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Hocon Industrial Blog
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Welding Gases
Gas welding is a process done by utilizing the heat of a flame coming from a welding torch. The utilization of welding gases plus the mixture of oxygen in the proper ratio and flow rates evokes the combustion process at the required temperature. The heat produced by the flames melds the edges of the objects together.

Gas welding may use an assortment of fuel gases, the most common of these gases is acetylene. Other gases that can be used are argon, hydrogen, and propane. Some welding processes may use different kinds of gases in their mixes.

Acetylene (C2H2) is a compound of carbon and hydrogen. It is a colorless and is highly flammable. One distinguishing fact about this gas is that it has a garlic-like odor. Acetylene is mainly used for chemical synthesis. A combustion of Oxygen with Acetylene produces a flame that is over 3300 °C (6000 °F) which is ideal for oxyacytelene gas welding, gas cutting, and heat treating. It is commonly used to join mild steel permanently. Essential equipments used for the oxyacetylene welding process are the torch, the hoses, the gas regulators and the flame traps or the flash arrestors. Since Acetylene is a highly flammable gas, it has the potential to catch fire and to explode. It can also cause suffocation when inhaled in large quantity.

Argon (Ar), on the other hand, is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, noncorrosive, nonflammable, and nontoxic gas. It is a highly stable chemical element both in its liquid and gaseous forms. Argon is used widely as a fill gas in incandescent and fluorescent lamp. It is used as such because it does not react to the filament of the light bulbs even at a high temperature. Aside from that, argon is mostly used for applications like arc welding, steel making, heat treating and electronics manufacturing. In its welding application, straight argon is used in TIG welding as a shielding gas. In MIG welding however, argon is combined with CO2 when used as a shielding gas. Among the shielding gases, argon is the most stable arc and also has the most effective cleaning action. Argon provides the welders good control of the welding arc and the puddle. While Acetylene runs the risk of an explosion, Argon being a stable compound is non-flammable. However, high pressure suffocation is still a hazard.

Next on the list of industrial gases is Hydrogen. Of all the gases, Hydrogen is the lightest. It is most commonly found in nature as one of the common components of an organic compound. It is also the most abundant element in the universe, notably the sun and the stars has hydrogen in their composition Hydrogen is widely used in chemical engineering processes in oil refineries, among other industries.

The soap making industry uses Hydrogen to turn inedible grease into soap. In the welding industry, Hydrogen serves as a fuel in underwater oxy-hydrogen torches. It is also used for metal welding and brazing. In addition to that hydrogen is used to enhance plasma welding and cutting operations. Hydrogen is a non-toxic gas, however, it is extremely flammable and can also cause suffocation.

And last on the list of welding gases is Propane. Propane (C3H8) is a colorless and flammable liquid gas. In its natural state, Propane is also an odorless gas. Since its odorless it serves a potential danger when not detected earlier for leaks. So Propane manufacturers decided to add an odor additive, usually mercaptan, to Propane for safety purposes. Propane is more commonly known as a cooking gas since it is widely used as such. It is also used to power heating appliances around the house. In welding, Propane is used combined with oxygen or air. Propane is widely used in industrial applications such as, flame heating, soldering, brazing and flame cutting processes. Propane is known to be highly explosive and like the rest of the gas it can also cause suffocation.

Welding Gases are essential in the gas welding industry. To know more about these welding gases it is advisable to check wih your local industrial gases supplier.

AT: 05/11/2013 05:56:48 PM   LINK TO THIS ENTRY

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