Argon Prices have more than doubled in 2014/15! PRAXAIR raised Argon Prices in July 2016, for a total of 35% in the year. AIR PRODUCTS raised Argon Prices 20% October 2016. Argon is in short supply, it's less than 1% of the air so very expensive new gas liquefaction plants cannot be justified until Oxygen demand increases.
Praxair Raises Argon and CO2 Prices Another 35% in 2016.
Helium shielding gas is even worse. Both Praxair and Air Products announce large price increases (~30%) for
Helium in January 2013. Click to see Airgas
CEO Discussion About Helium and Argon Shortages
PDF, "Why High Gas Cost?"
& way to fix it!
Shielding Gas Cost is Much Higher Than Often
What Percentage of Welding Cost is
|Unfortunately most published welding cost calculations are based on an incorrect
assumption that shielding gas usage is the flow rate set on a
flowmeter times the welding time! After understanding the data in this website and looking at
your "real" volume use and costs, you'll realize this is an erroneous assumption!
First, evaluating what is typically published:
- a) 0.035 diameter solid wire operating at 190 amps. That
deposits 5.5 lbs/hr when the arc is on. Assume wire cost is $0.85/pound
- b) 30 CFH Shielding Gas flow. Assume cost of $0.10/cubic foot
for an argon based gas
(= $10.00/100 cubic feet)
- c) Direct Labor cost = $18.00/ hour
- d) Labor Overhead = 30% of Labor cost
||NO Gas Waste Case: With
the above assumptions and no consideration for shielding gas
waste, the resulting weld cost pie chart is shown on the
left. This is what is typically published as the method of calculating
shielding gas costs. Shielding gas is shown as only 5 % of total cost and less than
wire costs which are 7%. This is based on an erroneous
assumption of no gas waste.
High Waste Case: To evaluate a high waste case, assume gas waste
is the high end defined in the literature, i.e. gas usage is, 30 CF/ lb of wire
(See References 1 & 2) with a high duty
cycle. Shielding gas would now be 32% of welding costs!
Probably higher than actual unless your welders are also setting much to
high a flow rate
Consider your real
gas usage when
estimating the cost of shielding gas and not a calculation based on an unrealistic
Our Patented Gas Saver System
(GSS) Saves Typical MIG User 40 to
50% of Total Gas Used! Thousands are in Use.
Gas Saver System (GSS)
See Video: Demo and Solve Gas Waste
GSS Customer Testimonials: PDF Download
See Video: Science of MIG Shielding Gas Flow Control
Cost Calculations are Covered
"Lean Welding Manufacturing-Shielding
"Optimizing Shielding Gas
Use and Eliminating Waste" includes details of this information in a
Do-It-Yourself 7 Module Program
It quantifies waste due to surge flow, leaks, ways to monitor
leaks and the gas flow settings where air is pulled into the shielding stream.
Unfortunately many are using far too much gas flow, wrongly employing the
philosophy, "If Some is Good More Must be Better" when it comes to
setting shielding gas flow rate!