Understanding Argon Gas
What is Argon Gas?
Argon gas is a chemical element with Symbol Ar, and one of the noble gases. Argon is also the 3rd most abudant gas on earth. Argon is most commonly used as an inert shielding gas. Argon is Colorless, odorless, Non-Flammable, and Non-Toxic.
Why does the Orion Welding Systems Use Argon?
Argon is used as a shielding in the Orion Welding Systems. During the welding, process metals are exposed to temperatures of upwards of 7000 Degrees. At these temperatures, most metals become liquid, which allows the formation of the weld. Argon is used to protect the molten pool of metal against elements in the Atmosphere including Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Hydrogen. These elements cause reactions with the liquid weld pool, such as porosity and increased weld spatter. Argon also plays an important role in maintaining Arc stability, which leads to increased weld penetration, better filler wire transfer, and better weld appearance.
Is Argon Dangerous?
Argon has safety concerns to be aware of, but for the most part is a very safe gas. It is non-toxic and non-flammable, therefore it is not poisonous, and it will not burn. Argon does come in a compressed tank, and proper safety protocol should be followed when working with compressed tanks. Argon is 38% denser than air so when working within confined areas ensure that you have proper air ventilation. The amount of Argon used in the Orion system is very small and is of very little safety concern.
What Kind of Argon Gas do I Get?
We recommend using 99.996% pure Argon (Argon 4.6). This is one of the most commonly used welding gasses in the world. Every major gas supply company will carry this. It is the same as welding gas used in a traditional TIG welding Setup. Pure Argon refers to the gas being just Argon, and not mixed with another gas. Other shielding gasses such as CO2 and Argon CO2 mixes, do not work as well as pure argon. Ultra high purity or medical grade Argon is not required.
How Long Will My Argon Tank Last?
It depends on a number of different factors, Tank size, Frequency of Use, Pressure setting, and Pre/Post Flow Settings. Argon comes in a number of different tank sizes. A 30 or 40 scf is the most common size for use with the Orion Welding Systems. An important factor to check when determining a tank size is the availability of your supplier. What size do they normally stock? A 40 scf tank will last 3-6 months on average, depending on use.
Will I Need an Argon Regulator?
When you get your Argon Cylinder it will not come with an Argon Regulator. We strongly recommend purchasing the regulator from Orion. This will ensure that you will have the proper type of regulator and make things much easier for you.
What type of Regulator Will I Need?
The Orion uses a pressure Argon Regulator. Most Argon Regulators are a flow regulator and regulate a continuous flow. The Orion Welding Systems have a built-in Argon control system, therefore you will need a regulator that will regulate the pressure into the machine. These regulators are specialized, and difficult to find at welding supply stores. The benefit of purchasing the Orion AGR2 is the perfect regulator that is Plug & Weld Ready.
What is The Recommended Argon Pressure?
The Orion Welding systems work best at around 10 PSI. The pressure can be adjusted depending on the workpiece and how far the electrode protrudes the welding stylus. The further out the electrode the more argon pressure will be required in order to get proper coverage.