Did you know that Argon is the third most abundant gas in Earth’s atmosphere? Argon is an inert, colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-corrosive, non-flammable and non-toxic gas. Most importantly, Argon has a low chemical reactivity, which makes it an ideal shielding gas for arc welding – particularly TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding.
Argon is a chemical element with the symbol Ar and the atomic number 18. The gas comes from the Greek word, argos, which means “slow” or “inactive” pointing to its low chemical reactivity. Argon is one of the six noble gasses–helium, neon krypton, xenon, and radon–all sharing similar properties. All of the noble gasses occur naturally in the atmosphere, but Argon is the most abundant. In fact, air is 0.934% argon.
Argon is most commonly used for industrial welding and manufacturing applications, but is also commonly used within neon tubes in lighting, the food and drink industry, document preservation, home fixtures and scuba diving.
TIG welding is a manual welding process primarily used for critical weld joints or where precise, small welds are required. While there are several pieces of equipment required for TIG welding, including a welding torch, non-consumable tungsten electrode and constant-current welding power supply, the process cannot be done without a shielding gas. Stainless steel, power plants, and refineries are all things that rely on TIG welding, which would not be possible without Argon.
As a shielding gas, Argon pushes away other gasses to protect the weld pool from oxidation and nitrogen absorption without interfering with the welding process itself. Oxygen and nitrogen can cause fusion defects and embrittle the weld material if they come in contact with the electrode, arc, or welding metal. Plus, Argon transfers heat from the tungsten electrode to the metal to maintain the electric arc. A properly stabilized arc results in increased weld penetration, better filler wire transfer, and ultimately, a well-done welding project.
Safety is always paramount when dealing with industrial gasses and equipment. Given its characteristics, Argon is a very safe gas to use for TIG welding. It’s not poisonous and will not burn, but because it is stored in a compressed tank, property safety measures remain essential. Plus, because argon is not a breathable gas, always make sure that you have plenty of oxygen or ventilation.
Argon is one of the many industrial gasses we specialize in supplying across Alabama and surrounding areas. Argon is available in a wide range of cylinder sizes to meet all of your welding needs. With decades of experience in gas and welding applications, we are confident we can be your trusted partner for everything from supplying the appropriate gas, troubleshooting equipment, or providing customized solutions for your project for maximum efficiency. Contact us today to request a solution.