Argon has been used in welding since the 1920s – a period of great advances in welding technology when automatic welding was first introduced.
Today, argon-oxygen blends are used in a wide range of conventional and pulsed spray transfer applications on clean, plain carbon and stainless steel, and both methods can greatly benefit from the use of argon-oxygen gas blends. Typical blends range from one to five percent oxygen and provide good arc stability and very low levels of spatter and fume.
Argon-oxygen blends are most commonly used for heavy carbon steel welds on farm equipment, ships, automotive assemblies, and in other similar applications. They can also be used for spray arc welding of both ferritic and austenitic stainless steel components. Lower carbon argon-oxygen blends (with one to two percent oxygen) are used when reduced carbon content is desirable in the weld.
The primary benefit of using an argon-oxygen blend for welding is that it creates a weld pool that is more fluid, with smaller droplet sizes compared to argon-carbon dioxide mixes. Argon-oxygen welding gas blends also provide increased travel speeds, especially on thinner weld materials.
Some of the more common blends of argon-oxygen gases include:
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