Argon


In 1894, argon (Ar) was discovered by W. Ramsay and Lord John William Rayleigh .Argon is a noble gas and thus appears in the 8th main group of the periodic

System: At atmospheric pressure and room temperature, argon is a colourless, odourless
and non-flammable gas. Argon has several desirable properties:
- Argon is chemically inert gas.
- Argon has low thermal conductivity.
- Argon is the cheapest alternative when nitrogen is not sufficiently inert.
- Argon has electronic properties (ionization and/or the emission spectrum) desirable for some -applications.
 

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Production: Argon is produced industrially by the fractional distillation of liquid air in a cryogenic air separation unit.

Applications: Although the noble gas argon is mainly used for its low reactivity (as is the case with nitrogen), it can provide higher inertness than nitrogen as well as lower thermal conductivity and improved solubility in water and oils. Argon is more common and cost-effective than the noble gases helium, neon, krypton and xenon.

In the processing industry and  welding, argon is used to:
- Perform tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding with a non-consumable tungsten electrode and an additional filler metal.
- Perform metal active gas (MAG) welding of construction steel or galvanized sheet metal with a consumable electrode and active gases such as argon/carbon dioxide (Ar/CO2) or argon/oxygen (Ar/O2) perform MAG welding of stainless steel with admixtures of CO2, O2 and He.
- Perform laser cutting with pure argon.
- Perform metal inert gas (MIG) welding of non-ferrous metals with a consumable electrode.
- Purge receptacles of stainless steel or reactive metals before welding

In metallurgy,the steel industry, argon is used to:
- Perform large-scale metallurgical processes with additional oxygen injection .
- Prevent oxidation of hot, light metal alloys .
- Heat or anneal stainless steel .
- Purge and stir metal melts by bubbling them through porous bed stones or lances .
- Feed powdered alloy components into steel and other metal melts.
- Atomise molten metals with high-pressure jets for producing high-quality metal powders.
- Heat or anneal stainless steel .

In the lighting and electronic industry, argon is used:
- To fill incandescent light bulbs
- To protect electric equipment during storage, operation and shutdowns
- To fill fl uorescent lamps and luminous electric discharge

In the semiconductor industry, high-purity argon is used to:
- Grow monocrystalline silicon.
- Manufacture semiconductor components .
Besides, argon is used to:
- Insulate energy-effi cient windows
- Protect foodstuffs and beverages during treatment and storage

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