During welding, what do you think is an essential part or equipment of the process that you don’t want to go wrong with, in the middle of your work? Well of course it is your gas cylinder you are working with and some other factors involved. Today we will discuss the size of argon tanks that are used in the welding process.
While working, you might not want to encounter any problems and finish your task without any hindrance. Just imagine that you are almost done with the weld and the welding gas runs out. How frustrating it will be?
However, it is not a big problem that we can’t solve easily. So let’s find out the details regarding cylinder sizes and how to choose one suitable for your task.
- Size of argon tanks
- Welding cylinder tank size chart
- How long will the welding gas last?
- Tips for buying a gas cylinder
- Wrapping up
Size of argon tanks
First of all, you don’t have to buy a cylinder too big in size because it will be difficult for you to handle. Similar is the case when it’s too small.
The gas in the welding cylinder can last depending on the rate of flow. Also, this rate of flow of gas varies for different gases.
If you choose the wrong cylinder size, then you might encounter problems during your work. Moreover, along with the size, there are some other factors involved as well which you need to be careful with.
Let’s understand with an example
With the rate of flow of 20CF per hour, a gas cylinder with a storage capacity of 80CF will work for about 4 hours. However, if we increase the cylinder capacity to 125CF, then with a rate of flow of 10CF per hour, it will continue working for 12 and a half hours approximately.
How to know which welding cylinder tank size I need?
If we talk about argon cylinder or tank sizes in general, there is a range of sizes available for you. The problem is to avoid choosing a size that is not suitable for your work.
If you are a small welding shop owner or you are welding as your hobby, then you should go for small-sized cylinders. Gas cylinders with a size of 40, 60, 80, and 125 cubic feet are easily available on the market.
But if we talk about industrial use, then cylinders with a large capacity should be used. Gas cylinders as big as 200 cubic feet and 300 cubic feet are available for this purpose.
Gas cylinder with a size of 40CF or 60CF
Do you have easy access to a gas supplier? If yes, then a gas cylinder with a size of 40 or 60 cubic feet is best for you. In this case, you will have to take the cylinder for frequent refills. Because gas will be finished more quickly if you use a cylinder quite often.
But if you don’t want to go out again and again to refill your cylinder, then using a cylinder with a capacity of 80 or 125 cubic feet will be a wise decision.
Gas cylinder with a size of 80CF or 125CF
Now that you have chosen the cylinders with 80 cubic feet or125 cubic feet capacity, there are certain things you need to know. First, these cylinders are very large and heavy which makes them difficult to move.
You might not have to go for frequent refills as the cylinder size is big in this case. Refilling is done once in a while. But while doing so, it will become harder to handle such a large tank and to take it to refill. They are also hazardous because while moving them, you might trip and fall.
Trading in cylinders
Besides all this, even if you choose a wrong-sized cylinder and find out during work that you need to change it, no problem. If your cylinder is too small or too big, you can trade your cylinder and the supplier shop when you go to refill. However, there will be a certain cost associated with it.
In this way, you can easily get a bigger tank by trading it with your small cylinder. Similar is the case if the cylinder you have is big. Also, before going for trading, do check it with your supplier in advance to avoid any problems.
Welding cylinder tank size chart
Here you can a picture containing different tank sizes. Their height, volume, and diameter are also mentioned for your ease. Now that you have a visual of all welding tank sizes, it is easy to choose the one suitable for your task.
In the middle of the picture, you can see the tank with a capacity of 125 cubic feet. This is the most popular and most used tank for hobbyists and small welding shop owners. They use this specific tank because of its perfect size and volume.
These tanks are smaller compared to the ones used for industrial purposes. But their cost is a little higher than small tanks.
Size of argon tanks and their specifications
Now coming toward our main topic of discussion, below you can see the argon tank’s size ranges and their specifications. Every cylinder is marked with a specific name to distinguish between them.
All the specifications you can see in the above picture and approximate values. You can ask for your supplier’s advice to get the exact size and measurements. Make sure that the cylinder can fit in your storage area. And if not, then you can choose a different size.
The most beneficial thing for you is to get recommendations from the supplier in your area. As they are experienced and have deep knowledge and understanding about all these things, so they can guide you better.
How long will the welding gas last?
Okay, so now that you have chosen the size of gas cylinder you want, let’s move forward. The very first question that will come to your mind is: “How long will the gas last?”
- The volume of the gas tank
- Gas flow rate
The flow rate of gas can be set using the regulator of the cylinder while doing welding. You can increase or decrease the flow rate depending upon the nature of work and environmental conditions.
For instance, if you are working outdoors in windy weather, then the gas flow should be increased. If it is kept normal, then the wind will cause hindrance and the weld will not be done effectively.
In addition, the position of welding can also vary the rate of flow of gas. The rate of flow of gas is different in overhead welding as compared to other welding positions.
How to calculate the rate of flow of welding gas?
Here we will let you know how to calculate the rate of flow of gas and welding time. As already said above, we can control the rate of flow by using the regulator of the gas cylinder. The monitor attached to the cylinder will show us the rate of flow.
Calculating welding time
Calculating welding time is pretty easy. All you need to do is to divide the volume of the cylinder by the rate of flow of gas.
Let’s take the same example we discussed in the beginning. The tank with a capacity of 80 cubic feet has a flow rate of 20CF per hour. Now using the formula, by dividing the capacity by flow rate, the estimated welding time of an 80CF cylinder is 4 hours.
Checking how much gas is left in the cylinder
Most important thing is to check how much gas is left in the tank so you can have a proper idea of when to refill it. If you don’t monitor it once in a while, then it can be problematic. You will not want to run out of gas at the peak of your work, right?
Most often, it is advised to keep a spare tank for emergency purposes. But not everyone can store an extra welding cylinder because of storage issues. That is why you should check the gas left from time to time.
How to check it?
Argon tanks used in MIG and TIG welding have pressure gauges attached to the tank. So to have an idea about the gas left, all you have to do is to check the regulator. The regulator will show the remaining pressure.
When the gas is used, the pressure falls automatically which can be seen through the regulator. The pressure will show you the gas left in the tank.
Carbon dioxide gas cylinders
However, we cannot use this method to see how much gas is left in 100% carbon dioxide gas cylinders. The main reason is that the pressure drops dramatically when the gas is about to finish and it can cause confusion.
So the best-recommended way to find it out is to observe the weight of the carbon dioxide gas cylinder. It will give you an approximate idea that the gas is nearly finished and you need a refill.
Tips for buying a gas cylinder
- If you are welding aluminum using the MIG welding technique, work with an argon gas cylinder because argon can provide greater stability and shielding effect.
- While welding stainless steel, use a cylinder having a mixture of argon, helium, and carbon dioxide.
- You can get cylinders in steel and aluminum. But the most recommended one is to use an aluminum cylinder. Despite its high cost, it is very convenient to use due to its less weight.
- To observe the amount of gas left and to check inner pressure, use a regulator of good quality. In case the regulator is not working or its needle is stuck, then it will be difficult for you to determine the circumstances.
All the things we discussed here, emphasize the importance of making the right choice while using a cylinder. Not only the choosing the right size of cylinder matter but also you need to be careful with it while using it.
Contact your area supplier for advice if you are stuck on something. Take proper care of the cylinder and keep noticing the monitor have an idea about the left gas.
While using argon gas cylinders, make sure you have complete ventilation. Argon is famous for being odorless and colorless causing suffocation. So take all the safety measures to ensure you are safe.