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ARGON (AR)

 

Argon Overview

Colourless and odourless gas. Non-reactive. Inert. Asphyxiant in high concentrations. Gas density is heavier than air.

 

Argon Technical Data

US DOT NAME Argon, COMPRESSED

UN NUMBER 1006

US DOT LABEL NONFLAMMABLE GAS

US DOT CLASS 2.2 NONFLAMMABLE

CYLINDER CGA OUTLET 580 AND 680(GREATER THAN 3,000 PSIG)

SDS LINK argon, COMPRESSED SDS

 

US DOT NAME argon, REFRIGERATED LIQUID

UN NUMBER 1951

BOILING POINT -352.55 F

US DOT LABEL NONFLAMMABLE GAS

US DOT CLASS 2.2 NONFLAMMABLE

CYLINDER CGA OUTLET 295

SDS LINK argon LIQUID SDS

 

Argon Supply Options

 

LIQUID DEWARS

cOMPRESSED HIGH-PRESSURE CYLINDERS

cOMPRESSED CYLINDER CLUSTERS (BANKS)

TUBE TRAILERS

MicroBulk Systems (230 - 3000 liter)

Cryogenic Bulk Tank Systems (300 gallons and larger)

 

Argon Source

The most common source of argon is an air separation plant.  Air contains approx. 0.93% (vol.) argon. A crude argon stream containing up to 5% oxygen is removed from the main air separation column via a secondary (“side-arm”) column. The crude argon is then further purified to produce the various commercial grades required. Argon may also be recovered from the exhaust streams of certain ammonia plants.

 

 

Argon Uses and Applications

Argon is one of the most common carrier gases in gas chromatography. Argon is used as a carrier gas in sputtering, plasma etching and ion implantations, and as a blanket atmosphere in crystal growth.

 

Argon is also the choice gas for ICP spectroscopy (Inductively Coupled Plasma spectroscopy).

 

One of the most common applications of argon, either pure or in various mixtures, is as a shielding gas for arc welding.

 

Many Geiger-counting tubes contain argon or argon mixed with organic vapours or other gases, for example 10% methane in argon.

 

Argon is one of the principal gases used for filling incandescent (filament) lamps, generally in a mixture with nitrogen, krypton or neon, for phosphorescent tubes in mixtures with neon, helium and mercury vapour and for thyratron radio tubes, in mixtures with neon.

 

The argon-oxygen decarburising (AOD) process is the most common method of refining stainless steel, and uses large quantities of both gases supplied either in liquid form or via pipeline from an on-site plant.

 

The pharmaceutical industry uses argon to displace oxygen in the top of intravenous drug containers, extending product shelf-life

 

Liquid argon is used in cryosurgery, e.g. cryoablation to destroy cancer cells.

 

Argon, R-740, is used in gas mixtures for non-CFC ultra-low

temperature refrigeration applications.

 

Argon:

  • is used in atomic absorption spectrometry as a blanket gas in the graphite furnace.
  • is used in blends with, for example, fluorine and helium in excimer lasers.
  • is used as an insulation gas in high-efficiency multipane windows to improve thermal insulation.
  • is used in the iron and steel industry to prevent oxidation of molten metals and alloys and for degassing and desulphurization of molten steel and iron baths.
  • is used, often in a mixture with hydrogen, as a protective atmosphere for the heat treatment of certain metals, particularly those which are susceptible to nitriding when treated in a nitrogen-based atmosphere.  This includes stainless steels and many different specialised and therefore small-scale applications.
  • is used for wine preservation to eliminate air by the heavier argon, to prevent oxidation and extend the
  • is, sometimes in combination with nitrogen, used to inflate airbags.
  • is used, often in combination with nitrogen and/ or carbon dioxide, as a clean fire extinguishing gas, since the inert properties do not damage any materials extinguished.
  • is used in laboratory as purge gas or balance gas in gas mixtures.
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