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Gases

Oxygen
All combustion takes place in the presence of oxygen, either contained in the air or as pure oxygen. Therefore, the main oxygen application technologies in metal production are:
  • in the enrichment of combustion air in melting furnaces and cupolas for the production of cast iron, of non-ferrous metals and of rock wool;
  • in oxygen-fuel burners for the melting of steel in electric arc furnaces and in rotary furnaces for cast iron, lead, copper, brass, aluminium, precious metal alloys and tin etc;
  • in the oxidation and refining of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Argon
Argon is a noble, monatomic and chemically inert gas. These properties mean that it finds applications in various metal production processes, among which:
  • the degassing of molten aluminium;
  • the shaking and chemical homogenization of molten metals;
  • the protection from oxidation of molten metals;
  • the heat treatment of metals.
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is utilised in the heat treatment of metals, for the injection into molten metals as an alternative to argon, for the shrink fitting and for the extrusion of aluminium.

Carbon dioxide
In the heat treatment of magnesium and aluminium alloys, carbon dioxide is used for the generation of protective atmospheres.

Hydrogen
Hydrogen is used in metals heat treatment where it is necessary to maintain a reducing atmosphere.