April 22, 2022

Nitrogen Generation in Welding

Nitrogen generation is another area of expertise that Zorn Compressor offers that many people don’t know about!  Nitrogen is a very useful gas in many kinds of welding applications such as TIG (tungsten inert gas) Welding, MIG (metal inert gas) Welding, MAG (metal active gas) Welding, Laser Welding, and Reflow Welding.  All these applications have uses for nitrogen in similar ways but to produce different results.

Before we dive into specific uses, let’s go over some basic information about nitrogen.  Nitrogen is considered a semi-inert gas, meaning it has low reactivity.  Other gases that fall under this category are hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.  Unlike these other semi-inert gases, Nitrogen helps to increase weld penetration and arc stability.  It can be combined with other gases and when doing so can prevent pitting corrosion and nitrogen loss from the metal. It is commonly referred to as a protective gas due to its high cohesive energy and ability to remove oxygen from the welding process.  For a chemical reaction to occur, there needs to be extremely high temperatures and pressures- or added energy of some sort. 

TIG Welding 

TIG Welding is used when high quality welds with near perfect surface finishes are crucial.  This is accomplished by using nitrogen to form an inert gas shield.  Shielding gas helps prevent exposure to the surrounding environment and atmosphere.  Many times, Argon is used alone to form this shield, but argon is also commonly combined with nitrogen in many stainless-steel applications-especially duplex stainless steel. Some benefits of using nitrogen in this way are: 

  • Increased corrosion resistance 
  • Preservation of the quality of the weld 
  • Constant purging abilities 

MIG & MAG Welding 

Both MIG and MAG welding utilize a process that forms an electric arc to heat up the metals.  This causes them to melt and join together.  Nitrogen is again used in combination with Argon to create a shielding gas. The shielding gas then travels through the welding gun to the workpiece to prevent contamination from the environment.  Nitrogen can also be used as a purging gas. A few benefits to using nitrogen in MIG & MAG Welding include: 

  • Improved arc stability 
  • Strong, easy penetration 
  • Prevention of oxidation 
  • Enhances corrosion resistance 

Laser Welding 

Laser welding deals with stainless steel, carbon steels, titanium, and aluminum metals.  It is the process of heating small areas with extremely high temperatures and then utilizing high cooling for permanent effects.  Nitrogen helps to maintain the correct weld temperature through all stages of the process.  It does this while also removing moisture and oxygen from the area the heat beam is traveling. Here are some benefits of utilizing nitrogen in laser welding: 

  • Ensures uniform laser beams 
  • Eliminates impurities that can alter the laser’s cut 
  • Significantly reduces the chances of excessive oxidation on metal surfaces 

Reflow Welding 

Reflow welding, also known as reflow soldering, is a process of heating and melting components to paste them together and form a new strong bond of what was once two pieces and is not one.  It is most seen in technology materials.  Nitrogen can be introduced in ever portion of the soldering process, from the heating zone to the



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