If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
When it comes to shielding gases, why should a TIG welder consider anything other than pure argon? It’s a versatile, proficient all-round jobbing gas, that suits all kinds of metals. They’ve used it for years, and it brings results.
But are results from a ‘jobbing all-rounder’ good enough with margins being squeezed and customer demands rising? Welding businesses need to maximise productivity, quality and profitability in every weld produced. And if, to achieve that, they need to modify their shielding gas mix for each type of job, then why not?
The benefits of getting it right
When welding, businesses need to shield the weld pool from atmospheric gases such as oxygen and nitrogen, as over exposure to the atmosphere can cause serious weld defects. Argon does shield the pool effectively for TIG and when MIG welding aluminium. However using mixed shielding gases can offer so much more:
- Increased heat and fluidity of the weld pool
- Rising productivity through faster welding and less time spent tidying up splatter
- Enhanced weld quality including penetration profile, weld bead shape and size and overall weld integrity
The differences can be remarkable. West Yorkshire precision sheet metal workers Allsops changed their BOC shielding gas from argon to a BOC argon-hydrogen (5%) mix while TIG welding stainless steel. At the end of the trial, they noted a reduction in welding time of 76% and a 73% cut in production costs.
It’s not just using pure argon than can be improved. If you MAG weld stainless steel with an argon/CO2 or argon/O2 shielding gas mix there are also alternatives that have been tried, tested and formulated by BOC.
As Allsops explained: “BOC are putting the research into new gases and we’re benefitting. That’s good for us.”
Our team of technical support engineers would be happy to run a shop-floor trial at your company to find the right gas mix for you. They can also advise on welding equipment, settings, training and all other operational processes. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We’ve also created a more detailed guide to shielding gas mixes and the benefits they can bring which you can download below.
Technical Specialist Engineer