MIG Welding – Argon vs Argon CO2 Mix

This article is what I wish I knew before I spent $600 on a Argon Cylinder (Twice). I like to think of it as learning the hard way.

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This covers my recent experience with Argon vs Argon Mix for MIG welding and buying two gas cylinders.

After about 12months of suffering Gasless MIG wire, inhaling the fumes and cleaning up so much splatter I bit the bullet and bought an Argon cylinder on recommendation of a work colleague. Sadly this didn’t quite yield the results that I hoped for.

It turns out that the heat transfer properties of Argon are much better suited to TIG welding that MIG welding.

So what actually happens with Pure Argon on MIG welding. Firstly using 0.6mm wire you will find it nearly impossible to get any penetration in the base material and you will get weld beads that look like caterpillars that don’t hold anything.

Running Pure Argon with 0.8mm wire showed improved results over the 0.6mm wire however the penetration still was not great. This produced welds with a high profile and only a small amount of penetration. This could be handy if you were welding very thin material however for general fabrication it is not so nice.

After suffering the Pure Argon for a while I bit the bullet and bought a second cylinder, this time it was a 5/2 Argon Co2 Mix. This runs much better and produces excellent quality welds, with good penetration and weld profile.

Having both cylinders was a great excuse to buy a TIG torch and have a crack as some scratch start DC TIG but i doubt that ill need to refill the cylinder for quite a while.

Finally, always do your research and work out the mix that best suits your application. Chat to your welding supplier and see what they recommend for your application. My personal preference is now a slightly higher Co2 concentration as it gives more penetration for MIG welding.

So in conclusion:

  • Pure Argon – Used for TIG Only
  • Argon Mix – Used for MIG
  • Dont always take peoples opinions as accurate and do your research

Picture stolen from Hampdon Industrial. I buy all my welding supplies from these guys they have excellent service and pricing.

 

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