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How to choose the right shielding gas for your welds

To get the best quality welds you need to make sure you have the correct shielding gas for the job. This guide will help DIY welders and small businesses choose the right gas.

Whether you’re a DIY welder who’s working on a car or motorcycle, a pipework welder, fixing agricultural equipment or have a small business in auto repair, maintenance or panel beating. If you choose your gas wisely, you’ll achieve a strong, high quality weld.

Shielding gas does more than protect the finished weld from the effects of the atmosphere. It also affects the bead shape and size of the weld, as well as the amount of spatter and the speed of the welding.

How to select the right shielding gas for the job

For any application, it is important to choose the right shielding gas for the job. There is a wide range available - each suited to a different task, and no shielding gas will be perfect for all uses. Step one is to decide how you would like to improve your weld, and match this to the benefits of the shielding gas. Just remember the gas may change as the thickness of material increases.

Which is the right welding process for you?

MIG Welding

MIG welding works by feeding a spool of wire that melts and fuses the metals together. This works very well with steel, mild steel and aluminium.

If you’re working on a part that has to be coated or painted after welding, you need to make sure that the amount of spatter is kept to a minimum. One of the downsides of carbon dioxide gas is that it can cause large amounts of spatter. Changing your gas to the MIG Shield 5% CO2 in Argon mix will greatly reduce the amount of spatter.

In vehicle repair and manufacturing, argon-based gas mixtures are commonly used to MIG weld carbon and low alloy steels. MIG shield is the perfect choice when the components of a car are being painted or powder coated after welding, and is ideal if you are welding thinner carbon steel ranging from 0.6 to 4mm in thickness.

Carbon dioxide is a low-cost alternative choice for MIG welding but does not provide the same quality of welds as MIG shield.

MIG Shield gas is an excellent general purpose gas, ideal for MIG welding thin automotive parts, such as exhausts, using solid wire. Its mix of argon and 5% carbon dioxide gives a good wetting action and produces smooth welds with minimal spatter and low surface oxidation.

TIG Welding

TIG welding also produces very high quality welds, but requires much more skill and is a more precise process than MIG. In TIG welding, heat is generated by an electric arc between a tungsten electrode and the workpiece.

TIG welding is suitable for aluminium, copper, stainless steel and titanium. The welding speeds for TIG are approximately half MIG welding, but weld costs are higher. Argon is the best shielding gas to use in TIG welding to protect the weld and tungsten. Our pure Argon gas cylinders have a purity level of 99.998% and are amongst the highest specifications on the market.

Choose the right bottle size for you

For hobbyists, and small businesses who don’t have the space to store a standard sized cylinder, we offer the choice of a more practically sized 2-litre MIG Shield cylinder that takes up less space at home or in a van. If you're a more serious or professional welder, or require larger gas quantities, we also offer a range of great value 10L gas cylinders.

Other priorities when choosing a shielding gas

Choosing the right gas is not the only consideration – your safety when using high-pressure cylinders is paramount.

It’s important that you choose a reputable company for your gas cylinders to ensure that the cylinders comply with all safety regulations. Download our safety data sheets for more information.

All of our gas cylinders are rent free. This can provide a much more cost effective solution as you don’t have to pay continual charges for rent. Simply pay a deposit and you can keep the gas cylinder for years and still receive money back from the deposit when you return your gas cylinder. Read this guide for more on the benefits of rent free gas.