Above are the most commonly used gasses for welding and cutting metal. But, there are many other less often used gasses and blends. You can learn everything about different welding gasses in our complete guide for information on more specialized gas.
If you rent the tank, you must pay a yearly fee and the refills or an exchange with a freshly filled tank. But, if you own the tank, you just need to pay for a refill. Below are the most popular welding gasses sold with a full bottle to give you a price estimate.
Divide the cylinder volume by the gas flow rate to calculate how long your welding gas tank will last. For example, an 80 CF gas tank with a flow rate of 10 CFH (cubic feet per hour) will last about 8 hours.
The flow rate you use depends on the welding process, joint width, whether the joint has a root opening, whether you are welding indoors or outdoors, etc. But, the most common flow rate is between 10 CFH and 40 CFH. We wrote about this extensively in our gas tank sizes guide if you want more information and setting your gas flow rate.
Welding gasses are not expensive after making an initial investment in a gas tank. However, getting the right gas cylinder size is critical. If in doubt, get a larger bottle unless you do a lot of welding on the go.
Blending some carbon dioxide (CO2) into the Argon is a common gas blend for MIG welding and solves the problems associated with 100% Argon. A 5 to 25% amount of CO2 is usually added to improve the results with a MIG welder.
In contrast, TIG welding used a non-consumable tungsten electrode, and the filler is fed into the arc separately. This electrode produces a stable and strong arc, but the tungsten tip must remain clean and undamaged.
So, TIG welding demands a gas that remains inert, even at high welding temperatures. Argon does stay inert, even at elevated temperatures. It also produces easy starts, maintains a stable arc, and helps to keep the tungsten electrode clean.
Get PrimeWeld's industrial-grade argon welding gas delivered right to your door. Purchase an argon tank without worrying about costly rental fees or wasted trips out to your local welding supply shop. Our argon tanks are full and ready to use. With a 10-year date stamp, you'll never have to worry about your tank being turned away for a refill.
Let's talk about argon gas tanks for welding from PrimeWeld! If you order online directly from us, you'll get your full tank delivered right to your door. Skip the costly rental fees with gas tank ownership instead. There are no deposits to put down, and you won't be locked into the same store for gas refills.
MIG (GMAW) welding with shielding gas and a solid wire electrode produces a clean, slag-free weld. This comes without the need to stop welding to replace the electrode, as in Stick welding. Increased productivity and reduced clean up are just two of the benefits possible with this process.
Many MIG welding applications lend themselves to a variety of shielding gas choices. You need to evaluate your welding goals and your welding applications in order to choose the correct one for your specific application. Consider the following as you make your selection:
The most common of the reactive gases used in MIG welding is Carbon Dioxide (CO2). It is the only one that can be used in its pure form without the addition of an inert gas. CO2 is also the least expensive of the common shielding gases, making it an attractive choice when material costs are the main priority. Pure CO2 provides very deep weld penetration, which is useful for welding thick material. However, it also produces a less stable arc and more spatter than when it is mixed with other gases. It is also limited to only the short circuit process.
MIG welding is very popular with many welders because it provides a cleaner finish for mild steel welding. MIG welding allows artists, home-hobbyists, farmers, motorsports enthusiasts, and DIY welders to make most types of fabrications and maintenance welds with ease.
The process relies on using a shielding gas to protect the arc and weld puddle. Typically, welders use CO2, argon, or a mixture of these two for welding mild steel because they provide the best shielding for projects.
This mix of shielding gas widely available at local welder supply stores. You can buy it in different sized cylinders and it is easy to carry around in the trunk of your car. This gas mix is perfect if you are planning to do occasional welding around the home or ranch.
MIG Welding is carried out with an arc generated through a continuous solid wire electrode. The electrode is fed through a welding gun and creates a weld pool on the metal surface that joins two base materials.
Semi-inert gases offer moderate resistance to chemical changes and protect the arc and weld. Although they are not as effective as inert gases, they are much cheaper and mixed with argon to keep costs low.
The main benefit of using CO2 is that it allows much deeper penetration of the arc into the welding material. When used in a low proportion to Argon, like a 75-25 Ar/CO2 mix, it creates very nice welds while reducing porosity for the finish.
Important factors include the cost of the gas, quality of the finished weld, how you want to prepare the material, thickness of the base material, and how much post-weld clean up is possible. Your productivity and time to spend in welding should be considered as well.
Most professional welders keep multiple tanks of shielding gases on hand and use them alternately depending on the project they are working on. This helps ensure you get the best welding gas for different projects and adjust as you go along.
Most welders agree that a mix of 75% Argon, 25% Carbon gives the best mix for mild steel welding. This shielding gas helps keep the flame steady and reduces spatter while still providing deep enough penetration.
Yes. You can use pure Argon for MIG welding mild steel. However, you are likely to get an unattractive finish that is tall and narrow. Using 100% Argon will weaken, then undercut and also lose ductility.
MIG welding with shielding gases produces cleaner and faster welds and removes the need to frequently stop to replace electrodes like you would in stick welding. Reduced clean-up and increased efficiency also come with using shielding gases, but it helps to understand the role these gases play in the welding process, as well as what gas is used for MIG welding and their specific properties.
Technically, when carbon dioxide or oxygen is used, it is no longer MIG, or Metal Inert Gas, welding. It is then MAG, or Metal Active Gas, welding. This is because neither carbon dioxide nor oxygen is an inert gas. MIG welding utilizes inert shielding gases, such as helium or argon, whereas MAG uses active gases instead.
Different gases play different roles in the welding process, from weld penetration to arc stability to the finished weld itself. Choosing the consumables that provide continuous and even gas delivery is also a very important aspect to consider in your MIG welds.
CO2 is, by far, the most common and is one of the only gases that can be used in its pure form without needing the addition of inert gas, such as argon or helium. Because of this, CO2 is the most cost-effective option and a good choice if project costs are a priority.
Pure CO2 is good for projects where the aesthetics of the weld are either not important, or the weld cannot be seen, such as on the underside of a car. Post weld clean-up is also a little more involved.
Oxygen/argon blends are typically used on stainless steel and plain carbon metals. It produces a stable arc with limited spatter. Higher levels of oxygen, however, may make out-of-position welding hard due to the fact that it will increase puddle fluidity.
It is usually used in ratios of 25-75% helium to 75-25% argon. By adjusting these ratios, you can alter the penetration and bead profile. When used on stainless steels, helium is usually used in a tri-mix gas combination with CO2 and argon. Helium is also used to prevent oxidation during the welding of metals like stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys.
Helium does create a hotter arc, which provides faster travel speeds and, thus, increased productivity. That being said, helium is more expensive and does require a higher flow rate than argon does. Weighing out the value of the cost of the gas against productivity rates is important to keep in mind when considering using helium.
Each MIG welding gas that we supply is provided to deliver high-quality and high-strength, you can also expect it to produce a clean weld. As well as this, our welding gas will provide a snag-free weld, allowing you to complete your project efficiently.
The acronyms MIG (Metal Inert Gas), MAG (Metal Active Gas) and GMAW (Gas Metal Arc welding) all describe the same basic welding process. In this welding process, an arc is struck between a continuously fed consumable electrode and the workpiece as depicted in Figure 1. The consumable electrode is a bare wire. The heat generated by the arc melts the electrode and part of the base metal in the weld area. The arc itself transfers molten metal from the tip of the melting electrode to the workpiece, and here it combines with the melted base metal to form a weld deposit.The solid electrode comes in the form of a small diameter wire that is wound on a wire-pool. During welding, this wire electrode is continuously fed, via a wire feeder, to the welding zone and supplies the required filler metal to fill the joint gap. 781b155fdc