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IONIZATION POTENTIAL

Ionization: is the process of converting an atom or


molecule into an ion by adding or removing charged
particles such as electrons or ions.

Ionization potential: is the energy required to remove
electrons from gaseous atoms or ions.



Shielding gases for welding:
Protects the molten metal or arc area from the atmosphere.
It also influences the metal transfer mode and deposited weld
characteristics.
Shielding efficiency- depends on design of nozzle, gas flow rate, side
winds, purity of shielding gas etc.
Shielding gases


Active (O
2,
Co
2
, H
2
etc)
Inert (Ar, He, Ne, Kr etc)
Used with GTAW and for welding non-ferrous
metals with GMAW
Properties of shielding gas:
1. Ionization potential (IP):
Ionization potential 1



- Argon has low IP and helps to initiate and maintain the arc in a
stable operating mode.
- Helium has high IP

2. Thermal conductivity:
- Pure Ar has low thermal conductivity.
Hence weld fusion area has wider top and a narrow finger at the root.
- Helium has higher thermal conductivity. Therefore results in
broader, hotter arc.
Molecular weight of shielding gas
Argon Carbon
Dioxide

Heium Hydrogen

Nitroge
n

oxygen

Chemical symbol Ar Co
2
He H
2
N
2
O
2
Atomic Number 18 6 2 1 7 8
Molecular weight 39.95 44.01 4.00 2.016 28.01 32.00
Specific Gravity,
Air = 1
1.38 1.53 0.1368 0.0695 0.967 1.105
Density(lb/cu ft) at
0 C, 1 atmosphere
0.1114 0.1235 0.0111 0.0056 0.0782 0.0892
Ionization
Potential(ev)
15.7 14.4 24.5 13.5 14.5 13.2
Thermal
Conductivity
(10
-3
Btu/hr-ft-F)
9.69
(32 F)
8.62
(32 F)
85.78
(32 F)
97.22
(32 F)
13.93
(32 F)
14.05
(32 F)
Cubic ft/lb 9.67 8.73 96.71 192 13.8 12.08


3. Specific gravity:
weight of gas with respect to air.
- Helium is a light gas, so floats away and will not be an efficient shield.
Hence gas flow rate must be increased.

4. Dissociation and recombination:
Co
2
,H
2
,O
2
are multi atom molecules.
- at higher temperatures, they disintegrate or dissociate into component
atoms.
- when dissociated atoms come into contact at the relatively cool work
surface , they recombine and release heat at that point.





5.Reactivity:
- Ar, He completely non reactive
- Co
2
,O
2
reactive gases react with FM or base plate enhance
stability of the arc and affect the type of metal transfer

6. Surface tension: influences bead shape
- if high, convex & irregular bead will result
- low values promote flatter beads with minimal susceptibility to
undercutting.
- Pure Ar produces sluggish weld puddle and high crowned bead
- if O
2
added to Ar, lowers surface tension and promotes fluidity and
better wetting of base material.





7. Gas Purity:
- gas impurities affect welding speed, weld surface appearance, porosity level
etc.

Argon: Colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-toxic, 1.4 times heavier than air-
promotes good arc starting characteristics and arc stability due to low IP.
- The arc voltage of the tungsten arc in argon is lower than in helium.

Helium: lighter than air.
Has high thermal conductivity and high IP-hence used when increased heat input
is desired and also for Al, Mg welding.
Helium light weight causes it to float away from the arc zone, producing an
inefficient shielding.
Helium is expansive for welding and is sometimes in scarce supply.





Co
2
: is a compound of about 27% carbon and 72% oxygen.
- reactive gas, 1.5 times heavier than air. Odorless, colorless with a slightly
pungent acid taste.
- Co
2
can be used alone for GMAW shielding gas applications
-Co
2
+ Ar is used to improve productivity and penetration in GMAW.
- oxidising gas so use GMAW wires with high contents of Si & Mn.
- 100% Co
2
shielding produces broad, deep penetration welds.
- inexpensive compared to inert gas
- drawback: arc can be somewhat violent- leads to spatter and makes welding
of thin materials difficult- so go for Ar- Co
2
mixtures

H
2
: lightest element known, has high thermal conductivity and reactive nature.

GMAW & GTAW of 300 series of stainless steel use H
2
.

N
2
: colorless, odorless, tasteless, slightly lighter than air.

N
2
is inert except at welding temperature when it reacts with Al, Mg and Ti.

Not recommended for 1 shielding gas with GMAW but used as assist gas in laser
cutting on Stainless steel.

O
2
: Highly oxidizing & vigorously supports combustion
Oxygen normally added in amounts of 1% to 2%, or 3% to 5%.This provides for spry
transfer.
O
2
added with Ar for GMAW to increase arc stability and to improve the shape of weld
bead.
also used to increase cutting speeds with plasma and laser processes
More oxygen will leads to porosity.
Different gas mixtures
-2 gases duplex mixtures and 3 gases Ternary Mixtures of gases
-Mixtures combine inert + active gases
- for GTAW--- inert gases normally used
Argon + O
2
: for GTAW, O
2
< 1% used to help stiffen the arc
- used for thin steels, S.S, DCEN of Al.
-In GMAW, it decides metal transfer mode.
- Pure Argon produces poor bead contour and penetration pattern.This is eliminated
by adding O
2
, 1% to 2%, 3-5%O
2
(spray transfer)
--the more oxidizing the shielding gas use electrode with sufficient deoxidizers to
overcome loss of Mn, Si, Al.
Advantage: good penetration pattern by broadening the deep penetration finger,
eliminates undercut due to better wetting action.
Disadvantage: more O
2
leads to porosity

Shielding gas related to weld profile for DCEP
Ar +He:
- Ar +He used for welding non-ferrous metal with GMAW.
- 50 to 75% of He increases arc voltage and heat in the arc.
-So used in welding heavy thickness of Al, Mg, and Cu and for overhead position
welding.

Ar + H
2
:
- Ar + small amounts of H
2
increases heat in the arc .
-Ar +5%H
2
: Ni &Ni alloys also for welding heavier sections of austenitic stainless
steel.
- Ar + 25%H
2
: welding thick metals that have high thermal conductivity like Cu.
-cannot be used to weld mild or low alloy steels due to the problem of H
2
pickup
- H
2
should not be used with Al and Mg.
Ar+N
2
:
-In some countries pure N
2
used for GMAW of Cu- quality of weld
is not good as desired.
-adding 50-75% Ar to N
2
produce higher quality weld

Ar+Co
2
:
-75% Ar +25%Co
2
used in GMAW
-widely used on thin steel where deep penetration is not
necessary and where bead appearance is important.
-spatter is reduced.
- it is also helpful for out-of-position welding.
Ternary mixtures of gases:
- three-component mixtures :
Ar + O
2
+Co
2
and sometimes Ar + Co
2
+He.
70%Ar + 2% O
2
+ Co
2
used for welding steels.
- small amount of He to Ar-O
2
mixture increases arc voltage and
provides higher deposition rates or higher travel speeds.
Flux
A substance that prevents formation of oxides and other
contaminants in welding, or dissolves them and facilitates
removal
Provides protective atmosphere for welding
Stabilizes arc
Reduces spattering
Flux Application
Pouring granular flux onto welding operation
Stick electrode coated with flux material that melts during
welding to cover operation
Tubular electrodes in which flux is contained in the core
and released as electrode is consumed
Electrode coatings
Electrode coatings can consist of a number of different compounds,
including Rutile , calcium fluoride, cellulose, and iron powder.
Rutile electrodes, coated with 25%45% TiO
2
, are characterized by ease of
use and good appearance of the resulting weld. Helps to form a highly fluid but
quick freezing slag. Also provides ionisation for the arc.
However, they create welds with high hydrogen content,
encouraging embrittlement and cracking.

Electrodes containing calcium fluoride (CaF
2
), sometimes known as basic or
low-hydrogen electrodes, are hygroscopic and must be stored in dry conditions.
They produce strong welds, but with a coarse and convex-shaped joint surface.
Electrodes coated with cellulose, especially when combined
with rutile, provide deep weld penetration, but because of their
high moisture content, special procedures must be used to
prevent excessive risk of cracking.

Iron powder is a common coating additive, as it improves the
productivity of the electrode by increasing deposition rate,
sometimes as much as doubling the yield.

Metal Carbonates: adjusts the basicity of the slag & provides a
reducing atoms.
Coating Materials -Partial List
Arc Stabilizers
Titania TiO
2


Gas-Forming Materials
Wood Pulp
Limestone CaCO
3


Slag-Forming Materials
Alumina Al
2
O
3

TiO
2

SiO
2

Fe
3
O
4


Binding Agents
Sodium Silicate
Asbestos
Starch
Sugar

Alloying and Deoxidizing
Elements
Si, Al, Ti, Mn, Ni, Cr