In other welding news….

Inert gas welding might be getting very interesting in the near future.

The EPA jumps the shark, banning – Argon

Its hard to imagine a more inoffensive substance than Argon. As a noble gas, Argon is chemically inert – it participates in no chemical reactions whatsoever, except under exotic conditions – there are no known chemical compounds which can survive at room temperature which include Argon. Argon is not a greenhouse gas.

But Argon is incredibly useful to industry – among other things, is used as a “shield” gas. Anyone who welds Aluminium or Stainless Steel will be familiar with Argon, which is used with MIG and TIG welders, to blow oxygen away from the electric welding arc, to prevent oxidative damage to the weld joint. Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness, for no benefit whatsoever.

So why on Earth would the EPA plan to ban something as inoffensive as Argon? IceAgeNow has a theory – they think Argon is part of a list supplied by a scientifically illiterate NGO, which the EPA plans to rubber stamp.

Rolf left this story in the comments yesterday. While I think that IAN is correct in their theory as to how it got included on the list, if this rule is allowed to go through the eco-cosialists will use it as “proof” that all Argon use must be banned and set about ruining US industry even further (since that is their actual goal).

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4 Responses to In other welding news….

  1. Toastrider says:

    Argon is also used in spectrographic applications; part of my quality control job at my workplace involves doing chemical analysis on aluminum coupons.

    Yeah, I might show this to my boss. I imagine she won’t be too happy.

  2. Brian says:

    This is pure insanity or a joke. Argon is the third most common gas in the atmosphere. -just under 1%- .93% specifically. It is obtained by supercooling the air and decanting off the various strata- O2, N2, and argon. How could the EPA ‘ban” an element of the periodic table?

    Argon is a chemical element with symbol Ar and atomic number 18. It is in group 18 of the periodic table and is a noble gas.[3] Argon is the third most common gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, at 0.93% (9,300 ppm), making it approximately 23.8 times as abundant as the next most common atmospheric gas, carbon dioxide (390 ppm), and more than 500 times as abundant as the next most common noble gas, neon (18 ppm). Nearly all of this argon is radiogenic argon-40 derived from the decay of potassium-40 in the Earth’s crust. In the universe, argon-36 is by far the most common argon isotope, being the preferred argon isotope produced by stellar nucleosynthesis in supernovas.

  3. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    I think folks are reading this wrong. The EPA isn’t looking to ban Argon as a whole, but rather just it’s use as an inert ingredient in pesticides.

    It’s still silly, as Argon is about as safely inert as one can get, but I don’t think this is a blanket ban.

  4. Kristophr says:

    Fucking retards. Argon and the other inert gases ( except for slightly radioactive Radon ) are the ultimate in non-reactive materials.

    And 1% of the Earth’s atmospher is Argon. Unter this rule, compressed air becomes a pollutant.

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