Back-To-Basics: Shielding Gas

Sometimes going back-to-basics can make the difference between a quality repair and a failed repair. When it comes to shielding gas, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to have a quality weld.

Shielding gas protects the weld from outside elements and air that cause porosity. Without it, the weld is weak and filled with air bubbles and holes and it is not able to penetrate into the panels being welded. The type of gas used depends on the type of metal being welded. For Example:

  • 75% Argon/ 25% CO2 is used for most mild and high-strength steels.
  • Pure Argon is used for aluminum and when silicon bronze wire is being used.

The above are the most common gasses you will see in repair manuals. However, you may also notice that, depending on the OEM, these other types of shielding gasses are listed:

  • Pure CO2
  • 80% Argon/ 20% CO2
  • 82% Argon/ 18% CO2
  • Helium

These are just a few examples of what you may find while searching through a repair manual. Shielding gas requirements may differ from OEM to OEM and depending on where the vehicles are made. If you are unsure of availability of those gasses for the repair, you may want to check with your local distributor or find out if there is a United States equivalent to that gas available.

Always refer to the body repair manual as the OEM may specify what type of gas they require for certain repairs. Using the vehicle maker required welding material, and more specifically shielding gas, helps to ensure a complete, safe, and quality repair.

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