Argon (Ar)

Argon is a colourless and odourless inert gas made up of monatomic molecules. It does not exist in nature other than in air (0.93%). It cannot sustain life, but it is used in industrial applications due to its high level of chemical inertness and the relative ease with which it can be produced.

Argon is available as gas in cylinders and tube trailers as well as bulk liquid in Dewars, semitrailers and ISO’s.

Properties

U.S. Units

S.I. Units 

Chemical formula

Ar

Ar

Molecular weight

39.95

39.95

Density of the gas at 70°F (21.1°C) and 1atm.

0.103 lb /ft3

1.654 kg/m3

Specific gravity of the gas at 70°F (21.1°C) and 1 atm

1.38

1.38

Specific volume of the gas at 70°F (21.1°C) and 1 atm

9.71 ft3/lb

0.606 m3/kg

Density of the liquid at boiling point and 1 atm

87.02 lb/ft3

1394 kg/m3

Melting point at 1 atm.

-308.6°F

-189.2°C

Critical temperature

-188.1°F

-122.3°C

Critical pressure

711.5 psia

48.9 bar

Critical density

33.44 lb/ft3

537.7 kg/m3

Boiling point at 1 atm

-302.6°F

-185.9°C

Solubility in water vol/vol at 32°F(0°C)& 1 atm.

0.0537

0.0537

Industry

Usage

Laboratories

Used for industrial and hospital analysis
of quality control.

Metal fabrication

It is a shield gas used in arc welding, root shielding and plasma cutting. 
It protects welds against oxidation and reduces fume emissions during welding.

Steel and metals

Mainly used in the AOD process (decarburizing) stainless steel.

Glass

It is used for the filling of double glazing enclosures for high performance thermal isolation.

Electronics and semiconductor

Ultra-pure argon is used as carrier gas for reactive molecules, as an inert gas to protect semiconductors against impurities, 
and for sputtering, ion implantation, annealing and etching processes in semiconductor or high performance material manufacturing.

Other applications

It is used as inert atmosphere in incandescent light bulbs.

Used for inflating vehicles airbags.

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