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Mix Argon + 14 % CO2.
Throwaway bottle ARGON 2,2 L for Tig or Mig Alluminium welding
The welding is that process through which you can join two or more pieces of metal by using a welding machine, a tool that combines the actions of the heat and of the pressure applied on the materials to be welded. There are several welding techniques, but the most common are:
> heterogeneous welding: this process is grafted when the base metal is different from the so called filler metal;
> homogeneous welding: it subsists when the base metal and the filler metal are the same in their chemical composition;
> welding by pressure: this welding process takes place in the majority of cases and without the use of the filler metal, and it is implemented when the joining of metallic pieces happens thanks to the use of mechanical pressure. The compression generates heat and makes the metal reach such a temperature to mellow it (every metal has its own characteristic melting temperature, ed);
> welding by fusion: it takes place without the use of the filler metal and it happens when the connection of the metallic pieces takes place through the fusion of their extremities.
Furthermore, there are several other welding processes, such as the ones that exploit the heat. A common example is the arc welding, which takes place through the fusion generated by a thermoelectric heat source. The arc welding is so called because, during the welding process, it generates an electric arc between the electrode and the metal used for the welding. The heat concentrates in the conjunction areas of the flaps, and it is obtained through the help of a voltaic arc that shoots between the base material part and the filler material part. Both the elements belong to the same electric circuit. The arc welding process is divided in two types: submerged arc welding and electric arc welding. The submerged arc welding is an advanced welding technique and it is fast because it does not require the replacement of the electrode during the welding processes. With the electric arc welding, instead, a filler material covers the electrodes; the fusion of the pieces to join takes place thanks to the heat that shoots between the flaps and the filler material.
The arc welding process is carried out by using an inert gas. It is then obvious that, the moment you have to make a welding, it is paramount to understand that the use of a certain gas may vary depending on the metal you are going to weld. The gas that will cause the flame, with which you are going to operate, is generally the argon, in its pure form or blended with other gasses. The gas will be used for the MAG, MIG and TIG welding, that is, arc welding performed in a protective atmosphere (further information in the following section). This is why the argon, commonly defined as a protection gas, in its pure o blended form (i.e. argon + CO2), is the most utilized to carry out welding processes.
The argon, on the periodic table indicated by the symbol Ar, is a noble gas and it constitutes the 0.95% of the volume of the earth’s atmosphere. It is a very stable gas, in its chemical composition, odorless and tasteless. Thanks to its peculiarities, it can be applied to various fields, for example: it has been used in the old light bulbs because it does not react with the filament found in them, as inert cover in the titanium and steel production, as protection in the germanium and silicon’s growth, and, of course, as inert gas for the welding process of several metals, by simply using the arc welding technique, with a protective function.
Argon’s main characteristic is, in fact, that of protecting the metal used for welding from the possible oxidation that might occur because of the high temperature reached. Because of the heat caused by the welding machine’s flame, the atmospheric gasses such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and even water vapor, can react with the metal in an uncontrollable way. In this situation, then, the welding process does not result perfect, and the oxidation of the metallic part brings a weakness to the structure that might cause the separation of the joined metals.
With the arc welding, the argon is often used as pure gas; sometimes, though, you can choose to blend it with other gasses such as carbon dioxide (argon + CO2), helium and hydrogen, should the welding technique require it.
When you have to deal with welding, the choice of the most appropriate gas with which to perform the work is crucial. Consequently, another very important element is the pressure of the gas itself. Based on the gas used and on the welding technique, the utilized gas’ pressure generally ranges from 100 to 300 bar. It therefore becomes essential, when approaching the purchase of a gas bottle for welding, to check the type of gas contained, if it is blended (i.e. argon + CO2) or pure, its pressure, and, lastly, to choose the volume of those bottles, expressed in liters, which will be more or less big depending on the quantity of work to perform. The most common volumes on the market for a bottle range from 5 to 14 liters.
The pure argon gas’s bottles are mostly used for welds called T.I.G. (Tungsten Inert Gas) and M.I.G. (Metal Inert Gas), which require a specific welding technique called arc welding.
The TIG welding, also called GTAW, is an arc welding technique with a tungsten electrode protected by an inert gas, and it can be performed even without the presence of the filler material. This welding technique is among the most used because it determines a superior quality of the joints and, simultaneously, requires a certain experience from the operator. This technique was used at the start of the last century with applications in just the aviation field, to then expand, until the modern times, to any type of field. The MIG technique is, instead, a welding technique developed in the last century after the Second World War’s ending; it is an arc technique too, and it differs from the TIG one purely and simply because it requires considerably lower operating costs. Through this, commonly called, continuous wire welding, it guarantees a weld suitable to any metal and suitable to any productive cycle, because it does not require the electrode’s replacement.
Sometimes you might instead prefer the MAG welding, which is implemented when the welding process takes place by using an active gas that takes part to the reaction and generates the flame with which the welding is performed.
The pure argon bottles are especially suited for the welding techniques described above because, being the argon an inert gas, they guarantee a high protection against oxidation. Should you need to use the MAG technique, then you will have to opt for a bottle of argon gas blended with carbon dioxide, CO2.
Do not forget that, whichever the procedure used for the welding, the presence of an inert gas guarantees optimal protection against oxidations in the area to be welded. Therefore, the technique you will use for the welding will necessarily have to be previously thought out, to consequently choose the best gas to use.
When you are choosing the kind of gas to use, you have to keep in mind its physical properties that affect the depth and speed of the welding, the chemical properties that have an impact on the weld’s final quality, and, last but not least, its thermal conductivity that will allow you to establish the ideal temperature unleashed by the welding machine. The argon, specifically, thanks to its composition, will make the welding process faster.
In the case of bottles’ use, it is necessary to have an adequately ventilated workplace, to avoid asphyxiation in case of a leak, the presence of an adequate fumes and gasses suction system, or that the bottles are placed outside and adequately stored.
The argon bottles can be bought online on different e-commerce websites, being they of fairly common use. There are two types of bottles on the market: the rechargeable ones and the disposable ones. Usually, rechargeable bottles have bigger sizes, suitable for prolonged works, and will therefore be more expensive. Meanwhile, the ones of smaller sizes (from 1 to 5 liters) are of the disposable type, and are mostly used in one or few welding sessions. The bottles can be refilled by specialized companies. The price may range from some hundreds to a few tens of euros, depending on the included blending, purity degree, pressure and volume. Do not forget that quite often, on specialized e-commerce websites, you can find argon bottle on sale at fair prices, both for single bottles and for the purchase of more parcels.
When you opt for the purchase of an argon bottle, firstly you will have to consider the kind of use you will do with it. The choice of a gas rather than another derives, in fact, mostly from the type of metal you will weld and, not secondarily, from the type of welding technique you want to adopt. Once the choice of the purchase of an argon bottle is done, and once the workload to do has been established, the fastest and safest way to conclude your project is to rely on the web. Online you can find a wide range of bottles, and the search of the format most adequate to your needs is not a problem at all.
Last, but not least, when you enter the world of welding, you never have to forget your personal safety. The welding process, in fact, should never be limited to the actual action of welding, but you always have to consider many other factors, like, for example, the personal safeguard and safety, through the use of personal protection equipment and of an adequate ventilation and suction system for the welding fumes, which allows safeguarding of your health and prevent the onset of even fairly serious diseases.