Ozarc Gas offers industrial gas users service in three convenient ways, exchange at one of our eight store locations, route delivery to the customer’s place of business or job site and exchange at one over 30 cylinder warehouse locations. Properties, applications and safety information for the most popular gases are listed below.
Oxygen (O2, LOX)
Oxygen is the most abundant element on the earth’s surface. It is the colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that supports life and makes combustion possible. It constitutes about one-fifth of the earth’s atmosphere (20.99 percent by volume). It is a transparent, pale blue liquid slightly heavier than water at temperatures ranging below approximately -300° F. All elements except the inert gases combine with oxygen, usually to form oxides.
Oxygen purity is vital to efficient production. For example, 99.5 percent pure oxygen can produce high-quality, flame-cut edges. A drop of one percent in oxygen purity slows cutting speed 25 percent. At 95 percent oxygen purity, an oxy-fuel cutting torch will not cut steel at all.
Cylinder oxygen is produced from vaporized liquid oxygen. Its minimum guaranteed purity is 99.5 percent. Liquid oxygen is classified as Type II by the Compressed Gas Association (CGA). CGA Pamphlet G-4.3 Type II, Grade B and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) specifications are considered standards for “commercial” liquid oxygen. A variety of other CGA oxygen Grades are available on special order. These range from CGA Grade C, also 99.5 percent oxygen content to CGA Grade H (99.995 percent oxygen). Also available is high purity ULSI grade and ultra high purity VLSI grade (99.9999 percent pure) liquid oxygen for customers requiring stringent purity standards.
Oxygen makes it much easier for materials to ignite. Even materials that would not normally burn, like steel wool, will burn in an oxygen atmosphere.
Only equipment “cleaned for Oxygen service” should be used for gaseous or liquid oxygen. Never use oil or organic lubricants on oxygen valves and regulators. Pure oxygen reacts about five times faster than air in oxidizing organic materials. Spontaneous combustion is likely to occur.
Care is necessary in housekeeping and product handling so as not to allow oxygen to contact organic materials or any flammable materials. Paints, thinners, and cleaning solvents also must be kept away from oxygen exposures and no ignition sources should be allowed in areas where oxygen is stored or used. No smoking is allowed in areas where oxygen is used and stored.
Use clean gloves or hands washed free of any oils or grease when handling oxygen equipment. Liquid oxygen is very cold and causes cryogenic “burns”. The eyes and lungs are especially sensitive to the cold vapors. Protect eyes and skin from exposure to low temperature materials with safety goggles, loose fitting gloves and protective clothing.
Oxygen is nontoxic, but high concentrations may damage the respiratory tract over time.
Clothing which has absorbed liquid oxygen or oxygen gas must be removed and aired out for at least 30 minutes before it is considered safe to wear.
Supports combustion and life, chemical bleaching and oxidizing agent.
- Iron and steel processing
- Life support (breathing mixtures)
- Enhanced fermentation
- Fuel gas oxidant
- Welding and cutting
- Rocket fuel mixtures
- Water oxygenation for watercourses and waste water treatment
- Controlled-rate and high energy combustion
- Enrichment of combustion atmospheres in glass-making, non-ferrous smelting and brick making
- Odor control
- Tea fermentation
- Pulp and paper bleaching
- Acts as a carrier gas for the delivery of anesthetics to the tissues of the body
Acetylene (C 2 H 2 )
Acetylene is a colorless and tasteless gas with a garlic-like odor. It is flammable and can be an asphyxiant.
It is one of the fuel gases used in oxy-fuel gas welding, which is any welding procedure that combines a fuel gas with oxygen to produce a flame.
The heat and temperature produced by an acetylene flame depend upon the amount of oxygen used to burn it. Air-acetylene produces a flame temperature of around 4000° F (2200° C). This is hot enough to solder aluminum work glass, repair radiators and braze plumbing fixtures. It is not hot enough to weld steel.
When acetylene is burned in pure oxygen, the flame temperature may be as high as 5730° F (3166° C). However, the flame temperature and the amount of heat generated (measured as BTUs or kilogram-calories) depend upon the ratio of oxygen to acetylene used. Acetylene can produce carburizing, reducing, neutral and oxidizing flames.
The specifications for acetylene are found in the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) Pamphlet G-1.1. Grade D (98.0 percent) is considered “commercial” acetylene. The usual grade is about 98.8 percent acetylene. This is the standard acetylene welding grade. Purified acetylene (99.6 percent) is also available.
Caution: Never use acetylene at a regulator pressure higher than 15 psig. This fuel gas is sensitive to shock and may explode at higher regulator pressures. Acetylene is not supplied as a liquid for similar safety reasons. The gas is dissolved in acetone and supplied in heavy-walled cylinders filled with porous mass packing material.
Purified acetylene (Grade 26) is prepared for use in Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometers.
Acetylene mixed with air or oxygen in a confined space will explode when ignited. Acetylene decomposes explosively if piped at pressures above 15 psig and exposed to mechanical shock or ignition source. Acetylene forms explosive compounds with copper, silver and mercury. Use steel pipe and fittings and pressure gauges with steel or stainless steel bourdon tubes. Copper alloys if used must contain less than 65 percent copper. Acetylene has a very wide flammability range in air of 2.5 percent to 81 percent by volume. Also very low energy sparks such as static electricity can cause ignition and explosion.
Store acetylene cylinder outdoors or in well-ventilated areas away from hot surfaces or flammable materials and ignition sources such as flames or any equipment that can generate a spark. Cylinders must be stored in an upright position. Acetylene cylinders should not be dropped or handled in such a manner as to damage the filter. Use only cylinders and equipment especially designated for acetylene. Never attempt to put acetylene in any other container, equipment or pipeline at pressures above 15 psig. This can be done only at filling plants with proper manifolds, flash arrestors and cylinders with acetone solvent. Make certain all hardware is steel or brass with copper content below 65 percent. Also no silver or mercury can be present where acetylene can react with it.
Correct any leak situations. Leaking cylinders that cannot be stopped should be placed outdoors and returned for repair.
All electrical equipment must be explosion-proof. Tools used around acetylene must be non-sparking (brass or aluminum bronze is required). Articles of clothing that develop static charges should not be worn where acetylene is handled in volume and leakage may be present.
Work in well-ventilated areas. Acetylene is nontoxic but if it displaces oxygen in the air to levels below about 19.5 percent it can cause brain damage and even death. However, acetylene has a distinctive odor which is readily detected in low concentrations so that warning is given of the possible hazard.
Argon (AR, LAR )
Although comprising less than one percent of the atmosphere, argon is an important industrial gas. One of its unique properties is its absolute inertness.
Argon is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-toxic. It is slightly soluble in water. It forms no chemical compounds with any other material at any temperature or pressure. It’s an excellent conductor of electricity with a high ionization potential and low eV requirements. It is superior to nitrogen for certain inerting applications where nitride formation is a problem.
Argon plays an increasing role as welding technologies expand. It is the shielding-gas-of-choice for many electric arc welding applications, either pur, or more commonly, in mixtures with helium, carbon dioxide and oxygen. In GMAW (MIG) welding, the argon is mixed to suit the characteristics needed to weld the particular metal, whether it be mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum or copper. Argon also is the most popular shielding gas for GTAW (TIG) welding.
Liquid argon is classified as Type II by the Compressed Gas Association (CGA). CGA G11.1.Type II, Grade C is considered “commercial” liquid argon standards.
Argon is an inert gas that cannot be sensed by odor, color or taste. It is difficult to know when argon is present and may be depleting oxygen for breathing. It must be used in well ventilated areas. Efforts must always be made to avoid leaks or venting of these gases in confined space.
Do not work with any inert gases in confined spaces such as tanks, pits or tunnels unless an adequate breathing air supply is available. Always provide good ventilation in enclosed areas where gases may be present.
Liquid or cold gas argon can cause frostbite-type burns. Protect eyes and skin from exposure to these low temperature materials. Wear protective goggles, gloves and clothing where cold liquid might be spilled.
Use correct pressure reducing equipment when using gas from high pressure cylinders.
- Inert atmospheres
- Shielding gas mixtures for electric welding
- Stirring and decarburizing steel (especially stainless alloys)
- Luminescent mixtures for filling light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
ARGO TECH Sheilding Gases
|Metal Type||Process||Application & Transfer||ArgoTech||Benefits|
|Mild Steel||GMAW (MIG)||DIP – Light Gauge||ArgoTech 25C||Economical – Good Puddle Control, All Position|
|Mild Steel||GMAW (MIG)||DIP/SPRAY/PULSE – Light Gauge||ArgoTech LG||Light Gauge Control, Low Spatter & Low Distortion|
|Mild Steel||GMAW (MIG)||DIP/SPRAY/TRANSFER – All Gauges||ArgoTech TC||All Thicknesses / Multiprocess, Excellent Profile & Appearance, Low Spatter|
|Mild Steel||GMAW (MIG)||SPRAY||ArgoTech 101||Multipass/Thick Material, Robotics, Automatic Applications|
|Stainless Steel||GMAW (MIG)||SPRAY – Light/Med Gauge||ArgoTech 1,2,5||Good Economical Quality|
|Stainless Steel||GMAW (MIG)||DIP – Thin Gauge||ArgoTech 90||Low Distortion – Out of Position|
|Stainless Steel||GMAW (MIG)||SPRAY/PULSE||ArgoTech 101||Excellent Bead & Surface, Appearance – Increased Speed|
|Aluminum & Alloy||GMAW (MIG)||SPRAY/PULSE – Light Gauge||Argon||All Position – Superior Cleaning|
|Aluminum & Alloy||GMAW (MIG)||SPRAY/PULSE – Medium Gauge||ArgoTech 75A||Increased Speed & Penetration|
|Aluminum & Alloy||GMAW (MIG)||SPRAY/PULSE – Thick Gauge||ArgoTech 75||High Heat Input, Deep Penetration|
|Copper-Nickel & Alloys||GMAW (MIG)||All Thicknesses||Argon||Good Cleaning – Excellent Starting|
|Copper-Nickel & Alloys||GMAW (MIG)||All Thicknesses||ArgoTech 75A||Good Heat Input & Speed|
|Copper-Nickel & Alloys||GMAW (MIG)||All Thicknesses||ArgoTech 50A||Increased Heat Input & Speed|
|Copper-Nickel & Alloys||GMAW (MIG)||All Thicknesses||ArgoTech 75||Deep Penetration|
|Nickel & Stainless Steel||GTAW (TIG)||Light/Med Gauge||ArgoTech 2H||Increased Speed & Depth, Surface Appearance|
|Nickel & Stainless Steel||GTAW (TIG)||Light/Med Gauge||ArgoTech 5H||Mechanized Welding|
|Nickel & Stainless Steel||PAC||PAC (Plasma Arc Cutting)||ArgoTech 35H||High Speed Automated Cutting, Clean Cutting|
Nitrogen (N2, LIN)
Nitrogen constitutes 78 percent of the atmosphere and is a constituent of all living tissues. It has two characteristics that make it the world’s most widely used gas. Liquid nitrogen is intensely cold. This makes it a highly effective (and totally non-polluting) agent for freezing and chilling. Nitrogen is also inert; under normal conditions it is not chemically active. An atmosphere of nitrogen is like a blanket that prevents oxidation and combustion from taking place.
Gaseous nitrogen at atmospheric pressure has no taste, color, or odor. It’s a poor conductor of heat and electricity, and has low solubility in most common liquids. Nitrogen has no toxic properties at atmospheric pressure, other than the possible hazard of suffocation due to displacement of air.
At -320° F (-196° C) and standard atmospheric pressure gaseous nitrogen condenses into a water-white liquid, with 696.5 volumes of gaseous nitrogen becoming one volume of the liquid. The liquid is non-magnetic, stable against mechanical shock and does not produce toxic or irritating vapors. The only caution required in handling liquid nitrogen is due to its low temperature.
Liquid nitrogen is classified as Type II by the Compressed Gas Association (CGA). CGA-10.1, Type II Grade L or The National Formulary Specs (similar to USP) are considered “commercial” liquid nitrogen standards.
Large volume gaseous nitrogen requirements are met by vaporization of liquid on-site from a suitable liquid storage container. Smaller volumes of CGA Type I gaseous grades meeting any of the Compressed Gas Association’s grade requirements are supplied in various high pressure containers ranging from cylinders to tube trailers.
Nitrogen is an inert gas which cannot be sensed by odor, color, or taste. It is difficult to know when nitrogen is present and when it may be depleting oxygen for breathing. It must be used in well-ventilated areas. Efforts must always be made to avoid leaks or venting of these gases in confined spaces.
Do not work with any inert gases in confined spaces such as tanks, pits or tunnels unless an adequate breathing air supply is available. Always provide good ventilation in enclosed areas where inert gases may be present.
Liquid or cold gas nitrogen can cause frostbite-type burns. Protect eyes and skin from exposure to these low temperature materials. Wear protective goggles, gloves, and clothing where cold liquid might be spilled.
Relatively inert and non-combustible, intensely cold in liquid phase
- Gas and vapor displacement for explosion and fire suppression
- Inert atmospheres for tanker and pipeline purging, for electronics, chemicals, glass and steel manufacture
- Controlled atmospheres for heat treatment, nitriding, silo atmospheres, food packaging
- Freezing, chilling and transporting foods
- Tissue freezing and storage
- Contraction of metals (shrink fitting)
- Cooling agent for molding, film extrusion and process equipment
- Solvent recovery
- Chemical reagent and reagent carrier
- Cooling agent for cryosurgery
Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 )
Carbon dioxide is the most versatile of all gases. Its physical and chemical properties, and its ability to be processed into a liquid, gas or solid, make it ideal for a variety of diverse applications. It is normally stored as a liquid and can exist only as a solid or gas at room conditions. Carbon dioxide has a low temperature (-109° F as a solid), is highly inert under most conditions, and although basically non-reactive, becomes chemically active when exposed to moisture or high heat.
Carbon dioxide is a compound of carbon and oxygen in proportions by weight of about 27.3 percent carbon to 72.7 percent oxygen. At normal atmospheric temperatures and pressures, carbon dioxide is colorless, odorless and about 1.5 times as heavy as air. Carbon dioxide is sensed by some persons as having a slight pungent odor and biting taste. It is normally inert and nontoxic.
The Compressed Gas Association (CGA) specification G-6.2, Grade H (99.8 percent pure) is considered standard for “commercial” carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is used to freeze and chill food rapidly. The carbonated beverage industry is a major customer for Carbon dioxide. Oil recover operations and pH control/water treatment use CO 2 also.
It is supplied in bulk stations, dewars and as a liquefied compressed gas.
Carbon dioxide is essentially nontoxic but may cause increased breathing and heart rates. Breathing concentrated amounts may also cause nausea and unconsciousness. The major hazard of carbon dioxide is asphyxiation when CO 2 has built up in an area and displaced the air(oxygen) needed for breathing. When oxygen levels are below 19.5 percent brain damage and death may occur.
It is an inert gas that cannot usually be sensed by odor, color or taste although some people claim it has a slightly pungent odor. It is difficult to know when carbon dioxide is present and when it may be depleting oxygen needed for breathing. It must be used in well-ventilated areas. Efforts must always be made to avoid leaks or venting of these gases in confined spaces.
Do not work with any inert gases in confined spaces such as tanks, pits or tunnels unless an adequate breathing air supply is available. Always provide good ventilation in enclosed areas where inert gases may be present. The eyes and lungs are especially sensitive to the cold vapors. Wear protective goggles, gloves and clothing when handling CO 2 or when cold liquid might be spilled or splashed.
Heavier than air, freezes to a solid at atmospheric pressure, liquefies under pressure, chemically acidic and water-soluble, does not support combustion.
- Food freezing, chilling and refrigeration
- Fire suppression
- Alkali neutralization, waste treatment
- Mould setting
- Inert gas pressurization
- Beverage carbonation
- Tobacco expansion
- Oil well recovery
- Plant growth
- Carrier gas for deodorants, odorants, pesticides and the like
- Breathing stimulant
Helium (He, LHe)
Helium is one of the rare gases of the atmosphere, present in a concentration of only five parts per million. Helium is the second lightest element; only hydrogen is lighter. Helium is chemically inert. It has no odor, color or taste. Helium has a boiling point of -452.1 F, and is the only substance that remains fluid at temperatures approaching absolute zero making it the coldest liquefied gas. Helium has high thermal conductivity and does not become radioactive.
Helium is used in a variety of applications that capitalize on its unique properties. The extreme low temperature of liquid helium makes it ideally suited for use in low-temperature superconductivity applications such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a diagnostic tool supplementing Cat-scans & X-rays) and other cryogenic research. In gaseous form helium is used as a shielding gas for GMAS (MIG) and GTAW (TIG) welding, and in aerospace exploration, it is used to purge and pressurize hydrogen-fueled rocket engines and other propellant systems. Gaseous helium also is used as a non-reactive carrier gas for semiconductor and fiber optic waveguide manufacture, as a leak detector, as a component of deep-diving breathing mixtures, as a nuclear reactor coolant and for balloon inflation.
Helium is obtained as a by-product of the processing of natural gas. Natural gas fields, located in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, provide most of the helium produced in the United States. The United States supplies about 90 percent of the world’s total demand for helium; the remainder comes from plants located in Poland and Russia.
Helium is shipped as a cryogenic liquid in ISO-certified containers and trailers, holding quantities as large as 15,000 gallons or in dewars with capacities ranging from 30 to 1000 liters. It is also shipped as a high-pressure gas at or above 2200 psig in cylinders and 2640 psig in bulk tube trailers.
Helium is nontoxic. Its major hazard is asphyxiation when it has built-up in an area and displaced the air (oxygen) needed for breathing. Brain damage and death may occur when oxygen levels are below 19.5 percent. Helium is an inert gas that cannot be sensed by odor, color or taste. It is difficult to know when helium is present and when it may be depleting the oxygen needed for breathing. It must be used in well ventilated areas. Efforts must always be made to avoid leaks or venting of these gases in confined spaces.
Do not work with any inert gases in confined spaces such as tanks, pits or tunnels unless an adequate breathing air supply is available. Always provide good ventilation in enclosed areas where gases may be present.
Liquid or cold gas helium can cause frostbite-type burns. The eyes and lungs are especially sensitive to the cold vapors. Protect eyes and skin from exposure to these low temperature materials. Wear protective goggles, gloves and clothing where cold liquid might be spilled or splashed.
Helium is nonflammable.
Completely inert, lighter than air, highly mobile and small molecular size, low solubility, coldest of all in the liquid phase.
- Shielding gas for welding
- Balloon gas
- Leak detection
- Extreme cooling for super conducting magnets (MRI)
- Diving gas mixtures
- Breathing mixtures for people with impaired lung functions, eg asthma
Hydrogen (H 21 LH 2 )
Hydrogen is the lightest gas known. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and nontoxic gas at atmospheric temperatures and pressures, but can be an asphyxiant.
Hydrogen burns in air with a pale blue, almost invisible flame. Its ignition temperature will not vary greatly from 1050° F in mixtures with air or oxygen at atmospheric pressure. The flammable limits are four to 94 percent hydrogen by volume.
Used as a fuel, the oxy-hydrogen flame has a 4000° F (2200° C) temperature, good for low-temperature brazing and welding of aluminum, magnesium and lead and for underwater cutting at pressures that would liquefy other fuels.
The most common metalworking use for hydrogen is as an “oxygen getter”, as in some shielding-gas mixtures. In these cases, it combines readily with the oxygen in metal oxides to form water, leaving reduced metal behind.
Many metals are sensitive to hydrogen embrittlement, and caution must be exercised in its use and in the piping equipment handling it.
The Compressed Gas Association (CGA) specification G-5.3 is the industry standard Type II, Grade A (99.995 percent pure) is considered “commercial” liquid hydrogen and Type I, Grade B (99.95 percent pure) is considered “commercial” gaseous hydrogen.
The most common hazards associated with liquid hydrogen are explosion, fire, and exposure to the product’s extremely cold temperatures. Users should eliminate any sources of ignition such as an open flame, static spark, electric spark, or any source of high heat which might cause ignition of hydrogen.
Hydrogen is extremely light and will collect in high areas such as under the peak of a roof. Care must be taken to prevent accumulation of an explosive mixture in pockets. Venting of hydrogen through a stack should be done while mixing nitrogen or other inert gas into the ventline to prevent ignition of the hydrogen emerging from the vent stack.
Hydrogen is nontoxic. It can be an asphyxiant, but the precautions taken to prevent explosive mixtures will normally prevent asphyxiating atmospheres as well.
The danger of burns caused by extremely cold temperatures can be minimized by using protective clothing, goggles and gloves. The eyes and lungs are especially sensitive to the cold vapors.
Chemical reagent, reducing agent, highly combustible, even colder than nitrogen in the liquid phase.
- Desulphurizing and hydrocracking in petroleum industry
- Furnace atmospheres in float glass manufacture
- Reagent in chemicals manufacturing
- Power station equipment cooling
- Rocket fuel mixture
- Hardening edible oils
- Margarine manufacture
Smartfuel (A Propylene Based Product)
Smartfuek, a Propylene based product, is a multi-purpose industrial fuel gas offering outstanding performance, safety, and economy. It is a single-component liquefied fuel gas produced as a co-product at petrochemical plants and oil refineries. Although its major use is the production of other chemicals and plastics, a ready supply is always available. Propylene can be supplied in cylinders or in bulk.
Smartfuel’s flame characteristics are superior to many other liquefied fuels. It can be used for flame cutting, heating, flame hardening, brazing, soldering, metalizing, and other operations using oxygen-fuel and air-fuel flames.
Download the Smartfuel Brochure – Smartfuel_brochure.pdf
Propylene is very stable. It does not react with copper; it is insensitive to shock; it will not decompose in the absence of oxygen. Besides being nontoxic, it has narrow explosive limits in air. Short exposure to propylene vapor is not harmful; although, high concentrations may produce a slight anesthetic effect. Avoid contact with the liquid since it could cause frostbite-type burns.
Cylinders are lightweight compared to acetylene cylinders and fewer cylinders need to be handled.
Propane (C 3 H 8 )
Propane is a single-component liquefied fuel gas used for oxy-fuel gas cutting, heating, brazing, and soldering. The main source of this gas is the crude-oil and gas mixtures obtained from active oil and natural gas wells. It is also produced in certain oil refining processes and in the recycling of natural gas. It is sold and transported in steel cylinders of various sizes and is available in bulk.
Propane is nontoxic and has narrow explosive limits in air. Short exposure to propane vapor is not harmful; although, high concentrations may produce a slight anesthetic effect. Avoid contact with the liquid since it could cause frostbite-type burns.