Argon is colorless, odorless, inert gas element of approximately one percent of the Earth’s atmosphere, from which it is commercially available by fractionation for use in electric bulbs, fluorescent lamps and radio vacuum lamps, and as a shield for an inert gas in arc welding. Argon has approximately the same solubility as oxygen and is 2.5 times more soluble in water than nitrogen. The atomic number of this element is 18, and the symbol of the element was originally just “A”, but this symbol was changed to “Ar” in 1957. Read more about Argon uses.
Argon is an inert gas (or “noble”) and is listed in the periodic table as “Ar”. This noble gas was discovered in 1894 by Sir William Ramsay and Lord Rayleigh. Argon is produced by the distillation of liquid air and is one of the most abundant gases (the third in terms of abundance) in the Earth’s atmosphere. Argon is therefore cheap and environmentally friendly. It has many industrial and business applications.
Application in the manufacturing industry
Pure argon uses, as well as argon mixtures, are used in “tungsten inert gas” or TIG, welding and casting. Argon uses also for the production of specialist alloys and for the production of titanium. When producing steel in the converter, the addition of argon reduces the loss of chromium, and thus the desired carbon content can be obtained at a lower temperature.
In addition, argon is also used as a blowing gas during higher quality steel manufacturing to avoid the formation of nitrides. Argon uses to produce aluminum to remove hydrogen and degas. It is also used as an inert gas in the titanium production process because titanium can react with nitrogen. The production of zirconium also uses argon to provide an inert atmosphere.
Argon Uses in the healthcare industry
Argon lasers are used in the treatment of retinal detachment and retinal phototherapy in diabetics. In addition, kidney tumors are treated with cryoprobes as part of a procedure in cooled argon cryosurgery, in which damaged or abnormal tissue (such as a tumor or wart) is destroyed or removed by freezing. Argon surgery is also used to treat cardiac arrhythmias (changes in the rhythm of heartbeats).
Uses in the food and beverage industry
Argon is also used in the food industry because of its inertia. It is added to the wine barrels to displace the air. It is thicker than air and settles over the liquid, thus protecting the wine against oxidation and acid. Similarly, it serves to provide an inert atmosphere for open wine bottles and alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants.
Applications of argon in lighting
Argon is used in neon tubes. When electricity is passed, argon produces a violet-blue glow. Because it charges and begins to emit light at a much lower voltage, it saves money and is, therefore, the preferred gas for this purpose. It has similar applications in fluorescent lighting. Argon is also used in incandescent bulbs because it prevents the filament from being quickly oxidized and therefore prolongs the life of the bulb.
Argon Uses in the Document Retention
Given the inert nature of the gas, argon is also used to provide a protective atmosphere for old documents to prevent degradation during display and storage.