can argon be used as the only shielding gas
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  1. #1
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    can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    Gents

    Can Argon be used as the only gas in my home shop? I mainly like to work with aluminum but occasional need to run some beads on steel or stainless and rather not have to have 2 bottles 1 with argon and the other with C25. I currently have 2 300 size old bottles that I was given. Was thinking to reduce down to 1 bottle. I know I can use flux core on steel but rather weld with gas. The other option is to get a small bottle of mix and keep one of the large ones for argon. What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    need two bottles, maybe three (not sure on mig stainless).
    unless you go to tig only.
    or big argon and a small bottle of co2 for mig steel.

  3. #3
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas


    joev


    Quote Originally Posted by joev View Post
    What are your thoughts?
    Re-re-read: all gas specifications for
    each of your weld processes . . .

    then - re-read your OP -

    . . . and repost a based query . . .


    Opus

  4. #4
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    it is technically possible to weld steel with pure argon, but its not reccomended, you need some reactive gas in the mix to produce sound welds.

    I'd suggest having a bottle of pure argon, a bottle of pure CO2 and getting a mixers, stainless needs a mucher smaller percentage of CO2 to run properly (actually to much CO2 destroys stainless steel corrosion resistance) and preferably a tri-mix with argon, O2 and helium for the stainless MIG, while steel needs at least 10 CO2 to get sound welds, steel can also be welded pretty well with just pure CO2 which is cheaper then argon/CO2 mixes so for the occasional stainless job have seperate bottle of argon and CO2 makes sense, do the small carbon steel jobs with strait CO2, the large carbon steel job where spray transfer is viable with about a C10 mix of CO2 and argon, and the stainless MIG jobs with about 2.5% CO2 assuming that with the stainless jobs that maintaining the corrosion resistance without pickling and passivation isn't critical, although if the corrosion resistance is critical you can pickle and passivate a weld done with 2.5% CO2 to bring back a lot of the corrosion resistance

    Running a pure CO2 and argon bottle with a mixer, allows you to tailor your gas mixture to suite what you're welding.

    If I were to set up a shop for general fab work, I would have pure argon for all TIG and aluminium MIG, a bottle of C25 for all of my steel MIG work (I would probably use duel shield flux core for all of my steel fabrication over 1/8th inch as its miles better then solid wire, and for thin material in dip transfer C25 or C10 makes little difference, if I were to use only solid wire MIG it would be C10 for easier and cleaner spray transfer of thick material) and a bottle of tri-mix argon/helium/O2 mix for stainless MIG.

    but then, I would have to ask myself how much stainless work do I actually do that isn't economical or viable to TIG weld? I personally have a fair bit of experience welding stainless with stick, and if I did get the odd stainless job that couldn't be done with TIG into the shop I'd probably just stick weld it, or if it was a bigger job I'd buy a spool of appropriate duel shield stainless wire and weld it with the C25, therefore negating the need for an expensive bottle of tri mix I probably wouldn't use that often.
    Last edited by ttoks; 07-31-2018 at 12:12 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    it is technically possible to weld steel with pure argon, but its not reccomended, you need some reactive gas in the mix to produce sound welds.

    I'd suggest having a bottle of pure argon, a bottle of pure CO2 and getting a mixers, stainless needs a mucher smaller percentage of CO2 to run properly (actually to much CO2 destroys stainless steel corrosion resistance) and preferably a tri-mix with argon, O2 and helium for the stainless MIG, while steel needs at least 10 CO2 to get sound welds, steel can also be welded pretty well with just pure CO2 which is cheaper then argon/CO2 mixes so for the occasional stainless job have seperate bottle of argon and CO2 makes sense, do the small carbon steel jobs with strait CO2, the large carbon steel job where spray transfer is viable with about a C10 mix of CO2 and argon, and the stainless MIG jobs with about 2.5% CO2 assuming that with the stainless jobs that maintaining the corrosion resistance without pickling and passivation isn't critical, although if the corrosion resistance is critical you can pickle and passivate a weld done with 2.5% CO2 to bring back a lot of the corrosion resistance

    Running a pure CO2 and argon bottle with a mixer, allows you to tailor your gas mixture to suite what you're welding.

    If I were to set up a shop for general fab work, I would have pure argon for all TIG and aluminium MIG, a bottle of C25 for all of my steel MIG work (I would probably use duel shield flux core for all of my steel fabrication over 1/8th inch as its miles better then solid wire, and for thin material in dip transfer C25 or C10 makes little difference, if I were to use only solid wire MIG it would be C10 for easier and cleaner spray transfer of thick material) and a bottle of tri-mix argon/helium/O2 mix for stainless MIG.

    but then, I would have to ask myself how much stainless work do I actually do that isn't economical or viable to TIG weld? I personally have a fair bit of experience welding stainless with stick, and if I did get the odd stainless job that couldn't be done with TIG into the shop I'd probably just stick weld it, or if it was a bigger job I'd buy a spool of appropriate duel shield stainless wire and weld it with the C25, therefore negating the need for an expensive bottle of tri mix I probably wouldn't use that often.
    TTOKS

    Thank you very much for the input. This help me conclude my decision. Thank you Kindly

  6. #6
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas


    joev

    Quote Originally Posted by joev View Post
    TTOKS

    Thank you very much for the input. This help me conclude my decision. Thank you Kindly
    What is your decision/conclusion . . . ?


    Opus

  7. #7
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    going to keep large 300 tank with argon and trade other one for a 125 c25.

  8. #8
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    Quote Originally Posted by joev View Post
    going to keep large 300 tank with argon and trade other one for a 125 c25.
    probably cheaper (or the same price ) to fill the other 300 with c25.... more is always gooder, I say.
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  9. #9
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    probably cheaper (or the same price ) to fill the other 300 with c25.... more is always gooder, I say.
    Unless portability is going to be the main use for mix I would agree that more bigger = mo betta
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 08-02-2018 at 12:24 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    I dont really get why people think "more is better" with CO2. It's really not. We use 95/5/2 Ar/CO2/O2 mix for everything - classed as "argoshield light" - up to around 1/2" thick. Plenty power and technique produces sound welds.

    That bit of oxygen in the mix makes the active component go much further and produce more penetration than CO2 can alone.

    obviously if you're welding structural steel above 10mm you need more CO2 and I'd go with 15-20% CO2.

    but otherwise, you're simply introducing more spatter in your work than necessary.

  11. #11
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    I dont really get why people think "more is better" with CO2. It's really not. We use 95/5/2 Ar/CO2/O2 mix for everything - classed as "argoshield light" - up to around 1/2" thick. Plenty power and technique produces sound welds.

    That bit of oxygen in the mix makes the active component go much further and produce more penetration than CO2 can alone.

    obviously if you're welding structural steel above 10mm you need more CO2 and I'd go with 15-20% CO2.

    but otherwise, you're simply introducing more spatter in your work than necessary.
    the reason is cost, for 99% of the work that is MIG welded removing 100% of the spatter isn't necessary, just clean it up so its good enough for the job and send it out the door, and higher CO2 mixes are cheaper, I personally prefer high CO2 mixes becuase it will run duel shield, which I (and many of the places I work at) find is far more cost effective despite its higher cost due to its higher productivity especially when you have to weld out of position.

    Although for the record I actually agree with you, a 93/5/2 mix of argon, Co2 and O2 is awesome to weld with, especially for heavier material in spray it is excellent, all of my welding in the pics below was done with the tri-mix, but only because it was called for by the WPS, otherwise it would have been done with argoshield 52 (C25) as well due to cost.

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  12. #12
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    Mix your own gas like I do.
    Argon by irs self or mixed with CO2 in the proper proportion allows you to mig weld steel, stainless steel, aluminum.
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  13. #13
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    Re: can argon be used as the only shielding gas

    Those are the two bottles I keep in my shop , plus a smaller bottle of each for portable jobs. It really depends on what you weld, and what processes you use. Sometimes the 300 tanks are too big for the smaller welding carts. What welding machines are you using?
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