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Natural gas for TIG welding

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Wout Moerman01/04/2019 10:48:17
46 forum posts
2 photos

Hi all,

I received an inverter ARC/TIG welder and will try this out this evening. I noticed that it needs gas for TIG welding and that argon is really expensive. Therefore I am thinking of using natural gas for displacing the oxygen in the air. Has anyone else tried this before?

this is the welder:

**LINK**

Andrew Tinsley01/04/2019 11:02:28
889 forum posts

Somehow, I think you might have a very large flame produced! Not a good idea.

Andrew.

Tomfilery01/04/2019 11:06:36
110 forum posts
4 photos

Andrew beat me to it!!!

Hope you like explosions!

The reason they use argon is because it is inert, natural gas isn't.

Some MIG welders use CO2 as a shielding gas, but it depends on what material you are welding (I think).

Tom

Andrew Johnston01/04/2019 11:12:02
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4698 forum posts
532 photos
Posted by Wout Moerman on 01/04/2019 10:48:17:

I received an inverter ARC/TIG welder and will try this out this evening. I noticed that it needs gas for TIG welding and that argon is really expensive. Therefore I am thinking of using natural gas for displacing the oxygen in the air. Has anyone else tried this before?

this is the welder:

**LINK**

Natural gas + arc = kaboom

Also equals no more welder, and I don't mean the machine. The clue is in the name of the process, you need an inert gas.

The link was interesting, certainly some unusual components being used. Although I'm a professional electronics engineer I've never heard of an international capacitor before? May be they're well travelled? smile

Andrew

Plasma01/04/2019 11:24:54
278 forum posts
38 photos

Please don't try this at home!!!!

It's a sure fire way to find yourself nominated for a Darwin award, I.e. congratulations on proving natural selection works in that feeble specimens are removed from the gene pool.

Seriously, DO NOT use anything but inert gas, your bargain welder will be the death of you.

Plasma01/04/2019 11:30:06
278 forum posts
38 photos

OR it could be we have all been had for an April fool by this chap.

Very funny, if it is, what flowers do you want if its not.

Roderick Jenkins01/04/2019 11:30:46
avatar
1742 forum posts
443 photos

Haven't you noticed the date guys 😎

Wout Moerman01/04/2019 11:36:09
46 forum posts
2 photos

Wow guys,

You really are quick in realising the date! Sorry gentlemen, I couldn't resist the temptation to try a joke.

I did resist buying that welder and bought a lightweight ARC-only instead. The price of all additional stuff was to high, and that is mainly the price of the bottle of argon gas.

Wout

Edited By Wout Moerman on 01/04/2019 11:49:53

Plasma01/04/2019 11:42:12
278 forum posts
38 photos

Ha ha well done wout, you got me.

Not surprising that some of us bit though considering some of the dubious questions that have been asked of late.

No wonder our Accident and emergency departments are always busy.

All down to school metalwork lessons going by the board.

Andrew Johnston01/04/2019 11:47:49
avatar
4698 forum posts
532 photos

The OP ought to be worried that we thought he was daft enough to try it. smile o

Andrew

Paul Lousick01/04/2019 11:53:32
1096 forum posts
483 photos

I'm not an expert (others can give a better explanation) but MIG gas is normally a mixture of Argon and CO2.

Pure CO2 can be used and 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.

TIG welding uses pure Argon. Using MIG gas for TIG will erode the tungsten electrode.

Paul.

jann west01/04/2019 12:03:49
43 forum posts

Missing the point - he doesn't want to use Argon ... I get it ... Argon is a PITA - you need to go to the welding supply to buy it, and the bottles are expensive to rent.

A quick peruse of the periodic table of the elements suggests Helium might also be a viable alternative ... you can buy it from your local party supply shop in balloons - you just need to fabricate up an adapter - change out your balloon every few inches of bead, and Bob's your auntie

If you do a lot of welding your could fix up a multi-balloon supply with on old set of bagpipes ... you just need to give the bag a small squeeze every few times you dip your filler

Jeff Dayman01/04/2019 14:11:29
1523 forum posts
37 photos

I think the bagpipe method with helium could have the effect of a piper sounding like Woody Woodpecker when they talk. This could have a serious effect on national morale in Scotland......

Andrew Tinsley01/04/2019 15:54:00
889 forum posts

Well, got caught out well and truly! I even sent birthday greetings to my friend this morning. I can always remember his birthday, 1st of April. So why didn't I twig? Brain out of gear is my excuse!

Andrew.

Robert Atkinson 201/04/2019 16:15:22
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265 forum posts
17 photos
Posted by jann west on 01/04/2019 12:03:49:

Missing the point - he doesn't want to use Argon ... I get it ... Argon is a PITA - you need to go to the welding supply to buy it, and the bottles are expensive to rent.

A quick peruse of the periodic table of the elements suggests Helium might also be a viable alternative ... you can buy it from your local party supply shop in balloons - you just need to fabricate up an adapter - change out your balloon every few inches of bead, and Bob's your auntie

If you do a lot of welding your could fix up a multi-balloon supply with on old set of bagpipes ... you just need to give the bag a small squeeze every few times you dip your filler

Helium is not suitable as a welding shield gas for at least three reasons.

1/ It's lighter than air so will float off (unless you are welding in an enclosed overhead postion)
2/ It's a very good conductor of heat so will cool the welds excessively (It's used in small sealed instrumenets to conduct heat away and low cost helium leack detectos usits conductivity to detect trace amounts)
3/ It's expensive.

Robert G8RPI.

Edited By Robert Atkinson 2 on 01/04/2019 16:16:17

Jeff Dayman01/04/2019 16:44:36
1523 forum posts
37 photos

"Helium is not suitable as a welding shield gas for at least three reasons."

Robert, you might want to read up on the original development of TIG by Mr Meredith at Northrop Aircraft. Helium was one of the very first shield gases used, and the process was originally patented as "HeliArc".

**LINK**

AdrianR01/04/2019 17:19:04
226 forum posts
19 photos

I think natural gas could be a very good shield gas. If you turn on the flow long enough before striking the arc to create the optimal gas/air mix and if you have a suficently robust workshop. The gas will consume all the oxygen and create a CO2/N2 environment. Also as the reaction is exothermic it will preheat the work.

The unfortunate side effect is making the operator inert, but hey nothing is perfect.

BTW Hydrogen is used as a shield gas for Nickel, so CH4 may not be such a daft idea.crook

Edited By AdrianR on 01/04/2019 17:20:14

Neil Wyatt01/04/2019 18:17:00
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Moderator
16084 forum posts
675 photos
73 articles

Well played Wout

Neil

XD 35101/04/2019 18:24:19
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1268 forum posts
87 photos

That would be one way of pre heating the parts to be welded , on big jobs try acetylene as it provid s more heat and if you want more bang for your buck Hydrogen will supply that 🤪

SillyOldDuffer01/04/2019 18:50:01
4405 forum posts
957 photos

Not sure now how many posts in this thread are jokes, and how many are serious! I'm very suspicious of Jann's suggestion that Helium from party balloons be funnelled on to a weld via bagpipes!

Perhaps I ought to explain to our international friends that in the UK (and some other parts of Europe) April the First is "All Fool's Day". It is traditional to hoax the naive and unwary. My all time favourite was BBC Panorama's documentary explaining how Spaghetti is harvested from bushes in the Po Valley. Wout and Jann are well tuned into the game: believable enough to reel us poor souls in despite the premise being totally daft...

All Fool's Day has been a bit flat this year. Maybe it's been impossible to compete with Britain's other ongoing joke.  It's a cracker!

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 01/04/2019 18:51:32

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