Stronger and Brighter: The Impact of Nitrogen Gas in Metal Manufacturing

Stronger and Brighter: The Impact of Nitrogen Gas in Metal Manufacturing

Nitrogen gas (N2) is an abundant and versatile element that has many different applications across various industries. In metal manufacturing, nitrogen gas has an important role in enhancing the properties of metals, improving process efficiency, and achieving high-quality results. Keep reading as we further discuss the impact of nitrogen gas in metal manufacturing and its contributions to creating stronger and brighter materials. 


Nitrogen as a Shielding Gas


One of the main uses of nitrogen gas in metal manufacturing is as a shielding gas during welding and heat treatment processes. When used as a shielding gas, nitrogen actually displaces oxygen and prevents oxidation and contamination of the metal surface. By creating an inert atmosphere, nitrogen gas ensures cleaner welds and improved metallurgical properties. This leads to stronger and more durable metal structures. 


Nitrogen for Annealing and Heat Treatment


Annealing and heat treatment are important processes in metal manufacturing to enhance the strength, hardness and durability of metals. Nitrogen gas is often used as a controlled atmosphere during these processes. The gas provides a non-reactive environment, minimizing oxidation and maintaining the desired metallurgical properties. This controlled atmosphere helps eliminate impurities, reduce surface defects and improve the overall quality of the metal, resulting in stronger and more reliable final products. 


Nitrogen for Cooling and Quenching


Nitrogen gas is also used in the rapid cooling and quenching processes. When metals are subjected to high temperatures during manufacturing, they need to be cooled quickly to achieve specific properties. Due to its low temperature and high heat transfer characteristics, nitrogen gas is an excellent tool for rapid cooling. 


Nitriding and Nitrocarburizing


Nitrogen gas is utilized in popular surface treatment processes like nitriding and nitrocarburizing. These processes involve introducing nitrogen into the metal surface to create a hardened layer. Nitriding increases surface hardness, wear resistance and fatigue strength, making the metal more durable and suitable for demanding applications. Nitrocarburizing combines nitrogen and carbon to produce a hard and wear-resistant layer with improved corrosion resistance. These surface treatment methods greatly enhance the performance and lifespan of metal components. 


Brightening and Cleaning


In addition to all of these beneficial properties, nitrogen gas is also used for cleaning and brightening metal surfaces. Nitrogen gas is employed in processes such as degreasing, pickling and passivation to remove contaminants, oils and oxides from metal surfaces. This leads to cleaners and brighter surfaces, further improving aesthetics and the overall appeal of the final product. 


Nitrogen gas plays a big role in the metal manufacturing industry. From its application in surface treatments to cooling processes, nitrogen gas contributes to the production of stronger and brighter end products. At nexAir, we are proud to provide our customers with a consistent and reliable supply of high-quality nitrogen gas across many different industries. If you are ready to get started with your own supply or are eager to learn more, please contact us – our team would be happy to guide you in the right direction, allowing you to continue to Forge Forward in all that you do.

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