Popular Applications of Argon
WorldExecutivesDigest.com | Popular Applications of Argon | Noble gases occupy the 18th group in the periodic table and have the most stable atomic structures. In 1785, one of these noble gases, argon gas (symbol: Ar), was discovered by the British Scientist Henry Cavendish. It was colourless, inert, and odourless with an atomic number of 18 and an atomic weight of 40grams. The Royal Society of Chemistry claims that this element’s rare, unique feature is that it constitutes 0.94% of the Earth’s atmosphere, making it the third most abundant atmospheric gas.
Although most commonly used in the welding industry worldwide, there are various industries where argon is used widely. Australia’s industrial gas manufacturing sector is worth 3 billion dollars, and one of its top manufactured atmospheric gas is argon. The industries where this gas is used include:
This business division primarily uses argon laser systems to:
- Treat retinal detachment and retinal phototherapy for diabetic people
- Destroy tumours and fuse arteries in surgeries
- Assist in other precision essential medical procedures
- Cool cryo-needles that are used to treat kidney tumours. (Cryosurgery is the process of removing or terminating infected or abnormal tissues by freezing)
- Administer heart arrhythmias, modifications to the rhythm of the heartbeat, etc
Recent discoveries show that argon gas could be a probable neuroprotectant in medical therapy in subjects related to the brain.
Argon works alongside potassium (symbol: K; atomic number:19), using radioisotopes, to determine objects that date back to 4 billion years.
- Potassium, the element after argon, has an atomic mass very similar: 19 protons & 21 neutrons.
- When a radioactive particle identified as a beta-particle mingles with potassium, it converts one proton into a neutron changing the atom itself (all this occurs slowly over a fixed period).
- A sample, say fossils, is examined. The age is predicted by comparing the ratio of argon to potassium in the sample (that cumulatively rises with time) to an existing modern piece.
Remark: Carbon dating is a particular type of radiometric dating helpful in identifying articles whose age is in the thousands range.
Noble gases, in general, are suitable for the production of neon lights. It is more affordable than the other gases causing it to be widely used.
The electrons in the outermost orbit of argon get excited on the passage of electricity, making them leap to a higher energy shell, thus emitting a blue-purple glow. It starts emitting this light at a lower voltage as it charges and helps save money favouring its worth.
Argon gas is also used to increase the lifespan of incandescent bulbs by preventing the decay of the filament.
Preservation of Documents:
An enthralling application of this noble gas is its capability to preserve old documentation by providing it with a protective atmosphere, thus preventing it from degeneration or destruction when stocked.
Synthesis of Metals:
Due to its non-reactive nature, argon is termed ‘shield gas’ used for welding in the automobile industry and alloys. It shields the metal under operation from oxidation (corrosion). It dismisses unnecessary gases:
- Carbon monoxide (in general)
- Hydrogen gas during aluminium production
- Chromium losses are reduced in the manufacture of steel in a converter.
Beverage Sector of the Food Industry:
Argon gases are used to displace air and protect alcohol like wine stored in barrels from oxidation(decay) and souring by settling above the liquid as it is denser than air. Bars and restaurants use the same technique to preserve open liquid bottles.
This noble gas is also used in cold water diving as drysuit insulation as it is inert and maintains low thermal conductivity. A breathing gas, argox, made of oxygen and argon, is given to scuba divers (occasional utilisation).
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