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How is Argon Gas Used in Welding?

Welding is used for many applications throughout various industries, but the process and outcome essentially are the same, fusing two metal workpieces. Whether you MIG weld or TIG weld, you want to be sure that the join will hold and provide stability. To do this, you require the best quality shielding gas.

Argon is a shielding gas we regularly provide to our clients, and it offers a range of benefits when welding.

What is Argon Gas?

Odourless, colourless and tasteless, argon makes up 0.93% of the Earth’s atmosphere. Due to the gas being non-flammable, argon makes an ideal option for welding, where temperatures can reach 3,871°C. In addition to not supporting combustion, the gas is non-toxic. However, with its ability to decrease oxygen levels in the air, ventilation is essential when using this for welding.

As an inert gas, argon does not react with other gases, making another great reason to choose this as a shielding gas for your work.

Why Do You Need Shielding Gas for Welding?

The main purpose of shielding gas is to prevent the weld you are applying to the workpiece from being contaminated by the elements in your work environment. Whilst you may ensure that your workplace is free from pollutants, the air contains nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen, which can cause various issues such as porosity and excess splatter if they contact the molten metal. This could compromise the join, which could prove dangerous when working with life-supporting structures such as bridges, aerospace, and automotive repairs.

Ensuring you are using high-quality TIG or MIG welding gas can instil confidence that your weld will hold when required.

What Makes Argon a Good Welding Gas?

Argon is an inert gas and provides the stability needed for safety when heating metal to high temperatures during the welding process. It also produces a narrower penetration profile which offers a clean and minimal but strong bond between the two workpieces.

As a gas bottle supplier, we offer a CO2/Argon mix for both industrial applications and hobby welding gas.

Pure Argon for TIG Welding

When looking for TIG welding gas, you will require a pure argon gas, which produces a clean weld with no oxidisation. It can significantly increase your welding execution for many reasons;

  • It’s heavier than air quality and offers complete protection of your weld.
  • Prevents any burning through of thinner materials.
  • Offers a consistent, reliable and narrow arc for a more precise weld.
  • It requires less power and voltage during TIG welding and is more affordable than other options.

The only disadvantage to using pure argon versus other inert gasses is that it cannot operate at high voltage, which may mean longer welding times. However, with the excellent quality of argon, it may be worth taking the extra time for a more accurate weld.

Argon/CO2 Mix for MIG Welding

Unlike TIG welding, MIG welding requires a mixture of argon and CO2 gas. Whilst there are many options for MIG welding gas, argon mixed with CO2 offers;

  • Fewer splatters and undercuts than you would get with pure CO2, providing a smoother output.
  • The arc will be more stable.
  • The weld pool will provide deeper penetration.
  • The correct mix will give you the right amount of heat for bending and twisting.

Whilst argon 80% / CO2 20% is the best all-around mix for a wider variety of applications, the specific combination depends on the thickness of the weld. A favourable mix for those wishing to weld thinner steel parts, a 5% CO2, 95% Argon mix offers the best option. If you are unsure, feel free to contact us, and our helpful team will be able to advise you on the best mixture.

Argon and Other Gas Mixes

For the process of MIG welding, you can find argon mixed with other gases such as helium in addition to CO2. These are best for stainless steel, carbon, and low-alloy steel welding applications.

Dangers of Argon

As a stable and inert gas, argon is relatively safe in welding due to its non-toxic and non-flammable nature. However, besides the standard precautions required for handling pressurised bottled gas, the biggest hazard is asphyxiation when using this gas.

Argon replaces the oxygen in the air, leading to nausea, headaches, rapid breathing, drowsiness and other symptoms that a decrease in oxygen can produce. To shield yourself from these risks, it is imperative that your workplace is well ventilated and the proper equipment is used. Taking regular breaks away from the area if you are working on a large piece is also advisable.

Argon Gas for Welding at Adams Gas

We offer a variety of cylinder sizes for any application of welding. We can supply 2L canisters for mobile welders, 50L for industrial uses and other sizes in between. To ensure we give low-cost options with our rent free bottles and offer speedy delivery nationwide. To ensure you receive only the best, high-quality gas for your welding, order online or feel free to call us for more specific needs or regular deliveries.