Features of Nitrogen Gas
-Odourless and colourless
-Does not support combustion
-An asphyxiant (does not support life)
-Non-reactive except at very high temperatures
-Does not react with oxygen at low temperatures
-Inert, dry and slightly soluble
-Available in 300-bar MCPs
-Inert to nearly all substances at ambient temperatures and moderate conditions.
-Nitrogen keeps laser-cut faces oxide-free due to the chemical inertness to react with the atmosphere.
-At higher temperatures, nitrogen can react to form metal nitrides.
-Nitrogen gas is only slightly soluble in a wide range of liquids and is therefore used to flush unwanted gases from solutions.
-Reduces internal degradation of the rubber in tyres due to oxidisation.
-As a cryogenic liquid, nitrogen can be used to thermally contract metals.
Applications and Uses
-Used for blanketing and purging applications to displace or dilute all unwanted gas or vapour
-Widely used for reasons of safety and the prevention of product degradation in the chemicals and petroleum industry:
-Inerting reactors and storage tanks
-Purging vessels and pipelines
-Pressure-transfer of liquids
-Shielding or assist gas for plasma-cutting aluminium and stainless steel, and as an assist gas for laser-cutting stainless steel - - - TIG-welding of tough-pitch copper.
-Heat-treatment processes to protect some of the most reactive metals.
-In electrochemical analysis, can be bubbled through to displace any oxygen.
-Pressure-transfer, where the movement of liquids or slurries from one piece of process plant to another is effected using gas pressure.
-Tyre inflation: helps to extend tyre life and prevent tyre bursts.
-Pressurising accumulators for batch-testing applications.
-Can be used for shrink-fitting: the intense cold of liquid nitrogen (-196°C), reduces the physical dimensions of a component placed in the liquid. Once cooled, the component is connected to a mating component before swelling to its original size as it reaches room temperature, thereby securing itself in place.