Whether you are getting started with welding or have been welding for years, an understanding of the gases needed can help streamline your work. nexAir has the technical KnowHow of welding gases and their respective blends to meet all your gas supply needs.
Needless to say, welding gases are a vital component in generating desirable and stable welds. They do this in various ways, including protecting your weld from destructive chemical reactions and improving the job’s look and feel.
This guide takes you through the basic uses of welding gases and their mixes. Keep reading to learn more.
Typical Welding Gases and Their Uses Explained
Represented by the symbol (Ar), argon is part of the six noble gases you may have learned about in your science classes. The gas is inert (does not react with other materials), making it great for welding.
Welders typically use argon as a shielding agent, making it one of the most important gases needed in the welding process.
Other properties that make argon appropriate for use on a massive scale include non-flammable, odorless, colorless, and non-toxic. nexAir does not compromise on the quality of argon gas supplied so that you can Forge Forward in your welding work.
Helium gas is inert like argon but takes a different use case in welding, thanks to its thermal conductivity property. The properties of this gas attract welders as it prevents things from blowing up. Helium is also an incredibly stable, non-reactive element. Thus welders get to work in a protected environment when dealing with reactive materials.
Helium has high heat transfer. Hence, it can also be applied as a shielding gas for welding materials with high heat conductivity. That includes the likes of aluminum, copper, and magnesium alloys.
Some welders often get confused about why they need carbon dioxide as they Forge Forward with their work. After all, isn’t the gas reactive when exposed to high heat? Typically, the property that we’ve just mentioned makes it great for creating various interactions.
Welders can use carbon dioxide in its pure state to achieve interesting effects. The gas delivers a deep weld of desirable width. Whereas the weld it produces may not be as precise as argon, CO2 becomes the most reliable option for very thick materials.
Generally, if you are on a budget and need a shielding gas, carbon dioxide would be your ideal choice. You can depend on nexAir KnowHow to assess your use case and advise which shielding gas to choose.
Please note that making the right selection of shielding gas is vital to the success of your joining operation. The ideal approach would be to first define your requirements as per the type of material being welded for you to make the right decision.
Welding Gases Blends
Some gases in their pure form are not useful in the welding process. However, when mixed with others, they can help you to Forge Forward with your welds.
Let us first look at some of these gases that need to be mixed with others before evaluating the common mixtures.
Any welder who works with oxygen must do so cautiously because too much O2 can lead to oxidization and weaken the final result. However, if you keep your oxygen concentration to less than 10%, you can combine it with other gases to function as an active shielding gas.
You will typically find hydrogen in shielding mixtures as long as its concentration is kept below 10%. The gas also helps create a hot, wider bead that is much deeper than what oxygen can deliver. Other applications include plasma cutting when in high concentration and also in austenitic stainless steel welding.
For starters, no welder should attempt to use nitrogen as a shielding gas. After all, it is one of the reactive elements that you are protecting your weld from. However, when combined with argon, it can help deliver corrosion resistance for your steel welds.
Welding Gas Mixtures to Take Note Of
A gas supply company’s technical KnowHow can help influence the quality of mixtures it delivers. That explains why you need to focus on working with top-rated suppliers like nexAir to provide your gas mixes.
Some of the options to take note of include:
This mixture works best on reactive metals, including aluminum, nickel alloys, and copper. As explained above, you can use argon in its pure form. However, adding helium delivers a highly fluid weld pool. The fluid feature means gases will rise to the surface and escape, leaving behind top-quality welding work.
You can always depend on low oxygen concentrations to improve the downsides of pure argon as a shielding gas. Oxygen helps better heat transfer to increase the time the weld pool stays in a molten state. Doing so helps with the consistent fusing of your metal.
- Argon + Carbon Dioxide + Oxygen
This is one of the most versatile mixtures that work on varying metal thicknesses. Some welders even use the term “universal mixture” to refer to this combination. It has better concentration and high efficiency to deliver good spray transfer.
Combining the three delivers a gas blend that you can rely on when dealing with ferrous materials. A mixture of argon and helium will be enough for non-ferrous materials.
- Argon + Carbon Dioxide + Hydrogen
You can add low amounts of hydrogen and carbon dioxide to argon to deliver a blend that increases wetting on stainless steel, minimizes carbon pick-up, and supports arc stability.
- Argon + Helium + Carbon Dioxide
The blend has a more effective heat transfer than pure argon, translating to desirable bead results.
A welding gas supply company with technical KnowHow on gas blends can significantly benefit your welding works. Get in touch with nexAir today to learn more about how they can help with your joining works.