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Old 12-12-2009, 12:14 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

I need a way of refilling my coil over shocks. Is Argon as good as Nitrogen? Can Argon be substituted for Nitrogen? They are both inert.

I've priced out Nitrogen tanks w/reg's and I'm in the $250-300 area. All I will ever use this for is refilling the shocks. Although if I could use Argon I could use it for welding as well.

Anyone try this?
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:17 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

No. Good question. Why doesn't Foc or King use Argon?

Maybe the molecules are smaller and leak by the seals . . .
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:24 AM   #3 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

I am sure somone will correct me if I am wrong but Nitrogen does NOT get hot when compressed as bad as other gasses.

If argon was a possible soulution I would think more would be heard of off road racers messing with it.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:07 AM   #4 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

Its not the inert-gas property that makes nitrogen desirable in shocks but that it does not increase in pressure as much as "air" when the temperature changes (as the shock heats up)., mostly because it doesn't contain any moisture, which contributes to pressure changes when the shock heats up if you were to run straight compressed air.

I don't know about Argon - if its dry, it might work. I've never heard of anyone in racing or aviation using anything other than nitrogen. Maybe because nitrogen is cheaper...
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:20 AM   #5 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

Air is about 70% nitrogen to begin with so expansion rates are close. The main advantage of nitrogen is it's not carrying water. Water expands greatly with heat. Argon would probably work just as well as nitrogen.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:26 AM   #6 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

I haven't heard of people using argon but it sounds plausible. Nitrogen makes up 70% of the atmosphere so it's cheap, while argon accounts for 0.6% if I remember correctly. Argon has a specific heat that is roughly half that of nitrogen (0.5203 KJ/(kg*K) vs. 1.039 KJ/(kg*K)), so it doesn't store energy well, but the gas constants for argon and nitrogen are similar (0.2081 vs. 0.2968 (same units as specific heats)), indicating that they would change in temperature in a very similar manner when compressed. Given PV = mRT (P = pressure, V= volume, m = mass, R = gas constant, and T = temperature) argon would heat up less than nitrogen given identical changes in pressure and volume. Of course I'm making several assumptions about ideal gas laws, no emulsion, etc. so I'm willing to bet that someone can speak from experience here on the subject.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

what pressure does an argon tank come with when full?
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

I think I see my Argon tanks come around 2500 psi
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #9 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

Yup 2500 PSI for my welding Argon.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:55 PM   #10 (permalink)

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Default Re: Nitrogen or Argon for shock refill?

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb....html?t=193902

I found this. Its talking about tire filling, but I don't see why the same concerns would not hold true for shock applications. Essentially it comes down to low/no moisture content, low heat buildup under pressure, and its ability to stay put (or not leak out). Argon has a higher molecular weight than Nitrogen so it shouldn't sneak past seals that keep Nitrogen in.
After thinking about it, the build up of pressure as temps rise will essentially be the same for most gasses. Its the water vapor that will really cause problems as temps rise IMO. Any dry gas should work. I have yet to test this hypothesis however. It seems that they've filled tires with Nitrogen, CO2, Argon, etc.
Any other thoughts on why it wouldn't work?

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