All About Argon

Argon is an inert gas that is both colorless and odorless and that is grouped in the Noble gases.  Argon is so named from the Greek word for “lazy,” as a result of its characteristic of having little reactivity when it comes to forming compounds. This gas is most frequently utilized in welding and is also found regularly in fluorescent lighting.

According to Chemicool, a substantial amount of the argon on Earth is the isotope argon-40, which is generated from the radioactive decay of potassium-40. However, argon in space is developed from stars, that takes place when two hydrogen nuclei fuse with silicon-32, resulting in the isotope argon-36.

Argon, while inert, is not limited. Conversely, about 0.9 percent of the earth’s atmosphere is made up of this gas. According to calculations by Chemicool, this indicates that there are about 65 million metric tons of argon in the atmosphere, and that quantity continues to grow due to the decay of potassium-40.

To name some of its traits, Argon (Ar) has the atomic number 18 and an atomic weight of 39.948. At room temperature, Argon is a gas.

Argon was first come across in 1785 when English scientist Henry Cavendish discovered a fraction of air that seemed especially inert. At first, Cavendish had difficulty determining what this air was. It was not until over one hundred years later in 1894 that two men, Lord Rayleigh and Scottish chemist William Ramsey managed to accurately classify and describe the gas, which subsequently earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery. In addition to this, analyzing argon’s elemental properties also eventually led to Ramsey discovering helium, neon, krypton, and xenon.

As a result of its inertness, argon is regularly utilized in industrial jobs that require for a non-reactive atmosphere. In addition, argon is usable as an effective insulator, leading to its common use in warming divers when deep-sea diving. Argon is also employed in historical preservation and is pumped around important documents such as the Magna Carta and a world map from 1507. Unlike oxygen and similar reactive elements, the argon helps protect the paper and ink on these fragile documents.

Additionally, there are several less frequently discussed utilizations for argon. For example, argon is used in neon lights that shine blue, since neon itself emanates an orange-red color. Likewise, argon is regularly employed in laser technology, including the lasers used in vision correction surgeries such as LASIK and PRK procedures. Argon has even been employed to uncover contaminated groundwater in certain locations in the United States. In this circumstance, argon and other noble gases were injected into wells where they mixed with methane.

Currently, there is a substantial amount of research being conducted on argon to find further potential uses of the gas. For example, it is presently being considered as a future alternative to the expensive gas xenon and its role in treatment of brain injuries. Additionally, some experiments suggest that argon could at some point be used to reduce the severity brain injuries that have been acquired a result of oxygen deprivation or other traumatic incidents. A review published in the Medical Gas Research journal found that in several circumstances, treating injuries with argon considerably decreased the death of brain cells. Researchers are not yet clear about why argon has this effect on brain cells. Until now, argon has been employed in this research by either being applied directly to cells in a culture dish or distributed along with oxygen in a facemask for animal studies. As argon research progresses, it is becoming increasingly likely that trials on humans will commence at some point. However, it seems that there are likely risks with argon treatment, thus more research must be carried out until this practice can be applied.

Whether you’re in need of argon to be used in the medical industry or any other industry that utilizes specialty gases, PurityPlus has a wide variety of specialty gas products to meet your needs. We possess a large selection of specialty gases and specialty gas equipment, and the resources and experts available to answer your questions and aid your needs. If you’d like to know more about our available products, browse our online catalog or reach out to us via email at or at 915-771-7674.