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- A colourless and odourless gas that can cause the nose to sting in high concentrations.
- Toxic in high concentrations.
- An asphyxiant (does not support life).
- Slightly corrosive in the presence of moisture.
- Heavier than air, carbon dioxide will collect in ducts, drains and low-lying areas.
- Highly soluble in water at moderate temperatures.
- At elevated temperatures, carbon dioxide reacts with many substances.
- Cylinders of both liquid and gaseous carbon dioxide are available from BOC. Dip tubes are used in liquid withdrawal carbon dioxide cylinders to extract the liquid from the cylinder. The tube runs down the centre of the pressurised cylinder and draws the liquid up through the valve. To identify these cylinders, a white stripe is painted down the length of the cylinder.
- Higher density than air provides good blanketing properties.
- This chemical property has led to its use as a reactant in some chemical processes.
- BOC sells a range of electrical vaporisers which can be used for increasing flow rates.
Applications and Uses
- MIG-welding mild steel
- For welding carbon and alloy steel and stainless steel with flux-cored wires
- Shielding gas in plasma-cutting
- Liquid for substrate cooling to control the heat build-up when thermal and plasma-spraying
- BOC recommends the use of the Argoshield range as the preferred mild steel MIG-welding gas
- Suitable for inerting applications
- Balancing pH levels in swimming pools
- Compressed liquid carbon dioxide can also be used in small pipe-freezing applications
Dry carbon dioxide is non-corrosive; hence common materials are acceptable, e.g. steel, iron, copper, brass and plastic. Moist carbon dioxide is slightly corrosive so suck back of moisture from the atmosphere through an open valve of an empty cylinder must be avoided by closing the valve after use.
A carbon dioxide regulator cannot be used with any other gas cylinder due to the different fittings and pressure levels.