteristics of SF6 under different types of PD should be investigated first. In this paper, a gas chamber and four typical types of artificial defects were designed to simulate the SF6 decomposition phenomenon under PD in GIS. A gas chromatography system was established to detect SF6 decomposition products. By selecting the chromatographic column, SF6 decomposition products were successfully separated and their concentrations were measured. Numerous SF6 decomposition experiments under four kinds of PD generated by four kinds of artificial defects were carried out and the SF6 decomposition products produced by each experiment were detected. The decomposition characteristics of SF6 under the four defects were different in terms of decomposition amount, generation rate, and concentration ratio, among others. It is feasible to recognize the type of PD by analyzing SF6 decomposition products.