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Thread: How long does Argon last?

  1. #1
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    How long does Argon last?

    Hello all -- first post here. I am learning to TIG aluminum with a new Diversion 165. I got a 20 cubic foot bottle of Argon and thought it would last a long time for a hobby welder, but after less than a few hours of practice it's empty. Is that normal?!? I set it to 12-15 or so on the gauge it comes with.

    My MIG will last a year or more on a 40 cubic foot tank of gas, so just assumed I'd get months out of a little tank of argon. Did I get a near-empty tank or is it normal to use it up that fast?

  2. #2
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    A 20 cf bottle is way too small. At 15cfh, you will get a little over an hour of arc time.
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  3. #3
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    that tank is kid sized you will only get about a hours weld time with a 20cf bottle

    i would step up to a 80 to 154 cf bottle
    or bigger
    Last edited by WeldorWes; 08-22-2013 at 01:11 AM.
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Non linear dynamics.
    Im thinking because the bigger the tank, the better the economy

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    A 20 cf bottle is way too small. At 15cfh, you will get a little over an hour of arc time.
    or significantly less depending on your post flow time.
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGyver View Post
    or significantly less depending on your post flow time.
    True, that's why I didn't say an hour and a half.
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  7. #7
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Ok, thanks, at least the gas place didn't rip me off with a near-empty bottle.

    My 40 cubic foot tanks for my MIG welder have lasted over a year, and I could swear I've welded 10 times more and they're still going strong. It that a perception thing or do MIGs use less gas (even though the flow rate seems comparable....)?

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGyver View Post
    or significantly less depending on your post flow time.
    Post flow time is controlled by the Diversion -- no adjustable as far as I know.

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Tig is generally slower than Mig. Especially for a beginner. That means less weld for the same amount of gas
    My name's not Jim....

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    Tig is generally slower than Mig. Especially for a beginner. That means less weld for the same amount of gas
    Well, that's certainly true in my case... I guess I'm getting a bigger bottle.... Thanks all.

  11. #11
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Cheapest way to buy argon is usually in the biggest bottle they lease. 330 or 300 CF (Airgas) is the way to go if you want to save $, especially since the annual lease on a big bottle is not much more expensive (if at all) than a smaller bottle.

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Hi tom86951
    Argon in a tank is a gas and it last at the rate you use it in cfh (cubic feet per hour). when it gone it's gone. Carbon dioxide is a liquid in the tank and it changes (vaporizes) to a gas as you use it until all the liquid is gone. Thus a smallish tank of carbon dioxide lasts much longer.

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Not possible to tig weld with CO2 - You have to use argon or an argon helium mix.

    John

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmind View Post
    Hi tom86951
    Argon in a tank is a gas and it last at the rate you use it in cfh (cubic feet per hour). when it gone it's gone. Carbon dioxide is a liquid in the tank and it changes (vaporizes) to a gas as you use it until all the liquid is gone. Thus a smallish tank of carbon dioxide lasts much longer.
    A 20 pound C02 cylinder is approximately equivalent to a 160 cu.ft high pressure gas cylinder. This is because one pound of C02 will expand to provide approximately 8 cu. ft. of gas.

    A MIG unit is somewhat more economical on shielding gas since there is no pre or post-flow on a MIG machine.

    I use straight C02 with my MM252 because it is less expensive and gives excellent penetration. There can be more spatter than Argon mix but it can be controlled with liberal use of welding gel.
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmind View Post
    Hi tom86951
    Argon in a tank is a gas and it last at the rate you use it in cfh (cubic feet per hour). when it gone it's gone. Carbon dioxide is a liquid in the tank and it changes (vaporizes) to a gas as you use it until all the liquid is gone. Thus a smallish tank of carbon dioxide lasts much longer.
    Now that makes sense and explains why this argon goes so much faster. Thanks.

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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    How long does it last??? Well, if you freeze it, it won't spoil for about a year. If you just keep it in the fridge, it'll last for about 3 months.

    Old rotten argon starts to really stink if its kept in the warm weather.
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    Re: How long does Argon last?

    Hey Tom. I'm in the same situation. Cheaped out with the small tank when I bought my diversion 180 and I have already filled it 3-4 times with barely any use. I am definitely upping to a large tank ASAP! Lesson learned. To me, the lack of pre/post flow settings on the diversions sucks but it is meant to be plug n play as you know.

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