Choosing the Right Welding Gas for Different Types of Welding Projects

Choosing the Right Welding Gas for Different Types of Welding Projects

Welding is a complicated process. Whether you’re a hobbyist looking to make a barbeque grill, or a professional creating parts for a luxury automobile, several factors must be taken into account.

One of the first factors to consider is the type of welding process. For instance, Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, which most beginners use, serves a different purpose than Electron Beam welding, which is more sophisticated and requires additional expertise.

Another big difference is the type of gas employed. Most welding projects require a steady supply of high-quality gas, ranging from acetylene to oxygen to specific blends like argon and carbon dioxide.

So, how do you choose the right welding gas for your project?

Begin by understanding the different welding processes.

Common Types of Welding and the Gases They Use

MIG Welding

A simple, quick, and beginner-friendly process is gas metal arc welding or MIG welding. It uses electric arcs to generate heat and join two pieces together. MIG welding is highly-accurate and is best used to fuse thinner materials together. 

The most common gas used in this type of welding is argon, which is used for shielding, or protecting the weld puddle from contamination. Other gases can also be used for this process, including helium and carbon dioxide. 

Oxyacetylene Welding  

Oxyacetylene welding is another popular welding technique. It’s recommended for fusing together high-strength steels because of the intensity of the heat it generates. As the name suggests, this type of welding relies on a blend of oxygen and acetylene. The ratio of these two gases produces different results — a higher amount of oxygen makes the flame hotter, while acetylene provides the fuel.

While acetylene isn’t the cheapest gas to use for a DIY project, the ease of the process makes oxyacetylene welding a good choice for a beginner. 

TIG Welding 

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, or TIG welding, is a more challenging process. It uses a tungsten electrode to send a current into the weld pool. It’s generally used to fuse together sections of stainless steel. This process also requires a steady supply of inert gas for shielding and is generally best performed indoors to avoid contamination. 

The inert gases most commonly used in TIG welding include argon, which is the most cost-effective, and helium, which is rarer and more expensive. A blend of these two gases can also be used for thicker metals. 

At the end of the day, the gas you select depends on your needs. Some, like carbon dioxide, are more cost-effective but produce lower-quality welds. Others, like helium, provide a deeper cut, but are harder to procure.

Several processes also involve specific blends of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and argon to either minimize spatter, speed up the process, or provide greater arc stability.

How nexAir’s KnowHow Can Guide You 

nexAir is the leading gas supplier in the Southeast since the 1940s. Over the years, we have supplied industrial gases to welders from various backgrounds, from beginners looking to work on DIY projects, to experts working to help the aerospace industry Forge Forward

Our extensive experience and specialized professionals give us sufficient KnowHow, allowing us to provide the right gas for the right project so welders can focus on other important aspects of their work. 


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