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Old 04-22-2022, 08:50 PM
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Default Bad bottle, again.

This is, really, getting old. Couple weeks ago I was in the middle of a simple project, gluing together a handrail for the front stoup. I was congratulating myself for the beautiful, shiny mild steel beads on the filets, as the gas was decreasing in the tank. Then, the tank was just a few pounds from empty, so I called the LWS. Told me a fresh Q tank would be in on Friday. Called LWS on Friday to make sure they had fresh bottle before driving 25 miles to pick it up. No bottles. Clerk said he had a stubby of Argon, so I drove to pick it up.

Hooked up when I got home and went back to railing project. Gas inclusion in beads, so I switched to aluminum. Hard to establish bead, carbon contamination, little to no etching along beads. When I attempt to introduce rod into the puddle the end of the rod, immediately, balls up, inside a glob of crud. Just junk. 2,000 psi, running at 10 to 20 CFH at torch. Only difference in setup was new bottle.

I've had several bottles with bad gas, but it didn't show up until pressure got to about 500 psi.

Does anyone have tips on a sure-fire way to test jugs for gas quality?
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Last edited by Gadgeteer; 04-22-2022 at 08:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2022, 09:02 PM
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I'm confused. From steel to aluminum without changing anything but the bottle and filler mat'l?
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Old 04-22-2022, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonian View Post
I'm confused. From steel to aluminum without changing anything but the bottle and filler mat'l?
Perhaps, you're easily confused.

After running old bottle down... I unhooked it... leaving gauges, hose, torch as was.

When I got home with new "stubby" I hooked up the untampered gauge, hose, torch that were just the same, as I had left them. So, the only thing that was different in the setup was the new bottle of gas. But, after changing only the bottle, the beads on steel were showing signs of inclusion of something (gas?) that ruined the beads, not at all like the ones I had achieved with the old bottle of Argon.

To further test for bad gas I switched over to aluminum by throwing the conversion switch on the machine from steel to aluminum. Didn't think I'd have to draw a picture to help you understand my methods.
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Old 04-22-2022, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
Perhaps, you're easily confused.

After running old bottle down... I unhooked it... leaving gauges, hose, torch as was.

When I got home with new "stubby" I hooked up the untampered gauge, hose, torch that were just the same, as I had left them. So, the only thing that was different in the setup was the new bottle of gas. But, after changing only the bottle, the beads on steel were showing signs of inclusion of something (gas?) that ruined the beads, not at all like the ones I had achieved with the old bottle of Argon.

To further test for bad gas I switched over to aluminum by throwing the conversion switch on the machine from steel to aluminum. Didn't think I'd have to draw a picture to help you understand my methods.
Mea culpa
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2022, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
Hooked up when I got home and went back to railing project. Gas inclusion in beads, so I switched to aluminum. Hard to establish bead, carbon contamination, little to no etching along beads. When I attempt to introduce rod into the puddle the end of the rod, immediately, balls up, inside a glob of crud. Just junk. 2,000 psi, running at 10 to 20 CFH at torch. Only difference in setup was new bottle.

I've had several bottles with bad gas, but it didn't show up until pressure got to about 500 psi.

Does anyone have tips on a sure-fire way to test jugs for gas quality?
Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonian View Post
I'm confused. From steel to aluminum without changing anything but the bottle and filler mat'l?
I am really confused as well...

Same Tungsten, what tungsten are you using? Did you switch from DCEN on
steel to AC on aluminum?

What is your power source, air cooled or water cooled torch?

What does your tungsten look like?

Rarely are gasses bad, it is just a common excuse for other problems, when
you do have a bad cylinder, it is often water in the cylinder from hydrotesting
the cylinder. If the cylinder has been recently hydrotested you will see a
recent date stamp on the neck of the cylinder, they often get repainted at the
same time.

The other problem is sometimes they guys might refill a gas mixture like
90/10 into what is supposed to be pure Ar. Or something similar, this I have
heard of but again rare.

I use actual flow meters on my cylinders vs. gauges. Most of the cheaper
regulators use a high pressure gauge and a low pressure gauge that has been
calibrated for flow rate, based on flow through an orifice. The problem is if
you have a restriction in your torch you can show higher flow (in reality
pressure) but not have that actual flow at the torch.

If you are using an water cooled torch, you could have a small lead in your
torch head. I have a few times tore my torch down cleaned it really good,
reground my tungsten, made sure I had good laminar flow, etc. and without
seeing any obvious issues the problem was solved.

From what you have said, they 2 most likely issues you are dealing with
would be:

1. a contaminated tungsten, break off the end and regrind, especially if
you are switching back and forth between steel and aluminum.

2. shielding gas restriction between your supply and your torch.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2022, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
Perhaps, you're easily confused.

Didn't think I'd have to draw a picture to help you understand my methods.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
I am really confused as well...

.
You too Shade ????
I was too, but seeing the OP' 'tude, I'm not wasting any more time trying to finger out what they are trying to explain, nor provide some help....
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2022, 11:17 AM
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Adding to what the others have said above:
You should have indicated you were using TIG, some were thinking MIG. That you mentioned using same gas for Al and Fe was the tip-off it was GTAW.
Knowing what your rig is would help. Power supply, torch, tungsten and size, etc.
Before I start an arc, I will tap the pedal to initiate gas flow and purge the line. I instinctively listen for the "hiss" of gas out of the torch. Lack of hiss will remind me I didn't turn the gas on. My meter is set at 20cfh, I use a gas lens on the torch and if a fan is blowing, I make sure it isn't blowing directly at me.

You pics look like you are running out of gas and/or torch is getting hot.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2022, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
You pics look like you are running out of gas and/or torch is getting hot.
The cylinder is full, but like you said looks like gas flow issue (or electrode
contamination). External air movement contamination, aka fan or breeze;
turbulent gas flow; or gas restriction in the lines or torch after the regulator.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2022, 06:24 PM
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I worked at a welding supply for 10 years,granted i worked on trucks and equipment but i did walk through the filling room almost daily.
we hydrostated our own cylinders but i don't remember water being put into the cylinder,the cylinder was dropped into a "well'' in the floor which was filled with water and sealed (like a pressure cooker) and then the cylinder was pumped up with i assume nitrogen.
if the cylinder expanded it would displace the water in the well and up a pipe to a gauge with needle thing,it was an old machine and possibly the newer machines fill the cylinder with water?
I worked for Strate welding,an airco dist.
They had 3 men in the filling room and it would be hard to screw up a fill.
Remember,the same filling rooms are filling Oxegen for medical and breathing air for air fed welding masks and paint shops.

One welding gas that was i think a tri mix had to be rolled after filling,to mix the gas.
It may have been a helium-argon-?something mix?
They filled and then laid the cylinder on its side in a roller thing that gently rolled the cylinder,i guess for a certain amount of time?
I quit there in 1990,so its been a few years.

That tri mix could get screwed up if the cylinder was not rotated i guess,but your using straight argon?
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2022, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
Adding to what the others have said above:
You should have indicated you were using TIG, some were thinking MIG.
The following is part of my OP...

<Hooked up when I got home and went back to railing project. Gas inclusion in beads, so I switched to aluminum. Hard to establish bead, carbon contamination, little to no etching along beads. When I attempt to introduce rod into the puddle the end of the rod, immediately, balls up, inside a glob of crud. Just junk. 2,000 psi, running at 10 to 20 CFH at torch. Only difference in setup was new bottle.

I've had several bottles with bad gas, but it didn't show up until pressure got to about 500 psi.

Does anyone have tips on a sure-fire way to test jugs for gas quality?
>

Perhaps, when I wrote, "...that I was introducing rod into the puddle," it might have given you a clue that I was using tig.

Last edited by Gadgeteer; 05-07-2022 at 02:33 AM.
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