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Why Do Welders Use Argon (And What Is It)?

When it comes to welding, Argon gas is one of the more widely used options by professional welders. It is a gas classified under the noble gases category and is the gas that stands third in content with the air that we breathe. 

Why do welders use Argon? Welders use Argon is because it’s commonly applied as a shielding agent. When a professional is carrying out the process of welding, they are exposing metals to high temperatures. Often, these temperatures exceed 5,000 degrees and can be very hot. 

The gas is one of the most important gases that welders often need and is something that can improve the work that people in this professional category do. The gas is colorless and odorless. The gas is also not flammable and is entirely non-toxic, which is why it can be used on such a vast scale. 

One of the more popular questions people ask about this particular gas is why they are used. This is a type of gas that’s incredibly beneficial for its specific purposes, but few are familiar with the action reasoning behind it and why most people use this gas. In this article, we will cover why welders use Argon and the intricacies of this particular gas. 

More On Why Welders Use Argon

As I said above, Argon is often used as a shielding agent to protect welders from extremely high temperatures. These high temperatures are however essential for metal to turn to liquid so it can be molded in several ways. Most metals also do melt at these temperatures why they can be easily welded and shaped to fit the appropriate form.

The role that Argon plays in this process is to shield the metals being melted. When the metals are met with high temperatures, they can react against some gases in the air around it. It can react with things like Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Hydrogen present around it, which can lead to undesirable outcomes.  Argon gas is applied to the metals, so they don’t react with the rest of the components in the air. 

While Argon is widely considered one of the best shielding agents in the air, it is also considered to e beneficial to maintain the stability of the arc. When working with any metals, having a good weld penetration and better appearance is always appreciated. The Argon gas enables this, which is why it is considered beneficial.  

What Are Shielding Gases?

The term’ shielding gas’ is primarily used when referring to Argon and is something that can be incredibly beneficial for anyone performing any kind of welding work. Shielding gases are a type of classification given to inert or semi inert gases.

These protect the metals from any reaction that can take place in the atmosphere. The reason a shielding gas is important because it helps the welder protect the metal they are working with. This prevents any disruptions from the metal and enables the welder to work with no kind of worry.

Even though Argon is essential as a shielding agent when working with metals, it is not the only component that one can go in when trying to perform this. Helium is also something that welders tend to use because it works similar to Argon and can deliver better results.

Oxygen is also sometimes used as an additive when working with metals because of the stability it offers. There are also some instances where Argon is used along with Oxygen to deliver better results. 

What Are The Dangers Of Argon?

When using any gas, note just what precautions need to be taken and what needs to be done to ensure its safest use. Mostly, Argon gas is relatively safe. The gas is non-flammable and also emits nothing toxic, which is why it can be used by welders regularly. This also means that Argon gas will not burn when exposed to any heat, flame, or sparks.

Despite this, take the required safety measures when using this gas. Argon gas is generally given to welders in a compressed tank, which has its own list of precautions. The regular compression tank safety notes need to be paid attention to when using this product.

One of the biggest dangers that present themselves when using Argon gas is its increased presence in the air around the person using it. Argon gas is thirty-eight percent denser than air. This means that when using this gas, the atmosphere around may have a higher amount of Argon than air that one needs to breathe.

That’s why it’s advised using the gas outdoors or in an area with ample amounts of ventilation. There are limits on much Argon can be put into a compressed tank. Generally, the amount in one tank is safe enough to use and won’t lead to an excess amount being present in the atmosphere around. 

What Types Of Argon Gas Do Welders Use?

While Argon gas is essential in any welding process, different welders use different densities and purities of Argon when working. Generally, welders working with various metals and alloys at a time use 99.996% Argon. This is one of the most commonly used standards for the gas and is also one of the most efficient Argon that welders can use.

This gas is generally offered by most suppliers known for offering Argon gas. Pure Argon is also one type that some welders use. This is one gas that few welders choose when going in for this gas. Pure Argon is free of any other components and doesn’t contain traces of any other gas or element. Some welders also go in for a mix of CO2 and Argon.

This is a mixture of elements that provides far less efficient as compared to pure Argon gases but is a good less expensive option that welders can go in for. One more type of Argon that exists is medical grade Argon.

This is considered the purest form of Agon and contains completely no traces of any other compound or element. This Argon is expensive and doesn’t perform very different as compared to other kinds of Argon combinations, which is why it rarely is used by welders. 

How Long Do Argon Tanks Last?

Argon is vital for welders and is something that they need regularly. The time that an Argon tank can last for depends mostly on the Argon tank one is using, the composition of the tank and the overall usage that one person is engaging in. One of the first things that affect the period that Argon lasts for is the tank size.

Argon tanks can come in different sizes, and the Argon that one uses out of the tank can determine how long it takes for the tank to run out. The pressure settings of the tank also can impact how long it lasts for. The pre and post flow settings of the tank can play a role in determining just how much will last and for how long.

The size of the tank that one usually receives is around 30 to 40 SCF. These are some of the most common sizes that welders use when performing their tasks. A welder using this tank regularly can expect to have enough Argon for around three to six months. 

Why Do Welders Use Argon Regulators?

When operating with any Argon, welders use something known as an Argon regulator. This is essential for those using Argon regularly in their welding processes. Any good welder will recommend using this because of the efficiency it brings with it and the ease at which one can use the Argon they have.

One of the biggest reasons an Argon regulator is considered necessary is because it helps regulate the flow of Argon out of the tank. It also enables the welder to get a more consistent supply of Argon, rather than all at once.

Find a regulator that works well and which is compatible with the tank being used. Note the tank you are using and the regulator that works with it. This is important because all regulators do not fit all the kinds of tanks currently available on the market.

What Pressure Do Welders Use Argon At?

One of the more significant questions that individuals have about welders is the pressure they use their Argon at. Most Argon tanks work well when set to 10PSL.

This is also one of the more commonly used standards among those who want to operate their machines efficiently. Welders generally adjust the pressure of the tank according to their own individual needs and the metals they are working with.

The ease of adjustment is a huge positive with this. It also enables them to tailor the discharge of Argon according to what fits them the best, and what they need at that moment. One thing that affects the pressure that welders use is the distance that the electrodes are at.

If an electrode is further out, the force required by the welder would be more. The more Argon pressure the welder is using, the more coverage they’re likely to get when working in this manner. 

Related Questions

What is C25 gas?

C25 gas, additionally known as Autoweld, is simply a non-flammable, adaptive, exclusive gas combination used with regards to welding carbon, stainless as well as coated all steel metal.

What is the best gas for MIG welding mild steel?

Some of the most often worked with Inert gas for MIG welding mild steel is Argon. Argon is, without a doubt, the primary shielding gas utilized when it comes to TIG welding the majority of metals and MIG Welding Lightweight Alloy or MIG Brazing. The most normal Active gases are one hundred percent Co2 and a concoction of Argon and Carbon Dioxide.


About Pierre Young

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Hey, I'm Pierre Young a qualified AWS Certified Welder. I got into welding in 2009 as a side hustle. Ever since then, I've been doing all kinds of welds - both for business and pleasure. While immersing myself in this wonderful hobby, I've learned from hands-on experience what welding gear works and what doesn't. Welding Headquarters is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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