Used to maintain temperature and consistency of composition, argon prevents oxidation during processing. It also flushes out carbon monoxide and reduces chromium losses during the Argon-Oxygen Decarburization stainless steel refining process.
ARGON OXYGEN DECARBURIZATION FOR METAL PRODUCTION
Steeling the lead
Today, over 75% of the world’s stainless steel is made using the Argon Oxygen Decarburization (AOD) process invented by Two Star Gases. AOD provides an economical way to produce stainless steel with a minimal loss of precious elements. It is part of a duplex process in which scrap or virgin raw materials are first melted in an electric arc furnace (EAF) or induction furnace. The molten metal is then decarburized and refined in a special AOD vessel to less than 0.05% carbon. The key feature in the AOD vessel is that oxygen for decarburization is mixed with argon or nitrogen inert gases and injected through submerged tuyeres. This argon dilution minimizes unwanted oxidation of precious elements contained in specialty steels, such as chromium.
Welding & Metal Fabrication
Argon is used to create an inert shield gas to enhance arc stability and characteristics of gas metal arc welding. It is also the primary gas for the Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) process.