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Thread: Non-traditional shielding gases

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    Non-traditional shielding gases

    Of course, everyone knows about using argon, CO2, and helium as shielding gases... And some gas mixes even contain a bit of nitrogen or hydrogen...

    But what other gases have been tried over the years and what were the results?

    There are other noble gases, although some of them might be a bit expensive for use in welding...

    I wonder how a gas like propane / butane / methane would work as a shield gas... Surely *someone* has had a few too many beers and given it a try...

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Leave it to a sailor to come up with that...I just might try it and Im just crazy enough to try it without alcohol

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    I've heard of some mixes (for mig IIRC) even containing a small amount of oxygen, which was a surprise to me!

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    I wonder how radon would go. Might add some extra energy to the weld pool, and give the welder super powers.

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    I've heard of some mixes (for mig IIRC) even containing a small amount of oxygen, which was a surprise to me!
    Small amounts of oxygen (around 2%) in mig has is very common, in fact where I am (in Aus) getting standard MIG gas without oxygen is a special order and is often more expensive than tri mix argon/CO2/Oxygen mixes, C25 here is about 15-30% more expensive than 16%CO2 2.75% oxy mix.

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyVet1959 View Post
    I wonder how a gas like propane / butane / methane would work as a shield gas... Surely *someone* has had a few too many beers and given it a try...
    Yea but,,,, Flammable gases??? Not sure How That would work!

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Hydrogen is used for TIG welding stainless steels. Works well for austenitic grades as hydrogen embrittlement isn't a problem.
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    Small amounts of oxygen (around 2%) in mig has is very common, in fact where I am (in Aus) getting standard MIG gas without oxygen is a special order and is often more expensive than tri mix argon/CO2/Oxygen mixes, C25 here is about 15-30% more expensive than 16%CO2 2.75% oxy mix.
    Huh. Interesting. I have a grand total of about 15 minutes of hood time on MIG, from when I took a welding course. It was surprising to me to hear of oxygen being in a welding "shielding" gas because oxygen is mostly what you're shielding from!

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Nearly all our MAG gas has 2% oxygen in. But our European friends have plain CO2/Ar.
    Our usual gasses
    Light gas - 5-7/2
    Medium gas - 12-15/2
    Heavy gas - 20-25/2
    CO2/O2, remainder Ar

    Stainless MAG gas would be 2% O2 OR 2% CO2, pick your flavour.
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    I don't know what it means, I'm just repeating something. MIG requires a reactive component in shielding gas. I've heard it said CO2 is reactive. Pure argon doesn't work as MIG gas.

    As for propane, theoretically it'd work, but somewhere there has to be a place where it'll mix with air & a spark. Then all bets are off!
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Huh. Interesting. I have a grand total of about 15 minutes of hood time on MIG, from when I took a welding course. It was surprising to me to hear of oxygen being in a welding "shielding" gas because oxygen is mostly what you're shielding from!
    Oxygen is not used as the shield per say; that is still primarily argon that does the shielding. Oxygen is used as a component, in small amounts. It reduces the surface tension of molten steel and therefore helps toes wet out, as well as help initiate droplet detachment in spray-arc or pulsed-spray. The reason you can use it in the mix is due to the filler metal constituents, deoxidizers to be specific. They will combine with the [small amounts of] oxygen and trap it in the silicon islands after it's benefits have been reaped. Large amounts of oxygen, aka the atmosphere, is most definitely something to shield from, as the deoxidizers are not anywhere near sufficient to keep porosity at bay.
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    I have used straight CO2 for shielding gas for tig welding on a couple occasions. It's not great but it worked.

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Oh, this is just ripe for a MIG Vs MAG argument!
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Oxygen is not used as the shield per say; that is still primarily argon that does the shielding. Oxygen is used as a component, in small amounts. It reduces the surface tension of molten steel and therefore helps toes wet out, as well as help initiate droplet detachment in spray-arc or pulsed-spray. The reason you can use it in the mix is due to the filler metal constituents, deoxidizers to be specific. They will combine with the [small amounts of] oxygen and trap it in the silicon islands after it's benefits have been reaped. Large amounts of oxygen, aka the atmosphere, is most definitely something to shield from, as the deoxidizers are not anywhere near sufficient to keep porosity at bay.
    That is interesting and more than i will ever know about it. Must be something learned while studying, ha.

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    It like any shielding gas it needs to be approved by AWS or other to use.
    I look into nitrogen as use in other countries the down side is may leave N in weld but biggest reason is it makes laughing gas and nitric acids, so you would be a happy welder with bad lungs.
    Which works in third work countries.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyVet1959 View Post
    Of course, everyone knows about using argon, CO2, and helium as shielding gases... And some gas mixes even contain a bit of nitrogen or hydrogen...

    But what other gases have been tried over the years and what were the results?

    There are other noble gases, although some of them might be a bit expensive for use in welding...

    I wonder how a gas like propane / butane / methane would work as a shield gas... Surely *someone* has had a few too many beers and given it a try...

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    And the air we're shielding from is 78% N and 21% O2, and apparently at least 1% beer farts on a Saturday...
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    I can't get my head wrapped around using propane or hydrogen for shielding gas.
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Blow torch
    It heat gas up to 5,000F and when hits the air hot 🔥 flame 🔥

    I hope he takes video and post here.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    I can't get my head wrapped around using propane or hydrogen for shielding gas.

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    I wonder how radon would go. Might add some extra energy to the weld pool, and give the welder super powers.

    For TIG, Radon should work in theory as it is a Knoble gas or as I like to call them ion gasses because there outer Valence bands are full and therefore ionic and also UN REACTIVE especially with oxygen. They don't mix with other atoms or molecules. Radon is radioactive tho but then so is Thorium or was it Cerium? In any case , why use Radon? I've asked a similar question about why aren't the other Knoble gasses used like Krypton, Xenon and Neon. Answer was: they are used but supply and demand is cost prohibitive. Makes sense. As for Hydrogen TIG, that's an easy No. Hydrogen is used for OxyHydrogen and I think developed in SoCal for airplanes during WW2 because the Navy needed all the acetalyne. It's going to go boom boom boom in a tig torch if it's pure Hydrogen.

    Not to hijack , more like hitch hike, I have a question. Why can aluminium be welded with D.C. CV Mig and Argon but not with D.C. Tig CC?
    Last edited by Insaneride; 1 Week Ago at 07:34 PM. Reason: Mix

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    I can't get my head wrapped around using propane or hydrogen for shielding gas.
    Argon with 2% hydrogen is a sweet mix on stainless (TIG)
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by LtBadd View Post
    Argon with 2% hydrogen is a sweet mix on stainless (TIG)
    Why and can you explain it? Is it like He mix?

    Hydrogen boost?

    Edit: it's for Stainless?
    Last edited by Insaneride; 1 Week Ago at 07:27 PM. Reason: Wobbly pops

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    No real need to re invent the wheel on welding gases, what we currently have seems to work very well.

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    But hydrogen worked great in zeppelins... to a point...
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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    Blow torch
    It heat gas up to 5,000F and when hits the air hot  flame 

    I hope he takes video and post here.

    Dave
    Well, if I had a MIG machine, I would probably give it a try... After a few beers...

    Chemically though, what would be happening? The propane / methane would burn with the oxygen in the air, producing CO2 and water vapor... Hmmm...


    The flame is not necessarily a *bad* thing... You might even be able to justify it in that it would be helping to heat up the metal...

    I've been diving (SCUBA) since the mid-1970s and the commercial and deep divers (and some "tech" divers) use mixed gases for certain dives, so I've read about it a bit... There are certain gases that work well and often they are noble gases... Basically you are looking for a gas that does not dissolve readily in your blood stream or tissues, even at pressure and it off-gasses quickly to reduce the decompression time... Xeon would be one possible candidate except for the fact that it is also an anesthesia even at standard pressures... Most of the other gases either cost to much for this or have other disadvantages... For really deep diving, hydrogen has been used as a mix gas, but you have to keep the oxygen content in the mix below 4% (IIRC)... Since only 4% oxygen in your breathing mix will have you passing out on the surface, you have to use another mix to get to a depth where the PPO2 is sufficient that you will not pass out breathing the 4% O2 96% hydrogen mix... Hydrogen has a much greater flammability range than propane or methane, so it's more dangerous to work with... For diving, just like for welding gases, the gas choice is usually a balance of availability, advantages / disadvantages, and cost...

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    Re: Non-traditional shielding gases

    O/A torch tips are built to create a venturi effect that helps to eliminate burn back into the handle. I highly doubt that MIG handles are...
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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