How You Can Optimise Your Metal Cutting Operations by Mixing Assist Gases Onsite

The varying fabrication demands made on metal cutting and welding equipment have led fabricators to start using a blend of assist gases during fabrication processes. This article discusses how blending those assist gases within your fabrication shop can be beneficial to your bottom line.

Reducing the Cost of Assist Gas

Some suppliers of blended assist gases, such as a blend containing equal amounts of argon and helium, usually set the price of the gas based on the cost of the most expensive gas in that blend. For instance, the argon/helium blend in the example above may be priced based on the cost of helium. Such a pricing system can lead you to incur higher costs when purchasing assist gases because more affordable gases are sold to you at a higher cost than you would have purchased them on their own.

Blending the assist gases at your facility can therefore help you to reduce the cost of the assist gases because you will buy each gas at its current market cost. You can then mix those gases in the ratios you want.

Delivery of Properly Mixed Gases

Onsite mixing of assist gases needed during metal cutting helps you to avoid one major risk of premixed gases. That risk is that the nozzles will deliver a poor mixture of the needed gases because those gases stratified or separated within their cylinder.

Onsite mixing ensures that the correct blend is delivered to the cutting or welding tool because each gas will be dispensed from its individual cylinder at the necessary flow rate.

Better Training Opportunities

Many fabrication shops usually have trainees that are learning from the experienced fabricators. Premixed gas blends deny such trainees the practical demonstrations that they need to see first-hand the benefits or risks of using a wrong blend during a fabrication process. Onsite preparation of assist gas blends allows you to adjust the concentrations of different gases in the blend so that the apprentices can see the differences of such an adjustment. Such practical demonstrations can also be greatly beneficial to staff who are being oriented in the use of upgraded fabricating equipment that has just been installed.

Many factors, such as whether to use automated systems to blend the gases, need to be considered before you can start blending the gases onsite. You should therefore weigh all those applicable factors carefully so that the most appropriate gas-blending system can be designed for your metal cutting or welding processes.