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Productivity Matters

Stargon SS Welding Blend

Oct 29, 2019
Avoid rising helium costs while improving quality in stainless steel MIG welding with Praxair’s Stargon SS shielding gas blend.

Avoid Rising Helium Costs, While Improving Quality in Stainless Steel MIG Welding

Stargon SS blend is an argon-based blend for MIG welding stainless steel.

stargon ss weld example

Although helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, the supply on Earth is actually very limited. The gas's finite supply combined with the increasingly high demand across various industries has caused a major price surge in recent years. According to Gasworld, a U.S. government auction carried out by the Bureau of Land Management in September 2018 saw crude helium gas prices jump 135 percent for its 2019 delivery. The need for an alternative, especially in the welding industry, is becoming more crucial than ever.

When it comes to MIG welding stainless steel, the thermal conductive properties of helium help to produce flat welds. But with Praxair’s Stargon SS shielding gas blend, the carefully controlled gas mixture of argon, carbon dioxide and nitrogen is able to duplicate the characteristics of helium welding blends, while offering significant cost savings. It is designed for joining a variety of thick or thin stainless steels, in all positions and performs well in short circuit, spray and pulsed spray GMAW welding metal transfer modes.

Another benefit of the argon-based Stargon SS shielding gas blend for stainless steel is that it doesn’t require the higher arc voltages that helium-based blends do. High arc voltages increase heat input into the weld, which affects product quality (warping, distortion) when welding thin stainless steel. Instead, the lower voltages that Stargon SS MIG welding blend allows, means less heat input and less metal distortion. It also means a decreased sensitization of the chrome in the weld, protecting corrosion resistance in the stainless steel weldment. This makes Stargon SS shielding gas blend ideal for thin-gauge applications and caustic environments. 

More Features and Benefits of Stargon SS Blend

Nitrogen-enhanced shielding gas blend

When compared to helium-based blends, the nitrogen-enhanced shielding gas blend allows for excellent arc stability, strong weld penetration and good surface appearance in stainless steel welds. 

Good performance over a wide range of welding parameters

Praxair’s Stargon SS shielding gas blend allows good performance over a wide range of welding parameters, including great short-circuit welding performance and optimized travel speeds when using spray and pulsed spray modes. The argon-based blend also helps reduce weld spatter and offers good bead shape control, which is helpful in reducing over-welding.

Excellent mechanical properties

In addition to contributing to greater corrosion resistance, the mechanical properties in the Stargon SS also help to improve tensile strength.

In Conclusion

While helium has specific benefits for stainless steel welding, the difficulty with supply and rising prices have spurred a need for an alternative shielding gas. Praxair’s Stargon SS gas blend has a number of increased benefits compared to helium-based blends, like tri-mix, and serves as a great way to avoid the rising prices of helium while improving productivity in your stainless steel welding processes. To learn more about our Stargon SS gas blend and to discuss how it can best suit your applications, contact your local Praxair representative or call 800.225.8247.

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