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An Introduction to Industrial Gas


We’re sure that you are an expert at how gas is used in your industry, but have you ever wondered about how similar businesses are using gas for their own procedures and products? In this article, we look at industrial operations involving the use of gas and why it is so important to modern society.

STEEL WELDING

Welding gas is important for any kind of metal welding and while hobby welders will gleefully discuss the pros and cons of MIG Welding versus TIG welding, the steel welding industry can be quite a lucrative business so it is exceptionally important for steel welding businesses to find a welding gas supplier that they can trust.

Welders use shielding gases to ensure that their welds are clean, slag-free and secure, but to achieve this they need to make sure that the flow of their shielding gas is smooth which you can ensure by choosing the correct TIG or MIG welding nozzles.

In the video below, you can see an example of some hobby welding with steel washers:

SPACE ROCKETS

Bottled gas is an important fuel supply for space travel. Some of the most common gases used to propel us ever further into the universe are currently bottled hydrogen and methane, but the US space shuttle also used liquidised oxygen to produce thrust. Bottled gases can produce a lot of power, so it is always important to be aware of gas safety, whether you’re at home or at work.

Space rockets use gas as a force of propellant. Liquidised gases are currently preferred because they are the most reliable, but the types of gases used during space missions vary depending on the aims and journey. It is important to consider a range of factors including stability, reliability, cost and toxicity of the fuel when planning a space mission.

CRUDE OIL REFINEMENT

The yield from crude oil refinements can be improved by adding hydrogen gas during the conversion phase in a process known as hydrocracking. Once the basic fuel is extracted and separated into different levels of purity, conversion is carried out to reduce the number of heavy hydrocarbon molecules in the product. These molecules need to be broken into smaller parts to meet current demand, and this is carried out by heating the fuel up to 500 degrees and adding hydrogen to convert the heavy molecules into gasoline and diesel fuels.

Conversion can be quite costly, so many businesses in the crude oil sector seek to find the perfect balance between the achieved yield and the cost of this highly skilled operation.

CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

The chemical industry often uses the dangerous and highly explosive acetylene to achieve results in a process known as chemical synthesis. There are various inorganic substances that we would not have access to without the application of acetylene, but due to the danger associated with this gas the components that it produces need to have high value for the risk to pay off.

Without industrial acetylene gas, we wouldn’t have acetic acid, vitamin A or vitamin E. Like food grade gas, Acetylene purity should be strictly maintained when used in the production of consumables.

LASER CUTTING

Laser cutting can be achieved using either oxygen gas bottles or nitrogen cylinders. In oxygen laser cutting, the liquidised material is removed from the rest of the material through the force of the oxygen pressure being blasted out around the laser beam. The pressure of the oxygen jet needs to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the materials being cut.

The difference between cutting with nitrogen and oxygen is that the oxygen reacts with metals to generate extra heat, which can cause problems in unwanted burning if the pressure isn’t properly adjusted. Nitrogen, on the other hand, won’t react when laser cutting metals, but will, therefore, require a higher-powered laser to make up for the reduced heat.

You can learn more about how laser cutting works on non-metals from the video below:

FOOD PRESERVATION

Food preservation uses nitrogen bottles from industrial gas suppliers to modify the atmosphere within the packaging of the food product. By eliminating any oxygen from the food, microorganisms are going to struggle to create bacteria and mould, meaning that the food we buy can last longer and go further.

There are so many varied but important uses for gas that our society couldn’t live without. Learning more about how other industries use popular gases to succeed in their businesses give us a greater appreciation for the value and flexibility of these amazing compounds.