Like helium and xenon, argon belongs to the noble gases and is a highly non-reactive gas. For this reason argon is used as a shielding gas in the industry.
Argon is a very common element and occurs naturally in the Earth's atmosphere. With a concentration of almost one percent, argon occupies third place in the air we breathe after nitrogen and oxygen. Because of this high concentration, this noble gas is chemically extracted directly from the air.
Argon as shielding gas
The fact that argon forms virtually no chemical compounds makes it an excellent shielding gas and is used in MIG and TIG welding, among other things. Argon displaces the surrounding breathing air and prevents the oxygen in the air from reacting with the molten metal in the weld pool.
Argon is cheaper than helium in terms of purchase costs, because argon can be distilled relatively easily from the atmosphere.
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