Argon is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-toxic gas. Applications for argon often utilize its inert properties for protection against the oxidizing effect of air. Argon has also low boiling point and low conductivity properties.
Applications where argon is widely used:
- Heat treatment – as a protective atmosphere for the most reactive metals, where nitrogen could react or needs to be excluded.
- Inerting and purging – for storage vessels and pipelines in chemicals and pharmaceutical plants.
- Metal refining – for degassing and stirring in large volumes to achieve exact composition specification.
- Semiconductor applications – as a protective atmosphere for silicon crystal pulling in wafer manufacture.
Argon has a much higher density than air, which makes it an effective shielding gas for:
- Welding – pure or in mixture to shield the hot molten metal from contamination by the atmosphere.
- Cutting – pure at very high temperature for plasma arc cutting of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys.