INDUSTRIAL AND WELDING GASES
When the success of your project demands safe, high-quality industrial gases, you can trust the Tech Air Companies to deliver.
We offer high-quality industrial gas and welding gas cylinder rentals and refills online, with the convenience of next business day delivery to select locations. Our industrial and welding gas cylinder rentals and refills are governed by Compressed Gas Association (CGA) specifications, which means our team is not only competent, but also safe.
Choose from the list of industrial gases below for more information about their properties, uses and availability.
|Liquid Argon (PDF)||Liquid Nitrogen (PDF)|
|Liquid Carbon Dioxide (PDF)||Liquid Oxygen (PDF)|
Order online or contact us directly at any of our many locations across the Continental United States for purchase and delivery options.
Tech Air is a licensed distibutor of the following vendors:
The flame characteristics of acetylene make it the premier fuel gas for welding, heating, and cutting applications. It produces the hottest flame temperature (5720 F.) and releases a higher percentage of its heat in the inner cone of its flame, more than any other fuel gas. These attributes are key to nearly all oxy-fuel jobs, often improving productivity by up to 30% and yielding dramatic cost savings over other fuel gases.
Acetylene is the most versatile of fuel gases, performing a broad spectrum of jobs, such as welding, brazing, flame-hardening, hard surfacing, rivet washing, gouging, and wide variety of cutting applications. It is the only fuel gas that can be used successfully for high quality gas welding.
Acetylene not only burns hotter, it uses less oxygen. Other fuel gases use up to 2 1/2 times as much oxygen- an important cost factor when comparing fuel gases. And flame settings can be made simply and precisely without flow meters. This makes operator training much faster and easier. In addition, because acetylene concentrates its heat in the inner cone of the flames, there is less reflected heat (greater operator comfort and productivity) and less distortion of the work piece.
Argon (Ar) is a noble gas that comprises 0.93 percent of the earth's atmosphere. (Noble gases are a group of rare gases that include argon, helium, krypton, neon, xenon and sometimes radon. They exhibit great stability and extremely low reaction rates. Also called inert gases.)
Colorless, odorless, tasteless and nontoxic, argon forms no known chemical compounds. A specific gravity of 1.38 makes argon 25 percent heavier than air. At atmospheric pressure, it becomes a liquid at -302�F (-186�C). Non-corrosive and non-flammable, argon also exhibits low thermal conductivity and slight solubility in water.
Argon is used in diverse applications covering a number of industries, including:
- Aluminum ... to replace air or nitrogen, creating an inert atmosphere conducive to manufacturing aluminum; to assist in the removal of unwanted soluble gases during degasification; and to remove dissolved hydrogen and particulates from molten aluminum.
- Steel ... to displace gas or vapors and prevent oxidation during processing; to obtain temperature consistency and homogenous composition by stirring molten steel; to assist in the removal of unwanted soluble gases during degasification; as a carrier gas, to determine the composition of a sample through gas chromatography; and to flush out carbon monoxide and reduce chromium losses in the Argon-Oxygen Decarburization (A.O.D.) used during stainless steel refining.
- Metal Fabrication ... to create an inert gas shield during welding; to provide an oxygen- and nitrogen- free environment for annealing and rolling metals and alloys; and to flush molten metals to eliminate porosity in castings.
- Electronics ... to provide a protective atmosphere and heat-transfer medium for growing germanium and silicon crystals for ultra-pure semiconductors.
- Lighting ... to fill incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs; to create a blue light in neon-type lamps.
Carbon Dioxide, CO2, is a tasteless, colorless, odorless, nonflammable, liquefied gas. Carbon dioxide is an integral part of the basic life cycle in nature. It is exhaled by humans and animals, and then used by plants to help them grow. Plants, in turn, release oxygen, which people depend on for survival.
Unlike atmospheric gases, air separation is not the primary source of carbon dioxide. Though sometimes it is derived from directly combusting a fuel, the most economical way to produce carbon dioxide is to recover it as a byproduct from other companies' manufacturing processes or from natural wells. Then it is purified and liquefied and sold to our customers worldwide.
Carbon Dioxide Applications
Carbon Dioxide is used in diverse applications covering many industries, including:
- Food and Beverage...Carbon dioxide is used in beverage carbonation. A natural anti-microbial, carbon dioxide is also used to increase the shelf life of juice as well as dairy products, protecting taste and texture, and reducing the need for preservatives, natural and artificial. Other applications include: food freezing and chilling, packaging, mixer and blender cooling, ingredient cooling and conveying, and in-transit refrigeration. In its solid form, it is known as dry ice. Many people know carbon dioxide is used in food freezing, carbonated beverages and dry ice. But most don't realize it also helps to clear the air, clean the water and save the trees.
- Water Treatment...Industrial and municipal wastewater must be neutralized before being discharged to the environment. Carbon dioxide replaces harsher acids for the alkaline neutralization process. It is safer and cheaper than sulfuric-acid systems, improves controllability, and there's less downtime and no labor to handle chemicals. It also is less corrosive, and easier to handle and store.
- Metal Fabrication...Commonly utilized as a shielding gas during welding. This prevents atmospheric contamination of molten weld metal during gas-shielded electric arc welding process.
- Plant Growth...Carbon dioxide systems greatly improve growth and quality of plants in the greenhouse. Increasing concentrations of the gas results in larger, healthier and faster-growing plants and lower operating costs, especially during the winter, when it can reduce heating costs by 50%. Carbon dioxide replaces gas generators, saving fuel costs and eliminating harmful emissions.
- Pulp and Paper...Carbon dioxide is being used for several different applications within paper mills, all developed to reduce costs and recover valuable chemicals used within the mill process. A process using carbon dioxide, instead of sulfuric acid, to treat pitch build-up in screen rooms is proving very successful.
- The Forest...Carbon dioxide is used to make-precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), which is used to reduce the use of virgin wood fiber in paper-making. Applications include: supply of carbon dioxide for on-site PCC production and in-site formation of PCC during the paper-making process.
- Energy Source...Storage of carbon dioxide at its triple point (the temperature-pressure combination at which carbon dioxide can exist simultaneously as a solid, liquid or gas) is being tested as a means of providing closed-loop refrigeration in order to shift electrical-energy demand to off-peak consumption hours. Under test in Japan, the process offers the potential to customers to shift electrical load while maintaining temperatures as low as minus 60�F (-51�C).
- Cleaning and Solvent Extraction...In its supercritical state (87.9�F (31.1�C) and 1070.6 PSI (7.38MPa)), carbon dioxide becomes a versatile solvent. It can replace chlorinated fluorocarbons to clean equipment components. It also can replace many volatile organic chemicals for operations such as decaffeinating coffee or extracting fat from food products.
- Fire Fighting... Carbon dioxide smothers fires without damaging or contaminating materials and is used for fighting fires when water is ineffective, undesirable or unavailable.
The second lightest element, helium is one of our most precious natural resources. It will not combine chemically at any temperature with any other element. It is non-flammable, non-toxic, and non-explosive. Its chemical inertness makes it perfect for a variety of applications.
Helium's most common application is as a shielding gas for arc welding. Because of its high voltage gradient, it transfers more heat to the weld than does argon at the same arc lengths. This added heat is essential for high-speed welding.
Itself a product of billions of years of radioactive decay beneath the earth's surface, helium is not affected by radiation. Radioactive immunity, along with excellent heat transfer makes it an ideal heat transfer agent for gas-cooled nuclear reactors.
Facts About the Gas:
- Chemical symbol: He
- Second lightest elemental gas, after hydrogen
- Smallest of all molecules
- Lowest boiling point of any element (-452.1�F, -268.9�C, 4.2 K, 7.6 R)
- Seven times lighter than air
- Conducts sound three times faster than air
- Has five times air's thermal conductivity
- Does not become radioactive under irradiation
- Slightly soluble in water
- High thermal conductivity
- Helium is produced continually by the radioactive decay of uranium and other elements, gradually working its way into the atmosphere
- Helium atoms are light enough to escape the Earth's gravitational field and into space
- Commercial extraction from air is impractical because helium's concentration is only about five parts per billion
- Commercially, helium is obtained from the small fraction of natural gas deposits that contain helium volumes of 0.3 percent or higher
- Most of the world's helium comes from the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma, Kansas and the Rocky Mountains' eastern flank, other sources include the mid-east and Russia
- These natural gas deposits contain more than 3,000 ppm of helium
- At atmospheric pressure, helium becomes liquid at the lowest of all boiling points (-452�F, -269�C, 7.6 R)
- Helium remains liquid to absolute zero
- The coldest known substance, helium is important for cryogenic research
- At 3.9 R, liquid helium exhibits super fluidity or virtually zero viscosity (Helium II), defies gravity to flow up container walls and becomes nearly a perfect heat conductor
Hydrogen, or H2, is the lightest of all gases. Commonly found in nature in compounds with other elements, it is the most abundant element in the universe. Hydrogen is a component of water, minerals and acids, as well as an essential part of all hydrocarbons and essentially all other organic substances. In fact, 98 percent of the known universe - most notably the sun and stars - consists of hydrogen.
Colorless, odorless, tasteless and nontoxic, hydrogen exists as a gas at atmospheric temperatures and pressures. A stable molecule because of its high bond strength, hydrogen becomes reactive at elevated temperatures or with the aid of catalysts. When cooled to its boiling point of -423�F (-253�C), hydrogen becomes a liquid that is approximately 93 percent lighter than water. All other gases - except helium - become solids at this temperature.
Hydrogen is flammable and burns in air with a pale blue, almost invisible flame. In its gaseous form, hydrogen dissipates quickly. These unique properties call for strict safety measures in hydrogen use and storage.
Hydrogen finds use in diverse applications covering many industries, including:
- Fuel Cells ... used as a fuel to power fuel cell generators that create electricity through an electrochemical process in combination with oxygen.
- Food ... to hydrogenate liquid oils (such as soybean, fish, cottonseed and corn), converting them to semisolid materials such as shortenings, margarine and peanut butter.
- Chemical processing ... primarily to manufacture ammonia and methanol, but also to hydrogenate non-edible oils for soaps, insulation, plastics, ointments and other specialty chemicals.
- Metal production and fabrication ... to serve as a protective atmosphere in high-temperature operations such as stainless steel manufacturing; commonly mixed with argon for welding austenitic stainless. Also used to support plasma welding and cutting operations.
- Pharmaceuticals ... to produce sorbitol used in cosmetics, adhesives, surfactants, and vitamins A and C.
- Aerospace ... to fuel spacecraft, but also to power life-support systems and computers, yielding drinkable water as a by-product.
- Electronics ... to create specially controlled atmospheres in the production of semiconductor circuits.
- Petroleum Recovery and Refinery ... to enhance performance of petroleum products by removing organic sulfur from crude oil, as well as to convert heavy crude to lighter, easier to refine, and more marketable products. Hydrogen's use in reformulated gas products helps refiners meet Clean Air Act requirements.
- Power Generation ... to serve as a heat transfer medium for cooling high speed turbine generators. Also used to react with oxygen in the cooling water system of boiling water nuclear reactors to suppress intergranular stress corrosion cracking in the cooling system.
Nitrogen, or N2, is a diatomic gas which comprises 78 percent of the earth's atmosphere. In addition to air, nitrogen is found in the protein matter of all life forms, in some natural gas-hydrocarbon deposits, and in many organic and inorganic compounds.
Colorless, odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic, nitrogen exists as a non-flammable gas at atmospheric temperatures and pressures. A specific gravity of .9669 makes nitrogen slightly lighter than air. When cooled to its boiling point of -320�F, nitrogen becomes a colorless liquid which can, in turn, be compressed into a colorless, crystalline solid. It is only slightly soluble in water and most other liquids, and is a poor conductor of heat and electricity.
Most uses of gaseous nitrogen depend on its inert characteristics. At high temperatures and pressures, however, it will combine with some reactive metals (such as lithium and magnesium) to form nitrides, as well as with some gaseous elements such as hydrogen and oxygen.
Nitrogen finds use in diverse commercial applications, including:
- Chemical Processing ... to inert vessels and oxygen-sensitive chemicals, creating an oxygen-deficient environment that reduces safety hazards; to propel liquids through pipelines; and to manufacture ammonia.
- Food ... to extend shelf-life in packaged foods by preventing spoilage from oxidation, mold growth, moisture migration and insect infestation; to rapidly freeze; and to refrigerate perishables during transport.
- Petroleum Recovery and Refining ... to improve recovery and maintain pressure in oil and gas reservoirs; to blanket storage tanks and product loading/unloading; to purge pipelines; and to strip volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from waste streams or to cool vent streams. Controlling VOC emissions helps refiners comply with U.S. Clean Air Act requirements.
- Metal Production and Fabrication ... to protect metals such as steel, copper and aluminum during annealing, carburizing and sintering operations in high temperature furnaces; to cool extrusion dies; and to shrink fit metal parts; utilized as a purge gas with stainless steel tube welding. Also used to support plasma cutting.
- Electronics ... to prevent oxidation in the manufacture of semiconductors and printed circuits; and to enhance solvent recovery systems by eliminating the use of chlorofluorocarbons for cleanup.
- Glass Manufacturing ... to cool furnace electrodes and prevent oxidation during manufacturing; and to lower air temperatures for optimum cooling rates.
- Research and Health Services ... to freeze and preserve blood, tissue, semen and other biological specimens; to freeze and destroy diseased tissue in cryosurgery and dermatology; and to pre-cool or insulate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), conserving the more costly helium.
Oxygen, or O2, which comprises 21 percent of the earth's atmosphere, supports life and makes combustion possible. The most abundant of all elements on earth, oxygen comprises 85 percent of its oceans and, as a component of most rocks and minerals, 46 percent of its solid crust. In addition, it constitutes 60 percent of the human body.
Colorless, odorless and tasteless, oxygen has poor solubility in water. A specific gravity of 1.105 makes it slightly heavier than air. When cooled to its boiling point of -297�F (-183�C), oxygen becomes a transparent, pale blue liquid that is slightly heavier than water.
Oxygen reacts with all elements, except inert gases, to form compounds called oxides. The rate of reaction - known as oxidation - varies. For example, magnesium oxidizes very rapidly, igniting spontaneously in air. However, noble metals, such as gold and platinum, oxidize only at very high temperatures.
Although oxygen itself is nonflammable, it enhances combustion and enables all materials that are flammable in air to burn much more vigorously. These combustion-supporting properties account for its use in many industrial applications.
Oxygen is used in diverse applications covering many industries, including:
- Steel Manufacturing ... to enrich air and increase combustion temperatures in blast and open hearth furnaces; to raise steel temperatures and enhance recycling of scrap metal in electric arc furnaces; and to replace coke as the combustible in steel making.
- Chemical Processing ... to alter the structure of feedstocks through oxidation, producing nitric acid, ethylene oxide, propylene oxide, vinyl chloride monomer and other building block chemicals; and to increase capacity and destruction efficiency of waste incinerators.
- Pulp and Paper ... to help manufacturers meet stringent environmental regulations in a variety of mill processes including delignification, bleaching, oxidative extraction, chemical recovery, white/black liquor oxidation and lime kiln enrichment.
- Metal Production ... to replace or enrich air, increasing combustion temperatures in ferrous and non-ferrous metals production; to create a hot flame in high-temperature welding torches used in cutting and welding.
- Metal Fabrication ... to support oxyfuel cutting operations. Sometimes added in small quantities for shielding gases.
- Glass Manufacturing ... to enhance combustion in glass furnaces and forehearths, reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions to levels below new stringent requirements of the U.S. Clean Air Act.
- Petroleum Recovery and Refining ... to reduce viscosity and improve flow in oil and gas wells; to increase capacity of fluid catalytic cracking plants as well as to facilitate use of heavier feedstocks; and to reduce sulfur emissions in refineries.
- Health Services ... to resuscitate or, in combination with other gases, to anesthetize; but also essential to life-support systems used in emergencies or long-term treatment of patients with respiratory disorders.