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Thread: Bad Argon?

  1. #1
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    Bad Argon?

    I have been working on a project for three days TIG welding an aluminum rack, with good results. I just went to swap out an empty argon bottle, now I seem to be having all kinds of contamination problems when trying to introduce the filler rod. Cleanliness and machine settings are not an issue, since the argon was the only thing that has changed. Does anyone know how common it is to get bad argon? The cup looks normal and working the base metal by itself gives a good clean weld (shiny clear puddle).

    Thanks,

    Rick

  2. #2
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    It's not very common, but I also had a bad bottle a while back.
    My name's not Jim....

  3. #3
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    It does happen.
    "SOUTHPAW"
    A wise person learns from another persons mistakes;
    A smart person learns from their own mistakes;
    But, a stupid person.............never learns.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    Yup, not the first time that has ever happened. While rare, it does and will happen. Bottles get mislabeled all the time. If that really is the only parameter change, swap out the bottle and see what happens. This kind of thing is one of the reasons I try to keep several bottles of each gas on hand in the shop. Less chance of a delay that way.
    QamuIs Heg qaq law' lorvIs yInqaq puS



  5. #5
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    My last bottle was bad too.
    Bill Lambert
    Argon Welding
    ABQ NM


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  6. #6
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    make shure its argon i got a wrong
    tank before i think they gave me
    nitrogen what ever it was the colors
    on the tank where the same as argon

  7. #7
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    While rare, it does happen from time to time.

    More likely than mislabeling is when a bottle previously held a mixed (or other) gas, and wasn't purged properly prior to filling with argon.

    Say the bottle was previously used for C25 and then was filled with straight argon. If the bottle had not been purged properly, trace amounts (enough to notice with tig) of CO2 could remain in the bottle and contaminate the argon.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    Did you happen to change the flow adjusting knob when you were handling the regulator when changing out the bottle?

  9. #9
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    Thanks for the help. It was a bad bottle of argon. I hooked a new one up and off I went.

    I assume an accomplished TIG welder would have known this immediately, a total newcomer would have given up the sport as too frustrating, and someone of my level of experience would beat their head against the wall for several days. Ouch!

  10. #10
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    Hello OregonRick, as SundownIII mentioned, it is likely an issue with the fill line from your supplier. Most of the high-pressure shielding gas bottles are identical in construction and depending upon demand and supply of empties they might need to use bottles other than those that were previously used for argon and vice-a-versa. Additionally, with the use of the newer valves on updated bottles there is a siphon tube incorporated in their design that can somewhat complicate the purging and clearing of used bottles. All it takes is a newb on the fill line or someone not paying attention and you will end up receiving an inferior bottle of argon or other type of shielding gas or combination. At our school we have had instances of argon bottles being contaminated with other residual gases and have also had instances of receiving mixed gases with incorrect levels of Argon/CO2/Ox/Helium, whatever the mix was supposed to be, it wasn't. One nice thing about experiencing this is that when or if you have this occur again you'll likely know really quickly what to do to correct the situation. Best regards, Allan
    aevald

  11. #11
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    Allan, your right about that. It's when things don't go right that you usually learn the most. It might be fulfilling in hindsight, but frustrating while trying to figure out what the problem is. Thanks again, Rick

  12. #12
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    Re: Bad Argon?

    Hello Rick, I see that you're just a stone's throw south of me. Can you share the name of your employer? I might be familar with them as I am a transplant from the Portland area just a tad over 20 years ago. Didn't grow up there, but worked in that area for a number of years. Best regards, Allan
    aevald

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