Afrox has introduced a superior range of stainless steel shielding gases which, according to industrial gases business manager Nkululeko Magadla, affords the stainless steel industry improvements in welding productivity and quality.

"The new Stainshield range, developed in conjunction with our parent company BOC, comprises a helium/argon/hydrogen mix formulated to assist fabricators significantly improve welding productivity," Mr Magadla said.

"The Stainshield formulation improves arc stability, thereby reducing spatter which the welder usually has to grind off as part of the welding clean-up procedure."

Spatter and the subsequent clean-up decreases welder productivity and also reduces the aesthetics of the finished product, an important requirement for stainless steel welding.

Similar improvements are possible using tungsten inert gas (TIG) processes for stainless steel welding.

"As an example, if a welder requires an hour to weld a product and Stainshield enables him to weld 30 per cent faster, there is a commensurate time saving, the upshot of which is improved productivity," Mr Magadla said.

An additional benefit is that all the AFROX-branded shielding gases are formulated to minimise the impact on the working environment. Typically, this would range from lower particulate fume generation to gaseous fume such as ozone.