As business owners evaluate the best solutions to their manufacturing needs, they should consider the industrial gases that can be used to create a successful product. From oxygen and nitrogen to argon and hydrogen, these gases provide unique benefits and can be used for many applications.
Keep reading to learn:
- What industrial gases are
- The types of gases that are used for manufacturing jobs
- Advantages of industrial gas in manufacturing
Industrial gases are molecules or a mixture of molecules that are used in the manufacturing process to create products. These gases can be compressed, cryogenic, or chemical gases with unique properties that make them suitable for different applications. They are generally applied within an industrial setting to improve safety, increase efficiency, and promote accuracy in the production process.
Various industrial gases are used in manufacturing, from atmospheric gases to natural and inert gas. Some of the most common industrial gases are:
- Nitrogen (N2) – A colorless, odorless, inert gas popular for manufacturing sectors like electronic manufacturing and tire inflation
- Oxygen (O2) – Oxygen is a core element crucial for endless operations, like utilities, glass manufacturing, metal fabrication, and steel manufacturing.
- Hydrogen (H2) – The most common element in the universe, hydrogen gas is a colorless, odorless, and flammable structure. It can be found in metalworking, welding, concrete production, and as fuel for ammonia production.
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Industrial carbon dioxide is a versatile and incombustible gas ideal for chemical production, refrigeration, and shielding gas.
- Argon (Ar) – Argon is a noble gas that’s completely inert. In the manufacturing industry, it’s commonly used for welding and metal fabrication.
- Helium (He) – Helium is the least soluble and reactive gas used across the aerospace, electronics, welding, and automotive industries.
- Neon (Ne) – Neon is a noble gas commonly used to manufacture microchips.
- Acetylene (C2H2) – Acetylene is a prime gas for welding and cutting. It’s frequently found in the plastics industry and is highly involved in chemical production.
- Propylene (CH2CHCH3) – Propylene is a highly flammable gas that was once a leading gas choice for heating and cutting applications across the manufacturing industry.
Industrial gases are a key component of the manufacturing industry, but so are specialty gases. Learn more about the high-quality gas mixtures we distribute.
To better understand how industrial gases function, business owners should understand the standard industrial processes they’re associated with in the manufacturing industry, like:
In welding and casting applications, for example, argon is one of the most commonly used gases. Due to its nonreactive nature, it’s often used as a shielding gas to prevent the exposure of the molten weld pool to other gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. This helps maintain porosity and limits excessive spatter.
Additionally, acetylene is a prime choice for welding. Acetylene welding torches provide the fastest preheating and piercing times of any gas, use less oxygen than other gases, and their cylinders allow welders to be more precise with their welding pieces.
Glass manufacturers often use argon for filling thermal holes in window panes, which helps increase energy efficiency in buildings. Manufacturers also use hydrogen in combination with other gases to help prevent oxidation during float glass production.
Oxygen is another gas that’s ideal for glass manufacturing. It’s known to assist with better heating patterns, reduced emissions, and enhanced combustion in glass furnaces.
Acetylene is one of the most frequent gases involved in plastic manufacturing, as all PVC and PVDF rely on it.
However, nitrogen is also heavily involved in plastic production. As an inert gas, it can be used for gas-assisted molding, which involves introducing an inert gas at a particular pressure and pushing plastic melts into mold extremities. This is extremely useful for molding larger, thicker plastic parts.
Electronic manufacturers often use helium for manufacturing LCD panels, fiber optic wires, and semiconductors. With its smaller dimensions and accessibility, it acts as a carrier gas in many production processes and can quickly cool parts and components.
As previously mentioned, neon is also a prime choice for electronic manufacturing. Roughly 70% of neon is used in semiconductor chip manufacturing, which is why this gas is highly sought after.
3D printing has been a revolutionary invention in the manufacturing industry, and it couldn’t be done without the involvement of inert industrial gasses like argon and nitrogen. These gases create a stable atmosphere in an enclosed space to properly create three-dimensional objects. This process ensures the metal being produced doesn’t become contaminated by natural gases in the air.
In manufacturing, the coating process is critical for applying the final layer of material that adheres to many products. There are many types of coating processes depending on the raw material. Still, argon and nitrogen are commonly used in the thermal spraying process because of their inactive state and carrier gas characteristics.
As they carry coating materials through the flame, they help aid in the function of thermal sprayers and contribute to producing high-quality products.
Since industrial gases alleviate the need for traditional fueling methods, they provide quick solutions and ensure maximum efficiency for businesses. Additionally, since they don’t leave behind any residue, industrial gases are clean energy sources that are especially ideal for sensitive applications where contamination could potentially occur.
At OSC, we understand how crucial it is for business owners with manufacturing needs to stay informed about their industrial gas options. That’s why we offer specialized services tailored to each customer’s needs.
Our experts will help you find strategies for properly integrating different gases into your production process in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective way. After using our services, you’ll better understand how these various gases work so your business can operate confidently while adhering to federally regulated safety protocols.
Are you ready to use our industrial gas solutions? We’d love to speak with you.