Is argon gas dangerous

Welding with gas

Various gases are used in welding that are suitable for different processes. Here we would like to introduce you to the most important industrial gases and their properties, possible applications, safety instructions and important rules.

This article provides information on the following industrial gases:

Acetylene (C2H2)

Properties / manufacture

Acetylene is a colorless, weak-smelling fuel gas that is slightly lighter than air. It is obtained in acetylene generators from carbide or petrochemically.

Main applications / forms of delivery

Universally usable fuel gas for oxy-fuel welding and cutting processes. Acetylene is transported and stored in pressurized gas cylinders with a porous filling compound dissolved in acetone (chestnut-brown cylinder shoulder).

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Acetylene is a non-toxic, flammable gas. Acetylene forms explosive mixtures with air (ignition range: 1.5 - 83 vol.%). The high-energy acetylene molecule can, under unfavorable circumstances, disintegrate without the assistance of oxygen, releasing energy in the process. This self-disintegration can be initiated by exposing an acetylene cylinder to great heat or by flashing back into the cylinder (the beginning of the disintegration can be recognized by the development of heat in the cylinder).

Countermeasures

Clear the danger area. Cool the bottle with large amounts of water from a safe distance.

Important regulations

Acetylene Ordinance and Technical Rules for Acetylene (TRAC).

Argon (Ar)

Properties / manufacture

Argon, a colorless and odorless inert gas, is extracted from the air (volume fraction 0.93%).

Main applications / forms of delivery

Inert gas in metallurgy and in arc welding. Argon is used in numerous mixtures in welding technology, with argon usually being the main component and thus dominating the properties. Argon is transported and stored in gaseous form in pressurized gas bottles (dark green bottle shoulder) or in cryogenic liquefied form in vacuum-insulated tanks (boiling point: minus 186 ° C).

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Argon is a non-toxic, inert gas that practically does not form chemical compounds. Like nitrogen, argon can displace the oxygen required for breathing. Since argon is heavier than air, if there is a leak, it will mainly collect near the ground and in depressions (check the O2 content!). Avoid direct skin contact with liquid argon (wear protective gloves and goggles!).

Important set of rules

UVV gases (new BGV No. B6, old VBG 61)

Liquefied petroleum gas

Properties / manufacture

Liquid fuel gases are hydrocarbons that are generally obtained from mineral oil. In the industrial gas sector, propane / butane mixtures in particular are used to a significant extent.

Collective term

Liquid gas according to DIN 51622. Liquid gas can be liquefied under relatively low pressure even at normal ambient temperatures.

Main applications / forms of delivery

Heating gas for trade and household as well as for oxy-fuel cutting processes. Liquid gas is transported and stored in pressurized gas cylinders (no uniform color code) and barrels or delivered to stationary tank facilities by tanker.

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Liquid gas is a non-toxic, flammable gas. Liquid gas forms explosive mixtures with air (ignition range 1.7 - 9.5% by volume). Since gases only take up a fraction of their normal volume in a liquid state, considerable amounts of energy are stored in liquid gas containers. Liquid gas is heavier than air. In the event of leaks, dangerous accumulations can occur near the floor, in depressions and in basements.

Important set of rules

Technical rules for liquid gas (TRF) of the DVGW / DVFG.

Oxygen (O2)

Properties / manufacture

Oxygen, a colorless and odorless gas, is obtained from the air (volume fraction 21%).

Main applications / forms of delivery

Intensification of combustion processes, e.g. in the steel industry and in oxy-fuel welding and cutting processes. Oxygen also supports biological processes, e.g. the breakdown of pollutants in sewage treatment plants. In a particularly pure form, it is used as medical oxygen for ventilation. Oxygen is transported and stored in gaseous form in pressurized gas bottles (white bottle shoulder) or in cryogenic liquefied form in vacuum-insulated tanks (boiling point: minus 183 ° C).

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Oxygen is a non-toxic gas. Oxygen doesn't burn. However, it promotes combustion. A slight increase in the oxygen content of the air can accelerate combustion processes considerably. Even supposedly incombustible substances such as steel burn in pure oxygen. Avoid direct skin contact with liquid oxygen (wear protective gloves and goggles!).

Important regulations

  • UVV "Oxygen" (new BGV No. B7, old VBG 62)
  • UVV »welding and cutting« (new BGV no. D1, old VBG 15).
  • BG information "Handling oxygen" (new BGI No. 617, old ZH 1-307)
  • BG information "Hazards from oxygen" (new BGI no. 644, old ZH 1-383)

    Nitrogen (N2)

Properties / manufacture

Nitrogen, a colorless, odorless, inert gas, is extracted from the air (volume fraction 78%).

Main applications / forms of delivery

As an inert gas for the safe storage of flammable liquids and dusts, as a protective gas when annealing metals, in a cryogenic liquefied state as a refrigerant, e.g. B. in the food industry and in industrial manufacturing. Nitrogen is gaseous in pressurized gas bottles (black bottle shoulder) or liquefied at low temperature in vacuum-insulated ones
Tanks transported and stored (boiling point: minus 196 ° C).

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Nitrogen is a non-toxic, inert gas. When dealing with nitrogen, it should be noted that it can dilute or displace the oxygen required for breathing in the air. When liquid nitrogen evaporates, around 700 times the gas volume is created. Vaporizing liquid nitrogen can therefore noticeably reduce the oxygen content in closed rooms. This danger must be eliminated by ventilation or suction. Avoid direct skin contact with liquid nitrogen (wear protective gloves and goggles!).

Important set of rules

UVV »Gase« (new BGV no. B6, old VBG 61)
Hydrogen (H2)
Properties / manufacture
Hydrogen, a flammable, non-toxic gas, is obtained by chlor-alkali electrolysis from water and chemically from petroleum or natural gas.

Hydrogen (H2)

Main applications / forms of delivery

Protective gas in the heat treatment of metals, for hydrogenation processes in the chemical industry, as a process gas in the electronics industry and food technology, fuel gas for special processes, e.g. for rocket technology. Hydrogen is transported in gaseous form in pressurized gas bottles (red bottle shoulder) or in cryogenic liquefied form in vacuum-insulated tanks and stored (boiling point minus 253 ° C).

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Hydrogen forms explosive mixtures with air (ignition range 4 - 75% by volume). Hydrogen is much lighter than air and rises quickly in the event of a leak. The danger of an explosion is therefore usually only for a short time when hydrogen is released (in contrast to liquefied gas). Hydrogen burns with air in an almost colorless, almost invisible flame.

Important set of rules

BG information "Hydrogen" (new BGI No. 612, old ZH 1-288)

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Properties / manufacture

Carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless, inert gas that is readily soluble in water, is obtained from natural sources or through post-purification of raw carbon dioxide from various chemical processes in crude oil and natural gas processing.

Main applications / forms of delivery

For carbonation of beverages, as an inert gas for covering and pneumatically conveying explosive or fire-endangered bulk silo goods, as a protective gas for food packaging and welding, for promoting growth in greenhouses, for preservation during the storage of fruit, vegetables and grain, for neutralizing alkaline waste water, hardening of Drinking water, water treatment, in the medical field, as a propellant in plastics processing, for high-pressure extraction of z. B. essential essences from herbal products, in the liquid state as a coolant, e.g. B. in the food and plastics industry, as a fire extinguishing agent, as dry ice for a wide variety of cooling purposes. Carbon dioxide is liquefied under pressure at ambient temperature in pressurized gas bottles (gray bottle shoulder), liquefied at low temperature, transported and stored in specially insulated tanks (e.g. temperature minus 20 ° C at a pressure of 20 bar) or as dry ice in the form of blocks, discs or » Pellets «.

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Carbon dioxide is a very slightly toxic, almost inert gas. When dealing with carbon dioxide, it should be noted that it can dilute or displace the oxygen in the air that is necessary for breathing. Carbon dioxide is 1.5 times heavier than air. In the case of larger gas leaks, dangerous accumulations can therefore occur near the floor, in depressions and basement rooms. Avoid direct skin contact with dry ice (temperature minus 78 ° C) (wear protective gloves and goggles!).

If you are not sure which gas suits the process you want, our gas finder will help you. The welding heroes wish you every success with your next hero project!


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