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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 Estimated.

What Percentage of Welding Cost is Shielding Gas?

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:
General Assumptions:

  1. 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
  2. b) 30 CFH Shielding Gas flow.  Assume cost of $0.10/cubic foot for an argon based gas (= $10.00/100 cubic feet)
  3. c) Direct Labor cost = $18.00/ hour
  4. 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 assumption!

Our Patented Gas Saver System (GSS) Saves Typical MIG User 40 to 50% of Total Gas Used!  Thousands are in Use.

See Patented  Gas Saver System (GSS) Solution

See Video: Demo and Solve Gas Waste

See GSS Customer Testimonials: PDF Download

See Video: Science of MIG Shielding Gas Flow Control

Cost Calculations are Covered in

 "Lean Welding Manufacturing-Shielding Gas"

Learning Program

"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!