If someone asks you about the three most popular and abundant gases present in the earth’s atmosphere, you would surely name, Oxygen, Carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Of course, you are right, and there’s no change in the periodic number, it’s a very less-known fact that after N2 and O2, another noble gas in the earth’s crust is argon. Accounting over 1% of the unseen composition in the atmosphere, argon gas is a colourless, odourless gas, which is inert to other substances.
Discovered by Sir William Ramsay and Lord Rayleigh in 1894, argon gets its official name from a Greek word of Lazy. Both scientists isolated argon by removing oxygen, water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Once purified, it was observed that the remaining gas was much lighter than nitrogen. Since it doesn’t reach with anyone, it didn’t get bonded to other atoms and elements to form complex compounds.
Argon is a chemical element with the symbol Ar and atomic number 18. Its also called as the third most abundant gas in the atmosphere, with the common argon isotope of argon-36.
Why is argon called as a noble gas?
There are total six noble gases in the earth’s atmosphere called neon, argon, Krypton, radon, xenon and helium, taking up the rightmost column of the periodic table of elements. Further, these gases don’t have any sharable electrons. Instead, like a puzzle box, they only contain the specific amount of elements and doesn’t have any subatomic necessities that need to be fulfilled by the donations. Besides, they don’t have any extras that they can give to other people. So, officially the noble gases are calles as inert gases, which don’t react with any other element.
Properties of Argon gas
Ar or Argon is the 18th element in the periodic table, making it the third largest of the other six noble gases after neon and helium. It’s colourless, odourless and tasteless gas; however, in liquid and solid states, it is transparent having water-like colour and taste. Argon’s molecular weight is over 39.7 grams per mole, and there are over 22 isotopes of argon ranging from Ar-31 to Ar-51 and Ar-53.
Uses of Argon gas
For Neon lights
When it comes to creating the neon lights, noble gases are the one that is often used. When the electric current is made to pass from these gases, it excites the outermost revolving electron and makes them jump from its higher shell to the lower energy level. When that electron return to its initial energy state, it releases a photon, that is a weightless packet of light. Further, argon is used with the mercury vapour mixture to create a glowing ultraviolet light. So, next time when you see the bright light, you would know that it is because of argon gas.
Electrical light bulbs
Do you know that the incandescent light bulbs that we use in the home contain inert gases like argon? Well, the heat produces from the tungsten filament generates light and argon in the lamp prevent the filament from decaying. So, if you think that your room bulb only has filament and air, you are wrong. Further, the air can react with the oxygen and can burn out the tungsten.
Shield gas for welding
Argon gas is used for the welding of alloys and automobile parts like automobile frames and mufflers. Argon is used as a shield gas as it does not react with other gases and metals in the vicinity. It protects the welding metals to react with other gases and materials that lead to perfect welding.
Production of metals
Argon is also used for the production of metals in the industries. It prevents the oxidation of metals and displaces unwanted gases like carbon monoxide during the synthesis of metals especially titanium and speciality alloys.
The argon gas is also used in scuba diving for dry suit insulation. As it is an inert gas and has a low thermal conductivity, the argon gas Gold Coast protect the divers from cold water and helps them retain their body temperature while scuba diving in Gold Coast.
Food and Drinks Industry
Argon is used in the food and drink industry due to its inert nature. The wine manufacturers add it to the wine barrels to replace the air above the liquid. Argon is denser than air, and it displaces the air and settles on the surface of wine thereby protecting it from sourcing and oxidation.
Argon is an inert gas, and due to its inert nature, Argon is used in many industries. Most industries use it to prevent the oxidation of foods and metals. Being an inert gas, Argon is of great importance for industrial use. It protects the materials from oxidation, corrosion, and degradation.