When talking about Earth’s most abundant noble gases, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen are the common ones that make it to the top of the list. However, behind nitrogen and oxygen, the third most commonly occurring gas is the noble gas, liquid argon, which accounts for only 1% of the atmosphere’s invisible composition.
The Australian Industrial Gases market has a bright future and is expected to proliferate over the next five years. Moreover, when it comes to argon gas has some of the most critical scientific uses. Read on to find out what these are
Basics of Liquid Argon Gas
Argon gas or Ar stands on the periodic table at number 18. It is one of the top three lightest of the 6 noble gases present in the Earth’s atmosphere. The first two lightest gases are helium and neon.
It is colourless, odourless, and tasteless, with 39.7 grams per Daltons of molecular weight. Since it has a value for its total inertness, particularly at specific high temperatures, it comes in handy for critical industrial processes.
The boiling point of this noble gas is freezing, -302.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This falls between the boiling points of nitrogen and oxygen, two of the major constituents of air. The freezing point is a few degrees lower than the average boiling point, i.e., -308.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Top Commercial Productions of Argon Gas
Since argon is one of the most abundant “rare” or inert gases, its production is mainly for commercial purposes. Apart from this, liquid argon is used in some essential industrial processes.
The main uses of argon gas are listed below.
1. Placement in Neon Lights
This is one of the top uses of argon gas. This usually happens when electricity passing through the gas momentarily triggers the electrons orbiting the outermost ring. This results in the electrons moving to a higher energy level.
Additionally, once the electron gets back to its original energy level, it results in the emission of a photon.
2. Combining Radioisotope
Using argon in addition to potassium to combine elements up to four billion years old is another common use. The element potassium contains nineteen protons and twenty-one neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass similar to that of argon. However, neutrons and protons are different in potassium.
This type of radioisotope dating is applicable only for more than 100-year-old+ objects.
Many industries also utilise argon to weld automobile frames, specialty alloys, and a few more parts of automobiles. It is a shielding gas as it doesn’t react with other gases.
4. Treating Heat
As a “rare” gas, argon’s use is to provide an environment free of oxygen and nitrogen for some heat-setting processes. This way, it is utilised at its best capacity in providing heat setting services to the commercial and industrial spaces.
5. Production of Metal
Like welding and melting, argon is also utilised in the combination of metals with the help of other processes. Since the gas prevents oxidation or rusting, it excludes unnecessary gases like carbon monoxide.
Though inert gases don’t go bad, argon, however, it does have some potential hazards attached to it. Hence, it is necessary to practice caution when handling it.
All in all, the future of inert gases and their production hence is a bright one!