85Ar/15CO2 Shielding Gas = Mode of Transfer Flexibility 

Manufacturers and suppliers are constantly looking for ways to eliminate wasted movement in their processes to increase profits, increase capacity, sustain competitiveness in the market place, and add more value for the customer. But, can a gas help eliminate waste and non-value added activity? Let’s take a look at shielding gas.

I’ve been in countless shops and recognized gas cylinders sitting in the corner waiting to be used for a specific application. Perhaps one of the scenarios below looks familiar:

Scenario 1: A shop using 100% CO2 for use with flux-cored wire and then switches to a 75% argon/25% CO2 (C25) mix for use with solid wire on sheet metal.

Scenario 2:  A shop that uses 90% Ar/10% CO2 (C10) for spray transfer with a solid wire and then switches to either a C25 or 100% CO2 gas for use with flux-cored wire and out-of-position welding.

Suppose one of the above scenarios happens three times a day, and the shop has a Labor & Overhead rate of $60 per hour. Typical cylinder changes take about 20 minutes (obviously this varies depending on the shop). That equates to $60 a day or $15,000 annually in wasted employee movement*–movement most end users aren’t willing to pay for in the cost of the product. Not to mention an hour of wasted productivity in the shop every day.

How Does Gas Help?

So how can a gas help? When looking at either of the two scenarios above, General Air’s SilverShield 7 can help standardize on product and process and help reduce non-value added activity in the shop. It’s versatility not only saves time, but in many applications improve quality. SilverShield 7 is a 85% Ar/15% CO2 (C15) mix that supports flux core wires (such as Lincoln Electric’s very popular UltraCore 71A85) as well as both short-circuit transfer and spray transfer of solid wires. By going to a single type of gas such as SilverShield 7, you can:

  • Reduce time spent on changing cylinders because the application changed
  • Decrease money spent on rental for cylinders that are used occasionally or are unnecessary because of standardizing
  • Increase valuable floor space by reducing the number of cylinders on hand
  • Eliminate costly weld defects because someone didn’t take the time to change cylinders and use the proper gas with the chosen wire
  • Reduce fume generation and spatter (when  compared  to 100% CO2 or C25 gases)

SilverShield 7 Trade-Offs

All this being said, SilverShield 7 is not a panacea.  There are trade-offs.  For instance, AWS considers shielding gas to be an essential variable.  Code shops would have to re-qualify procedures. Also, the penetration profile of SilverShield 7 tends to be less when compared to 100% CO2 or C25 in similar procedures.

However, you can overcome these trade-offs.  Depending on the application, consider using the versatility of SilverShield 7 and discover the advantages of spray transfer with SilverShield 7 on materials 3/16” or thicker over short circuit transfer with C25 or CO2. Or discover the advantages of SilverShield 7 with metal-cored wire over applications using flux-cored wire. On thin gauge material, SilverShield 7 can be advantageous with less burn through.  In a spray transfer with solid wire, the penetration  profile tends to be better than that of a C10 gas.

SilverShield 7 offers a variety of cost savings and productivity gains.   Standardize on a gas and maintain flexibility in the shop.

*(based on 250 working days per year)