Welding Gas Cylinder Sizes: What Size For MIG Or TIG Welding?
Running out of gas in the middle of welding a project is one of the most frustrating things ever. New TIG or MIG welders are likely to be surprised at how much welding they will need to do.
Not to mention how much welding gas you will use. When welding, you have to make sure that you don't run out of gas. That is why understanding the tank sizes will give you a good idea of how much time you will be able to spend welding.
Before you decide what size cylinder to purchase, you should know how long the welding gas bottle will last. If you are still figuring out how to weld, or you are still in that stage, choosing a gas cylinder can be tricky.
Let's examine the types of cylinders, how they're identified, and their contents (gas types). Having this knowledge will make it easier for you to choose a gas cylinder that is right for your needs.
Welding Gas Cylinder Specifications
It is important to note that compressed gas cylinder manufacturers have different specifications. There may be a letter, number, or weight listed on a cylinder that holds highly pressurized gas. For TIG or MIG welding, tanks with a capacity of 20 cubic feet or less are uncommon. That is because the gas will run out quickly.
The tanks are commonly found in portable kits for welding with oxy-acetylene gas. Most of the larger cylinders over 125 cubic feet are rented or leased from gas suppliers, rather than being owned by the welder.
High-volume customers usually receive them from their suppliers. It is tough to handle these large gas tanks and dropping them could cause injury or damage. That being said, refills are more economical with a larger tank.
Difference Between Gas Bottles, Tanks, & Cylinders
A tank is also called a cylinder or a gas bottle. Tanks range in size from portable and small to heavy and large. The volume of gas inside the gas cylinder is measured in cubic feet.
You can also see it written in CF. There isn’t much difference between cylinders and tanks apart from their size. On the contrary, MIG gas bottle generally smaller larger than TIG gas bottles.
Compared to standard tanks and gas bottles, high-pressure cylinders have a long lifespan. Keeping the tank well maintained can boost its lifespan by tens of years. Make sure to keep their testing dates up to date and store them properly.
Different Types Of Welding Gas And Size Chart
The last thing anyone wants is to run out of gas in the middle of a weld. Those huge tanks, however, are difficult to transport and store. Rookie welders can determine the right size for their needs by understanding how long certain sizes of gas tanks last.
The duration time for popular-sized tanks can be estimated using some guidelines and calculations. To make things easier, we have put together this handy guide. It is hoped that it will assist those who are new to welding in selecting the right tank size.
Argon is a very popular gas for MIG welding and TIG welding since it can maintain a stable fire arc. As well as CO2, Argon/CO2 mixtures are often used.
Due to its higher price, pure argon is less attractive than a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide. As these gases can eliminate oxygen, proper ventilation is necessary when handling them.
Argon Tank Sizes
At the beginning of your MIG welding career, you will be best served by renting or buying an Argon tank that is larger than you originally think of needing.
Argon gas is used more when TIG welding. As opposed to MIG welding, TIG welding is a more precise process and also a lot slower.
Do you need a larger or smaller cylinder of argon gas? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced welder; the answer will depend on your experience level. Additionally, your welding project which argon gas cylinder sizes you will need.
Argon MIG gas bottle comes in a variety of sizes. These are due to the varying argon tank sizes and weights of tank makers and gas cylinder manufacturers use.
Standard Argon cylinder sizes are available in a few sizes. If you measure the diameter and height of a cylinder, you can determine its capacity. Here is a table that explains the size.
21 Cu. Ft.
44 Cu. Ft.
65 Cu. Ft.
83 Cu. Ft.
125 Cu. Ft.
155 Cu. Ft.
251 Cu. Ft.
335 Cu. Ft.
Argon Tank Sizes Chart
Oxyacetylene welding uses acetylene and oxygen for most of its processes. There is a pressure rating of 250 psi, which is usually considered good. It's important to store the gas in specific cylinders because of its volatile nature.
10 Cu. Ft.
40 Cu. Ft.
60 Cu. Ft.
111 Cu. Ft.
130 Cu. Ft.
10 Cu. Ft.
304 Cu. Ft.
390 Cu. Ft.
Acetylene Welding Gas Tank Size
Propane Cylinder Size Chart
Propane is a flammable gas. However, it is primarily used for brazing after welding. It also lacks the reducing zone necessary to clean the surface of the steel. For this reason, propane cannot be used for gas welding. Although it does not emit as much heat as propylene, it is still quite hot.
Propylene Cylinder Size Chart
While Propylene is no match for Acetylene in terms of heating capability, it is a far safer alternative. It also has the advantage of being able to withstand cold temperatures.
Gases, such as propylene, are colorless, mostly inert, and usually mixed with a small amount of oxygen. Welders recommend using propylene during welding and brazing processes.
25.5 Cu. Ft.
80 Cu. Ft.
100 Cu. Ft.
High-Pressure Cylinder Sizes For Industrial Use
Welding gases like helium, oxygen, and others are available in cylinders of various sizes. Here is the general size chart. Note that the size may vary from manufacturer to manufacture.
20 Cu. Ft.
55 Cu. Ft.
80 Cu. Ft.
96 Cu. Ft.
122 Cu. Ft.
122 Cu. Ft.
150 Cu. Ft.
244 Cu. Ft.
244 Cu. Ft.
330 Cu. Ft.
High-Pressure Cylinder Size
Here are some other welding gases that are rarely used.
When high temperatures are required, hydrogen is used. When working on stainless steel, it is often used in combination with Argon as a shielding gas. Jewelry manufacturing also involves the use of hydrogen. If you need to weld something that requires a high level of heat, then this is an ideal option.
It is rare to weld stainless steel with nitrogen, but it can be mixed with Argon. The combination of nitrogen and Argon is excellent for welding stainless steel. As well as preventing oxides from forming, nitrogen helps to strengthen welds. At room temperature, nitrogen will not react, but you should avoid it when welding carbon steels.
The most commonly used shielding gas for aluminum and stainless steel is helium. It has a higher ionization potential and a better thermal conductivity than Argon. When working with Helium, it is possible to generate a great deal of heat.
It is possible to obtain higher flow rates by using helium because its density is lower than Argon. The result might be a faster welding process at the expense of stability with a helium-argon mixture. The increased productivity far outweighs the cost of Helium mixtures.
How To Know What Size Cylinder I Have?
It can save you significant amounts of time and heartache if you know the size of your cylinder. If you aren't familiar with cylinder sizing, you might feel intimidated.
Standard sizes are available in a few different dimensions. A cylinder's capacity can easily be determined by measuring its height and diameter. Your best option is to buy the biggest tank if money is not a constraint.
Moreover, this will allow you to use it for the longest period of time as well. You should also consider the ease of refilling bigger tanks. Because of this, when purchasing a gas tank, always opt for the largest one available.
It is a pity that some of those very big tanks you saw aren't for sale. People who run businesses or enterprises can only lease those. Please note that the dimensions may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. Additionally, tanks may be listed alphabetically depending on the manufacturer.
How Long Will MIG/TIG Welding Gas Last?
Often, new welders want to know how long the gas will last in their tanks. Flow rate determines how long the gas will last. Depending on how much work you are doing, it is between 10 and 40 cubic feet per hour.
Shielding gas is maintained at higher flow rates in high winds. Even in light winds, welders need at least 20 CFH. Using the equation, you can make a decent estimate of how long a full tank of gas will last. As an example, if the tank is 40 CF, and it runs at 10 CFH, we have:
40 CF / 10 CFH = 4 Hours Of Welding
Depending on what temperature and how many times you start and stop, the calculations will differ a little from your actual use. In particular, pre-, and post-flow settings will vary the calculations.
Watch your regulator as well. Your tank's pressure drops when you use it. You have to adjust the flow rate so that the pressure stays the same. Your flow rate can also change as the temperature changes.
It is likely that you will have to adjust the regulator more frequently than you anticipate. When you finish your work for the day, you may want to do something as simple as setting the gas regulator back to "0".
Finding The Right Size Cylinder
For starters, you can only buy cylinders up to 125cf. They will be between 60-80 pounds in weight. Following are some factors to consider while choosing a cylinder.
Your local welding gas dealer should be able to refill or exchange your existing tanks whenever you need one. The process may vary from dealer to dealer.
Frequency Of Use
Compared to bigger cylinders, smaller ones require more frequent refills. The type of cylinder you need depends on whether you are a business owner or passionate about welding. It would be better to purchase a medium-sized cylinder if you travel a lot to the job site.
When working with these gases, good ventilation is necessary. As with working with gasses, it is important to have adequate ventilation when transporting gas. Several of these gases consume the oxygen you breathe. It is also important that they can be transported safely.
Traveling to the worksite means you will need something that you can carry on your person and will not cause an injury while being transported.
You must plan how often you plan on having your cylinders filled or scheduled for service, whether you are going to a dealer or scheduling service.
Gas Cylinder Safety
Even though it seems obvious, welding gasses require some special considerations. Make sure your cylinder is in good working order and that you are wearing appropriate protective gear. Okay. Even though they seem obvious, they are frequently overlooked.
Handcarts designed for moving cylinders should always be used. The cylinders will not fall or bump against each other this way. The valves must be closed when the cylinder is not in use. The dust plug or pressure cap should also be secured.
This is where your cylinder is most vulnerable. If you are removing or replacing the pressure cap, make sure you are extra cautious when transporting the cylinder.
Fun Facts About Welding Bottle Sizes
B-size acetylene tanks are rumored to get the "B" designation for the bus. "MC" stands for the motorcycle in the acetylene tank size because the gas was used to illuminate motorcycle headlights. Although I have made attempts to reconcile the following data with the charts above, so far, there is no solid evidence.
The market offers many different sizes of gas MIG/TIG tanks. Regardless of the size, the three most popular sizes for a hobby welder are #40, #80, and #125 size.
There is also a limit of 125 cubic feet in the volume of the cylinder you can purchase. The cylinder will weigh between 60 - 80 lbs.
And that’s all there is to know about TIG and MIG welding tanks. By now you should be able to understand your requirements before making your selection.